Ruby Red was born out of grief. She’s nine. She’s spunky. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She appeared out of the blue and stole the first line of my next novel. She took off running and I’ve been tagging along ever since.

It’s difficult to make sense of life after both your sister and brother die within a few months of each other like Ruby’s did. Her whole world turned upside down so Ruby turned to blogging to try and put things “right” again.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Difficult Surprise

Last week I got a awful scare. Early in the mornin’ on Friday Mama took Bond ‘n JB to the animal hospital to get fixed. When I got home from school with Jessie Mobley ‘n Kerrington right behind me, Mama was on the phone talkin’ to the Vet doctor. “On no!” Mama said, lookin’ at me ‘n a shakin’ her head. I knowed somethin’ was wrong by the look on Mama’s face. “What is it?” I asked when Mama hung up the phone. “We can go to the Vet but we can only bring Bond home. There was a complication with JB.” “What kinda complication,” Jessie Mobley asked. That’s when I got scared that JB was gonna die. Ever since Loraine ‘n then Rubin died I’m ‘fraid somebody else is gonna die too. I tried not to cry. Mama said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but...” Then she started laughin’ ‘n couldn’t hardly stop. “Please tell us,” Kerrington said ‘n grabbed my hand. “Well,” Mama said when she could stop laughin’, “turns out that JB is a girl.” I opened my eyes so wide. I couldn’t believe it. “A girl?” I asked. “How?” Mama just looked at us a minute ‘n then told us that sometimes it’s “difficult” to know if they are boys or girls when they are little kittens.

“So what’s the complication?” Jessie Mobley asked. “Well,” Mama said, “to fix a boy cat is easy ‘n done on the outside, but with a girl cat it’s major surgery ‘cause they hafta cut the belly open ‘n JB’s gotta spend the night at the animal hospital. “When can he…she come on home?” I asked. “Tomorrow afternoon,” Mama said. Then she told us we could all go ‘n get Bond ‘n maybe get to visit JB. So we piled in the car ‘n off we went.

“Are you still gonna call her JB?” Kerrington asked. “I don’t know…don’t seem right since we named her after a bull rider. “Maybe there’s some girls who ride bulls,” Jessie Mobley said, “and maybe you could name him…her after a girl bull rider.” I just looked outta the window for a minute. “I named him JB ‘cause he jumped up on the rockin’ chair like it was a bull ‘n ‘cause I love JB Mauney but JB just don’t sound right for a girl.”

“Maybe you could name her a girl’s J name ‘n a girl’s B name ‘n still call her JB for a nickname.” Kerrington raised her shoulders up ‘n looked at me real hard. “Okay,” I said, “tell me some girl J names.” We all thought ‘bout it for a second ‘n then Jessie Mobley said, “Jessica, Jasmine, Julie….” Then Kerrington said, “Jade…Jennifer.” I huffed ‘n leaned back in my seat. “I just don’t know,” I said. “It wadn’t right that JB could be a girl, but she’s still a kitty. I felt  kinda sad. “Think ‘bout some B names,” I said ‘cause I didn’t like none a them J names. “How ‘bout Bethany?” Jessie Mobley screwed up her mouth ‘n then thought some more ‘n said, “Beth, Brittany, Betty.” Then Kerrington gets a big smile on her face ‘n says “I know! Bambi!” Then we all laughed ‘n that laughin’ lightened me up some. Then I thought a one. “Bee,” I said. “You know like B-E-E. Jessie Mobley gasped ‘n said, “What ‘bout Jay Bee…J-A-Y  B-E-E?”

I blew air outta my mouth real loud. “I don’t know. Nothin’ sounds right.” Just then we pulled up to the animal hospital ‘n we ran inside. Bond was asleep in his carrier. “All ready to go home,” the lady at the desk told Mama. “Can we visit JB?” I asked. The lady said we could but we had to be very quiet so we tiptoed into a big room with lots a cages stacked up. We crept up to a great big cage ‘n there was JB sound asleep but lookin’ somethin’ awful. I started cryin’ ‘n my eyes got all blurry ‘n all JB’s colors started’ goin’ round ‘n round. “I don’t care if you’re a boy,” I said, “or a girl. You’re still a fine kitty ‘n I’ll love you just the same.” JB tried to lift her head but she was too sleepy. Just standin’ there lookin’ at that kitty made my heart swell ‘n she started lookin’ more ‘n more like a girl. I just wanted to pick her up ‘n hug her ‘n slobber kisses all over her. “I always thought you looked too girly to be a boy,” I said ‘n then threw her a kiss right into the cage. I turned round to Kerrington ‘n Jessie Mobley ‘n said, “I’m gonna call her Jelly Bean. JB can still be her real name ‘n Jelly Bean can be her nickname!” Jessie Mobley let out a giggle ‘n Kerrington clapped real quiet like. “Perfect,” Mama said.

I felt so much better then ‘n I asked Mama if I could get my allowance early so we could stop at the pet store ‘n get Jelly Bean a pink collar with diamonds ‘n bells on it ‘n she said yes!  

Jelly Bean


Judy Baker said...

Ahhh...Ruby, I'm glad you kept the name JB and I even like Jelly Bean

Shelia Rudesill said...

The name just happened as most of Ruby does. It's strange that my friend who has generously offered to take our two kitties if they outlive us had a cat named Jellybean who died after dental surgery. Ruby was right to expect the worst after her kitties had surgery. She's so smart.