My daughter is very popular and there are a lot of little girls in our neighborhood for her to play with, but there are very few boys Noah's age and even fewer children his age or older with the mentality of the very accepting child mentioned in the previous chapter.
Noah began to feel the sting of being the outsider. Everyone wanted to play with his sister and his older brother had a bunch of friends also, but Noah had 2 friends. One friend had odd parents who would not even open the door more than a crack when we rang the doorbell - I mean never. It was as if there was a cauldron with a green bubbling brew on the other side of the door that they did not want us to see. They rarely allowed my kids to play at their house and they NEVER allowed their kid to play at our house. Then they moved away.
He also lost touch with the bragging but understanding child. So that leaves him with no one.
He started to get teased at school, on the bus, in the neighborhood, mostly because he is chubby. An affliction since birth as he weighed 11 lbs when he was born (3 weeks early).
I started thinking Noah needed a Great Dane. A loyal companion who was also big enough to take on Noah's rough brand of love. Then along came Shesham.
We were at the playground across the street from our house when this black cat came over to us and threw himself down in the dirt, belly up in a position of submission. The cat had an adorable personality. He really got into being petted but he was a bit uncivilized if you tried to hold him. He didn't know how to act. Legs going everywhere, he'd push hard against your chest in an attempt to regain his personal space.
He followed us home and jumped up into the flower box outside our kitchen window and stayed there for days! This cat was so loving that you could pet him right through the glass of the window. He'd rub the screen outside with his head if you put your hand to the glass from the inside as if you were actually touching him.
The cat was heavy, all muscle, larger than most cats, and could run and tackle better than any domestic cat I've ever seen. Because Shesham resembled a cat I had long ago, named Sham-sham, and because we mistook his neutered state to mean he was a female, we called him Shesham.
As it seemed Shesham had no owner and he had no plans of leaving that flower box outside the kitchen window, we felt like he adopted us as his family. We started to feed him and eventually he worked up enough courage to come inside our house. He acted as if he had never been indoors before - as soon as his feet touched the carpet he looked down at it in curiosity and then stood there "making biscuits" (the paw kneading cats do when they feel something soft) for half an hour before he discovered the oversized stuffed dog toy. For three months Shesham made biscuits on just about every surface in the house. He still tries to cram himself into my small purse as if there is no comfier place on earth to take a cat nap.
Shesham quickly became Noah's cat. He could handle Noah's hard love, tight grasp and uncomfortable snuggles. Not only did Shesham handle them, he seemed to enjoy them. He never ran away from Noah, like all other pets do, when he was loving or playing rough and not even when Noah got really loud. Most cats can't stand it when people yell or get loud, but Shesham doesn't mind one bit.
Shesham has been a fabulous therapist for Noah. He came into Noah's life at a time when he was beginning to notice he was different. Most kids didn't even want to get to know him, much less be friends. Most pets avoided him because they could not handle his level of excitement. Then Shesham came along at that perfect moment and loved Noah, unconditionally, at a time when he truly needed a friend.
To be continued...