When my daughter was born, we received a gift from a family friend. A small white blanket with a cat’s head and our daughter’s name engraved in pink.
I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first. It seemed an awfully fancy burp cloth. Several months later, when my daughter began to carry it with her everywhere, I realized it was intended as a lovey.
My daughter named it “White Kitty.” She is literal that way. Every stuffed animal she has, and there are many, is called what it is.
White Kitty had been her constant companion for most of her first four years of life. She slept with it. Carried it with her everywhere. White Kitty went with us to the grocery store. The doctor’s office. On family vacations.
When we went to the hospital several weeks ago, White Kitty was with us. She did not return home.
I believe when the nurse changed my daughter’s bed linens, she must have scooped White Kitty up as well.
When I realized White Kitty was gone, I was panicked. I called the nurse’s station on the floor where we stayed, and also the lost and found department of the hospital. No one had found White Kitty.
I sent a desperate letter with a photo, asking that they please call me if it shows up. I have heard nothing.
She’d been lost before, but was found. On our neighbor’s porch. Alas, it appears this time White Kitty is gone for good.
And the thing is, my daughter’s hasn’t noticed it is gone. She hasn’t asked about it. She has slept soundly every night since. Without White Kitty.
I’m the one who’s an emotional wreck.
I’m sad because she doesn’t need her security blanket anymore. She’s leaving her baby years behind. (She’s also started calling us “Mom” and “Dad” recently, much to my chagrin.)
Years from now, when my daughter is grown, I won’t have White Kitty as a keepsake from the years she needed not only a security blanket, but also me. I won’t be able to wrap it in a box and surprise her should she have a baby of her own some day. We have photos, but those too can be lost. And memories fade with time. I wanted, no I needed, to have White Kitty to hold as my little girl grows into a woman.