Seven years ago, a grey kitten came down from the live oaks in our front yard, and into my sweet daughter's life. I tried to prevent it at first, but the look in those baby girl eyes (my wife and daughter's eyes) told me that would be a lost cause. So it was that Jingles became a little grown up lioness on our front porch. She hunted birds, and she kept the squirrels from gnawing into the eaves of our old house. She also hunted mice and would leave her prizes on our doorstep to make my wife squeal for me in the morning. Jingles would come bounding across the yard anytime my little girl came outside or exited the car, eager for her attention and affection. During the cold wet winter months, Jingles was allowed in my daughter's room at night, curling up purring among her bed clothes.
Little Darling loved Jingles, and that was good enough for me. Jingles loved Little Darling as well. My relationship with Jingles began with adversion, morphed into tolerance, and finally into affection. I found myself scratching her behind the ears as I came home from work.
This morning I called into work, telling the crew i would be late. My wife had found Jingles in the front yard on her way to do the morning musical automobile game we play each morning in our driveway. Jingles was gone. I awakened my daughter, and we buried her under the live oaks from whence she came to us.