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Mustang Sally: The Kitten That Healed Their Hearts

After their cat died too soon, it took 7 years to be ready to receive their new unexpected gift.

a kitten is a gift

Are you a dog family, or a cat family? My family has always been both. We’ve got two dogs, Roxie and Cosita. My childhood memories are full of the cats we’ve loved, from my dad’s first cat, Bandit, to our beloved white cat Cecelia, whose gray fur formed a perfect heart shape across her stomach. But since our last feline friend, Sunny the orange tabby, died too young, we’ve been cat-less. The sudden loss of Sunny was hard to move on from, especially for my mom.

This year, Mom finally thought she was ready for a new kitten. It was all she wanted for her birthday on June 16. “Roxie and Cosita need a new friend!” she said.

In the week leading up to her birthday, something funny happened. She started to hear a kitten’s meow in the driveway. Every time she went in and out of the house, she could hear the soft cries but couldn’t pinpoint the sound. She asked my dad if he heard it too. He only shrugged.

At last, Mom’s birthday arrived. She kept her fingers crossed, hoping for a kitten. Before her birthday festivities, Mom had a​ doctor’s appointment an hour away. Dad handed her the keys to his pickup truck.

“The truck is better than your Mustang for long distances,” he said. “It’s a smoother ride.”

My mom shook her head. All week Dad had been steering her away from driving her car. “I feel better driving the Mustang,” she said.

Despite my dad’s protestations, my mom insisted on driving her Mustang that day. Finally, my dad ‘fessed up.

“About that meow you’ve been hearing…” he began. Over the past week, he’d heard it too—every time he walked past my mom’s Mustang. One day he popped the hood, and a tiny beige kitten stared back at him.

How in the world did she get there? Dad didn’t know, but he’d fed the kitten every day since, waiting for the day he’d reveal her to Mom. The little fluffball was the purr-fect gift, and Dad didn’t even need to leave the house to find her. Happy Birthday!

When it came time to name our new furry friend, we took inspiration from the song famously performed by Wilson Pickett and called her “Mustang Sally.” Sally is the first cat we’ve had in 7 years and she’s fit right in with our dogs. 

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