On the Fourth of July, 1993, at midnight my kids, Nick and Erin, and I came home from watching a big, fireworks display. It was a hot, muggy night and the air was full of smoke from spent bottle rockets and fountains. The sound of firecrackers was still popping around the neighborhood.

When we walked up to our front porch, we heard a meow, looked down and saw a very scared, black kitten. It was small and cute. Only a few weeks old. The kitten was very friendly and hungry.

We went to the convenience store and bought it some food. Put the food, “stinky cat food” also known as the wet kind, out in a bowl for the kitten. We made a bed for him on the porch. Of course, the kids wanted to keep the kitten, and I said, “We’ll see.” The next morning, we were cat owners. Sophie, the cat, was ours.