Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson Column: An ‘imminent arrival’ and how a ballplayer earned my kids a kitten

The news cycle is non stop. One of the ways that we are able to get you breaking news is because of radio scanners like the one in my kitchen. No, we don’t chase ambulances and fire trucks, but if there is a major incident (think White Spot burning down in the middle of the night) or if a tree falls on a house and causes major damage or a power outage) even if we are at home we’ll be able to hear some early details and get to work.

Fire crews are the first responders and are often able to get to scenes prior to paramedics and police.

All this to say I was at home the other day and there was a call for the Crofton Volunteer Fire Department to attend to an emergency. I won’t tell you the street because I’d like to protect the privacy of those involved if at all possible. Though, news travels fast in a tight-knit community like Crofton, so if you live there, you likely know who it is anyway.

OK, so I heard the page-out and it went essentially like this:

Crofton Fire Department, Crofton Fire Department. blah blah blah…respond to [the address and street] “for an imminent delivery.”

I could only think of one thing: Amazon Prime.

OK, I’m kidding, if they’re calling first responders for an “imminent delivery” I had to assume a woman wasn’t going to make it to the hospital to have her baby.

I sat near the scanner with bated breath. I mean, it wasn’t the typical “trees on lines” or “smell of gas” or the ever-popular “alarms activated” call-out. I was hooked.

Not long after the fire crew relayed that their truck was manned and they were en route, dispatch gave them an update:

“Be advised, Crofton, that there are now TWO patients.”

That baby wasn’t waiting.

Funny thing is, it didn’t occur to me at first that the second patient was the baby at all. Naturally, I had figured the mother was the first patient, but what immediately popped into my head was that perhaps the baby’s father had been watching the baby’s mother giving birth and the sight of it caused him to pass out and sustain some type of head injury. Then I figured out that no, patient number two was likely the newborn.

That’s it. That’s the end of that story. I don’t know who it was and the last thing that mother wants right now is a reporter knocking at her door.

Speaking of new arrivals though, we finally added to our family last weekend. We’d been on the list at Cowichan Cat Rescue for quite a while and for one reason or another the timing hadn’t been right.

But the kids had been asking more and more lately and we’d been putting it off for unknown reasons.

The other day, though, we were sitting watching the Seattle Mariners play an evening ballgame on TV and I leaned over and heard myself saying to my youngest: “If Jose Marmolejos hits a home run you can have a cat.”

Why did I do that?! It just fell out of my mouth. What were the odds? Not good apparently. Marmolejos went 0 for 3 with a walk against the Houston Astros that night and the kids went to bed disappointed. But, I’ve never seen my children so interested in baseball in their lives.

Truth be told, earlier that same day I’d received an email from Cowichan Cat Rescue saying there was a new little kitten ready for adoption and we could meet the kitties and take one home that weekend if we were still interested.

The next day Seattle played again and the children’s great Dominican hope was again in the lineup. It seemed they figured it had been an open invitation for Marmolejos to earn them a cat. Too bad they were both in bed and sound asleep in the bottom of the first when Marmolejos stepped up to the plate and smacked a line drive right over the right field wall.

My husband and I had a decision to make. Did we tell them Marmolejos hit it out of the park? What would you have done?

The next morning at breakfast we casually noted Marmolejos had hit a homer. I’ve never seen two children’s eyes get that big before.

“Does this mean we finally get a cat!?” they asked excitedly. How could we say no?

I thought the excitement would wear off but my children counted the sleeps (they had to wait six) and did everything they could to prepare for a kitten’s arrival. They watched YouTube videos about litter boxes and toxic plants and they even put away their Lego.

The day came to choose their kitten and the one they’d eyed in the 60 second video we’d received wasn’t as keen on them as they were on it so in their great and unexpected wisdom, they let it go and chose the one that was, by all accounts, much more keen to join our family.

We had read every single road sign on the drive home from a hike in Shawnigan the day before. We’d been goofing around and practising reading, really. But then we read one sign and it just sounded right. We all agreed.

Now, it wasn’t an “imminent arrival” and it certainly didn’t warrant a first responder page out, but I would like to let you know that my family is happy to introduce to the world our tiny kitty named Timber.

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