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My wife and I live in the country, where people seem to feel the need to dump their unwanted pets. We habitually pick them up and visit the local humane society shelter, which in our county is thankfully a no-kill facility. We cannot conceivably keep them all, much as we would like to, so we drop them off, wish them well, and enclose a donation to the shelter each time, sometimes small, sometimes larger. It just seems like the right thing to do.

On this particular evening, we were emotionally wrung out from spending the afternoon carving a new grave marker for our prior kitty, Cricket, who had been gone a year. Covered in concrete dust and garden soil, we decided we were too tired to cook and we deserved to have a dinner in town.

Driving along the road, we passed the old funeral home and my wife started to shout, "Stop the car! Honey, STOP! It's a marmalade, LIKE CRICKET!" I slammed the brakes and came to a screeching halt, noticing the state trooper after the fact. Thankfully, he did nothing, just sat and watched as my wife scrambled out of the car and into the ditch.

That's when I saw what she item that I had mistook for a crumpled bag turned out to be an extraordinarily filthy and incredibly small marmalade tabby kitten. She climbed back into the car with the tiny animal clinging to her chest, purring at an intense volume and looking at her like she was the biggest hero in the whole world. The state trooper waved us on, so I turned around and went home with our new bundle.

This little one cleaned up great with a bath and tucked nicely into a bed. Her comically tiny body and huge bat-like ears were immediately endearing. This one just couldn't go to the shelter. We were in love.

We named her Moset, which is a variation on ancient Egyptian words combining to mean "daughter."

It's been two years. Jaime, Alisha, Moset, and Moxie (also a rescue kitty) are a happy family.

Tullahoma, TN

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