journey: Bonner family has special Halloween
Black cats have
been long shunned by the superstitious as harbingers of bad luck.
For one black cat and a little girl in Bonner Springs,
however, luck has been nothing but good.
story begins on a dark and stormy night ... well, not a stormy
night, more like a dark and misty night. But it was Oct. 31 -
otherwise known as Halloween, and on this particularly gloomy
evening, the perfect setting for a scary tale.
visiting her grandmother in Oak Grove, Mo., nine-year-old Addison
Tolliver called her parents in Bonner Springs to beg them to allow
her to bring home a kitten from a litter some people were trying to
give away at the local Wal-Mart there.
Vallerie said she deferred the decision to her husband, Morgan, who
gave in to his daughter's pleas.
to have our seven-year-old cat put down just a couple of
months ago," said Vallerie Tolliver. Their daughter, she said, "had
been cutting out pictures of cats and drawing pictures of
cats ever since."
Vallerie was somewhat frustrated that the kitten was coming home at
the same time she was trying to prepare the Halloween meal
for extended family who would be visiting that night. Nonetheless,
she said that as soon as the all black kitten arrived home, everyone
fell in love with it.
many children, Addison left home that evening to trick or treat with
a close friend. Later that night, Addison decided that she wanted to
take her new kitty to the neighbor's house to meet seven-year-old
twins Jay Ross and Jordan Sanders. She loaded the eight-week-old
kitten in a baby doll carrier, but they didn't make it.
friend tripped and the kitten fell out and ran around and then just
disappeared," said Tolliver. "The girls were just screaming and
mother of the twins, Sandi Sanders, who lives in the neighborhood
and also works in the information management department at The
Kansas City Star, joined others in helping look for the kitten - to
Meanwhile, Sanders' sister, Vickie Crump, was loading up her family
for their drive back to Blue Springs, at the opposite end of the
metropolitan area. Sanders said it occurred to her that the kitten
might be under the van and she and her nephew looked, but saw
husband did say on the way home he hoped it hadn't crawled under the
hood, but we dismissed that because the car wasn't even warm anymore
when we left," said Crump.
the Tolliver residence, Vallerie put Addison to bed and her bedtime
prayer, of course, included one for her lost kitten.
12:30 a.m., Crump was awakened by what she thought was a bawling
thought it was a cat outside and went back to sleep," said
Crump. By 4:30, the bawling had awakened everyone in the house.
they found in the garage was better than any scary Halloween
story: The missing kitten had apparently hidden somewhere under the
vehicle for the 40-mile journey at speeds up to 70 mph to Blue
Springs, and was unharmed.
waited to call her sister until she arrived at work Monday morning.
Thinking that she had given the family time to awaken, Sanders
didn't call the Tollivers until 7:15.
were still asleep because Addison didn't have school that day and my
husband was on vacation," said Vallerie Tolliver. "We went in right
away and woke Addison, who normally wouldn't care about anything
that early in the morning - but she just got up and danced around"
at the news.
who is allergic to cats, had her son put the kitten in a box
with breathing holes, dropping it off with Sanders at work. She then
delivered the kitten back to Addison.
husband said the cat should be named Houdini because it kept
escaping from the box on the way to drop him off," said Crump.
kitty's life with the Tollivers might have started out very scary on
the spookiest night of the year, but now Addison and the kitten she
dubbed "Halloween" are inseparable.
Halloween, who is very friendly, also seeks affection from the
rest of the family and they are happy to give it - and the Tollivers
don't think there's anything unlucky or scary about that.