Midnight Tales #5–Cinnamon and the Mother’s Day Surprise
I have this big basketful of Beanie Babies. They used to be my Mom’s, but really they were Grandma’s. My Mom told me that people were crazy about these little animals stuffed with plastic beans way back when she was about my age. People thought they were going to be worth a lot of money and bought them like crazy and put plastic tag covers over the paper tags and never played with them because they had to be in perfect condition to be worth a lot of money. Grandma only bought a couple dozen. One of her friends bought hundreds, and that was in the old days before computers when they actually had to go to stores or call on a telephone which was connected to the wall to get stuff.
Anyhow, I don’t really like them so much, but I did when I was little and when we lived in our old house and when Dad still lived with us. My Mom kept them in the same basket in the basement and I used to play with them while she made paintings. My favorites were a rainbow teddy bear and a red lobster, but there were others, dogs, bears, a frog, some birds and a squirrel. By the time I was old enough to play with them, grandma knew they weren’t worth a lot of money, but knew I would like to play with them. I used to set up tea parties for them on the little pink table in the basement.
But the thing with Cinnamon the cat and the Beanie Babies started the day before Mother’s Day back in our old house. I was sleeping with Mom that night in the big waterbed. I really liked it until it sprung some leaks when my friends and I were jumping on it and it turned into more of a pool. But that’s another story. This night I was sleeping with my Mom in the waterbed and Dad was in my room. He couldn’t sleep when I was there because he said I took up the whole bed. I’d had a bad dream. I had a lot of them in those days. I used to dream that there was a flat man on the back of my door. He would tell me he was going to fall on me and when he did, I knew I wouldn’t be able to breathe. I would watch him slowly peel himself off the door and fall toward me. He always fell onto the floor and didn’t make it to the bed, but each time it happened I was scared and I went into my Mom and Dad’s room. Mom put her arm around me and went back to sleep. I was just falling asleep when I heard a strange meow. Cinnamon was our only cat then. We got Midnight later that year. Cinnamon was meowing really loudly but it sounded muffled at the same time. She was coming up the basement steps. I could tell by how the sound was moving. She came into the bedroom. I heard something soft fall on the floor and she stopped meowing. Then I heard her pad out of the room. I wanted to see what she brought, but Mom was holding onto me and I didn’t want to disturb her. Soon Cinnamon was back with her loud meowing. She went back and forth a bunch of times and it was always the same, loud meowing followed by a soft thud followed by the click of her claws on the basement steps. Mom stirred a couple of times, but didn’t wake up.
Then the last time, although I didn’t know it was the last time until later, Cinnamon jumped up onto the bed, still meowing, and she had a beanie baby in her mouth, either the black or brown bear; I couldn’t tell for sure in the dark. She dropped it right on top of my Mom, on her stomach, but she was under the covers. And mom still didn’t wake up. Then Cinnamon came and laid down between me and Mom. She wiggled around a little until she fit herself into the little space between us, sighed and fell asleep. I fell asleep to her purring.
The next thing I knew, Mom sat up in bed and said, “Oh, my!”
There were twelve beanie babies all around the bed and one that was now in her lap.
“Cinnamon did it,” I said. “She must have known it was Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s day!”
And then, almost every night after that, Cinnamon brought my mom some beanie babies, but never so many as on that night. We always put them back in the basket the next day because it made her so happy to bring my Mom gifts. Even in our condo, Cinnamon often brings my Mom a beanie baby or two during the night. Also sometimes, she brings her my socks with the stuffed duck heads on the back, but it’s ok because they don’t fit me anymore. She brought me a beanie baby once, too, and I was really happy.
It’s a funny thing for a cat to do, don’t you think?
This story is based on our cat, Cinnamon. She really did bring me a bunch of beanie babies from the basement one Mother’s Day evening a long time ago. There were 13 around the bed when I woke up. I didn’t really sleep through all of it, but I really didn’t realize what she was doing until the morning. And she did it for a long time. And I have woken up with them on top of me. When we moved to our condo, we didn’t bring the beanie babies with us. The girls didn’t really play with them anymore and we didn’t have room for a lot of extra stuff. I don’t think I ever bought any, but they really were a big thing back in the 1990’s. I had a friend who collected them as an investment. She had different stores that she was in touch with often to find certain of the beanie babies. We (that is my daughters) received a bunch as gifts, but I never bought tag protectors and I always let them play with them. But I think Cinnamon liked them best of all.
Cinnamon is 18 now, and hasn’t been bringing me presents for a while. But a few days ago, I heard that familiar loud, muffle meow and there was Miss Piggy on my bed. In fact, while I was writing this, Cinnamon brought me Miss Piggy and put her on the couch right next to me. It still tickles me after all of these years.
Anyhow, thanks for stopping by.
And enjoy!–Time for me to take a cat nap.