Joseph Anderson Donetti
More Adventures With Mac
Joseph Anderson Donetti -- More Adventures With Mac, Chapter 13
Her Name Means "Loveable"
Joseph Anderson Donetti cuddled the little brown and black kitten close to his chest. "It's purring!" he said with delight.
Joseph couldn't remember ever having held a kitten before. None of his friends in the old neighborhood had cats for pets. Danny had his parakeet, of course. And a couple of his other friends had fish. Joseph's eyes shone. "He's purring!"
"It's a cute sound, isn't it?" Mac said. She leaned her ear against the kitten. It shut its eyes and rumbled softly.
"A name," G.M. said. "Your cat needs a name."
Mac straightened up. "I know. Do you have any good ideas?" she asked.
"Names are important," G.M. said. "Is it a boy or a girl cat?"
"Dr. Samuel says she's a she," Mac answered.
"Well, that narrows the field," G.M. said. Her eyes twinkled. "What's your favorite girl's name?"
Mac hesitated. She scrunched up her nose. "I always liked Cornelia," she said.
"Cornelia!" Joseph hooted. "Ouch!"
The kitten, startled by Joseph's loud voice, dug its claws into his shirt.
"Don't you dare laugh at me!" Mac retorted. "I always thought Cornelia was an elegant name. She's got sharp claws, doesn't she?"
"Don't do that again," Joseph whispered to the kitten.
"Cornelia is an elegant name," G.M. said. "I wonder what it means?" She got up and walked out of the kitchen.
Joseph and Mac looked at each other.
"Where's she going?" Mac asked.
G.M. reappeared. She handed Mac a small book. "Here's a book of names," she said. "It tells the meanings of lots of different names."
"Cool!" Mac said. She opened the book. "Oh, I see. The first half of the book is girls' names. The last half is boys' names." Mac turned the pages. "Here it is. Cornelia. Oh, dear!"
"What?" Joseph asked. "What's the matter?"
"Cornelia doesn't mean anything elegant at all," she answered. "It means 'yellow' or 'horn-colored'! 'Horn-colored'! Can you believe it? I wonder what my name means?" Mac flipped through the pages. "Oh brother! 'MacKenzie' means 'son of the wise leader'. Son!" she exclaimed indignantly. "My parents should have looked up what my name means before they gave it to me!"
G.M. laughed. "Nowadays most people pick names for their children because of how the name sounds rather than by what it means," she said. "In other times and other places, the meaning of names was very important. I kind of like the idea of picking a name because it means something special," she said.
"Joseph!" Joseph said. "Look up my name."
Mac turned to the back half of the book. She found the J's. "Here it is. 'Joseph' means 'he shall add'." Mac grinned. "It sounds like you should be good at math."
"And I am!" Joseph grinned. "7 x 8 is 56. I want to look at that book too," he said. He handed the drowsy kitten to G.M. and sat down beside Mac.
Mac turned back to the section of girls' names. She and Joseph bent over the pages.
"Here's a good one," Joseph said, pointing. " 'Bernadine'. It means, 'brave as a bear'."
Mac giggled. "How about 'Bonnie'? she asked. "That means, 'pretty'."
"'Cleo'!" Joseph said. "That would be a good name. It means 'famous'."
"I don't think I really want a famous cat," Mac mused.
"Here's the perfect name. 'Luana' It means 'graceful woman warrior'." Joseph looked at Mac. "Can't you just see your kitten stalking mice and stuff with a little bow and arrow?" He laughed at the picture in his head.
Mac tried not to laugh, but a little giggle escaped. "You'd better not be making fun of my cat!" she warned.
"Mabel," G.M. said, stroking the kitten with one finger.
"What?" Mac asked.
"Mabel," G.M. repeated. "That's the perfect name for this kitten. Mabel."
Joseph turned to the M's. "Mabel means 'loveable'," he read.
"Mabel." Mac rolled the name around her mouth. "Mabel. I like it. That's it! Mabel's perfect. Hello, Mabel," she said.
"Hey!" Joseph interrupted. "Aren't you suppose to be in school today? What are you doing just hanging around?"
Mac took little Mabel from G.M. She tucked the kitten under her chin. "My dad said I could stay home this morning. We are going to the store to get the stuff Mabel needs. And then I'm going to the clinic with my mom and dad. A nurse is going to tell us all about the medicine Mom has to take. Do you know what? My mom's hair is probably going to fall out!" Mac looked as if she might cry at any moment.
G.M. put her arm around Mac. "Yes, I think a lot of cancer patients lose their hair," she said.
"I'm trying to be brave. I really am!" Mac whispered. She wiped away one tiny tear that slid down her cheek.
"I know you are," G.M. said. "Let me tell you what I'm doing this morning. I am making a list of all my Christian friends. I am going to call each one of them and ask them to put your mom on their church's prayer chain. Before lunch time there will be people all over this valley--and all over this state--praying for your mom. In fact, they will be praying for your whole family, for you and your dad too. Isn't that a wonderfully comforting thought?" she asked.
"Let's pray together right now," G.M. suggested. She bowed her head. "Dear Father in heaven," she began, "thank You for how much You love us. You love us more than we even understand. Please help Mac to feel Your love today. Let it warm her and cuddle her like her favorite sweater. Help her to remember that everything that happens to us is under Your control."
Mac smiled as G.M. prayed. She did feel God's love. She heard it in G.M.'s words. And she heard it in Mabel's soft purr.