Princess Buttercup

The emails had gone back and forth for some time, and my college pal Angela and I eventually confirmed our long-awaited plans. A road trip to St. Louis was in order, and a chance to see the Brewers play the Cardinals at Busch stadium over the 4th of July weekend would soon be mine. Somewhere along the way in the chain of emails, Ang made note: “Don’t forget, the 4th of July is Princess Buttercup’s first birthday, and we will need to celebrate.” Nevermind that the 4th of July was also my travel partner’s birthday, or America’s birthday, for that matter–this day was going to be dedicated to a furry little friend that I in no time had dubbed “P.B.”

Princess Buttercup is a special little kitty…heavy on the special. To be honest, she has a face that only a mother could love, and a forehead the size of a frying pan. She came home with Ang after one night of many spent volunteering at the animal shelter, with strong cautions that she probably had hydrocephalus and probably wouldn’t make it. Turns out, they were probably wrong. Princess Buttercup may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but a year later she is thriving. She chases the tails of her other feline friends (noted by Ang to be “approximately a million years old”), gladly snuggles up on the couch with a willing partner whenever the opportunity presents itself, and looks up at you with her alien-like, watery but ever so sweet eyes. She is a keeper.

She’s a keeper because Ang decided she was. And really, that’s all it takes. One living being to look at another living being and proclaim, “You are mine. I will take care of you.” All too often in life we get bogged down with all the stuff–the errands, the chores, the work, the over-commitments and obligations we eventually come to resent. In reality, if we just slowed down for a minute and took note, we could all find our own Princess Buttercup. Maybe it’s our elderly neighbor or a co-worker or a kid who needs a mentor. Whoever it is, just imagine what a little time, attention and love from you could bring. In my estimation, that’s how we change the world. We don’t need to donate a million dollars or feed an entire starving country to make a difference. All it takes to make the world a better place is to pick one living creature and decide to treat them like they are somebody really important. I’m going to be on the lookout for my Princess Buttercup, starting now. Care to join me?

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