When I am not fetching groceries at the local Wal-Mart, or participating in the grand event known as Laundry Day, or scouring a toilet in the boy’s bathroom, or vacuuming up Lego pieces from our hardwood floors, I can sometimes be found in a gymnasium, teaching PE.
Today, during my last class, our school had a special assembly, because the primary grades had worked really hard to collect donations for the local animal shelter (blankets, bags of puppy chow, chew toys, and kitty litter). Because of this, we bagged PE, and I sat in on the assembly, while we all gathered to listen to a woman from the animal shelter give a little speech about the place and answer questions that the kids had.
And also? She brought kittens!
Total bonus, because who doesn’t love a cute kitten?
I cannot remember the kittens’ names, because their names were extravagant French names, which I couldn’t pronounce after hearing them spoken aloud sixteen times, and which completely escape me now.
I spent two years flirting with a cute boy in Spanish class in high school, and I never set foot in French class. Hence, my French is limited to French fries, French dips, and French bread.
The very best part of the assembly, though, was simply the Q and A time. The little kiddos all threw their hands high into the air, hoping that the woman from the animal shelter would pick them (Please! Pick me! I have a burning question to ask!) to stand up and ask what was on their minds.
Because all of the animals are named at the local shelter, one little 2nd grader threw his hand up, and, when called upon, he asked, “Do you remember a brown dog named Arnold?” The woman’s smile spread from ear to ear as she replied, “Yes! I absolutely DO remember Arnold. Did your family adopt him?” The little fellow responded by saying, “Yes.” The woman then asked, “And how is Arnold doing?” The small boy looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Well, I guess he’s not doing very well at all. He died.”
And the other one that got me? The one that made me tip over with a severe case of the giggles? Let me tell you about it.
All of the kids were asking questions about what kinds of strays come in and stay at our local animal shelter. How many cats come in? How many kittens come in? How many dogs come in? Has any other animal come in? Surprisingly, the woman said, “You know, we did have a snake for a while, which was rescued from a neglected home, and we did take care of him until another family adopted him.”
And then little A., age 5, waved his hand frantically in the air. When he was called on, A. stood up tall and asked, “Um, I was just wondering, has anyone brought any stray cheetahs into the animal shelter? I mean, have you caught any cheetahs on the streets and taken care of them?”
Clearly, our kindergarten teacher needs to work a bit more with her class on a little thing I like to call habitats.