A.J. has a cousin. She’s a cat named Betty, and she belongs to my younger brother. (Or my brother belongs to her; it’s hard to tell with cats.) A.J. has never met his cousin Betty, and never will. Betty is a rescue cat, and my brother would rather we not try to figure out how many of her nine lives are left, something A.J. would immediately try to test.
In many ways my brother and I are very different. I studied computer science in college while he studied acting. I love math, math gives him nightmares. He performs Shakespeare, I had nightmares after watching him perform Shakespeare. He has a cat, I have a dog.
Similarly, our pets are very different. In addition to being a dog and a cat, A.J. and Betty have personality traits that are polar opposites. When someone enters Betty’s house, she hides under the futon and wants nothing to do with them. When someone enters A.J.’s house, they instantly become his best friend and he pesters them for constant attention. Betty is cautious and fearful; A.J. is a daredevil, charging headfirst into anything.
But as it turns out, we all have at least one thing in common: we can feel the warmth of Grandma’s blanket.
After reading the story of Grandma’s Blanket, my brother decided to go find his blanket from Grandma, which was stored away in a box. After receiving instructions from Mom on how to clean it, he put it out on his sofa. Normally when my brother leaves the house, Betty will go find a quiet corner to sleep. When he comes home she runs out to him from her hiding place and rubs his legs, welcoming him home and begging for some attention. The first time he left her alone after putting out Grandma’s blanket, he came home to find her firmly settled on the sofa – right out in the open – curled up on the blanket, with no interest in moving. Betty was enjoying the warmth of Grandma’s blanket.