Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Gift of Graham (Again)

We have shared many adoption tales over the years, and out of all of these stories, Graham Loudermilk's is probably my favorite. It truly was one of the happiest moments I've witnessed in my life. I know many of you have read this story before, but it's a heart-warmer, and a nice reminder of the joy that animals bring to us, and I think it's worth the couple of minutes it takes to read it again. 


When the Loudermilks first moved in, I posted a few of their pictures on my personal Facebook page.  Briana, friend and neighbor, immediately took note of adorable little Graham.    

Briana and her husband, Sascha, were thinking about adding a second cat to their household.  They weren't really considering a kitten, but a young adult instead, and had been visiting local shelters in search of a good match for their tabby boy, Melvin.


While Briana and Sascha searched for the perfect cat, the Loudermilks grew, and were ready for adoption.  Cyrus, Clive and Ralphie found their families, but Graham's people hadn't stepped forward yet, and when Briana saw he was still available, she sent me a message.

She wondered if it would be possible for me to bring Graham over for a visit,  to see if things might work with Melvin.

I packed up Graham in the carrier and walked over to their house.  Briana met me at the door with a huge smile, I came in, and placed the carrier on the floor.   Melvin woke from his nap on the couch, and hopped down to investigate this odd delivery in the middle of the room.

Noses bumped, paws reached, both were curious and calm.  

We waited a few moments, then I opened the carrier door, and Graham eased his way out. Melvin stayed close.


Not a single growl was growled or hiss was hissed.  Never in a squillion years, did I think the first few moments would go as great as this.

The boys continued to check each other out, and Graham explored the room,  the whole first floor, then made his way upstairs. Melvin stayed close, and they even chased each other around a bit. Briana and I followed the boys,  chatted, and soon agreed that Graham was a very good fit.

And then we hatched a plan to surprise their three children, who more than anything, wanted a cat for Christmas.


We wanted the timing to be perfect, so we waited for the next evening that was free of appointments, commitments, and lessons to deliver this special Christmas gift.


I found a lid to a grapefruit box that was slightly larger than the carrier, and wrapped all but one side of it with Christmas paper and trimmed it with a bow.   I placed Graham in the carrier,  slid the carrier into the box, and  Craig and I walked over to their house with the surprise in hand.


The kids were at the table finishing their dinner when we arrived.   I placed the package on the floor with the open side of the box concealed, and announced that we were here to deliver a special Christmas gift for the family.


The kids came closer and Graham let out a few mews. Mouths dropped open, eyes got big and Caleb, their son, screamed "O.........M.........G" and threw his arms in the air. We slid the carrier out of the box and released little Graham to say hello to the whole family.

The pictures I took that night aren't the best.  The light was low, and my eyes were a little teared-up, which made it difficult to focus the camera properly.    Even thought they aren't the greatest, I wanted to include these images in the post so you could get a sense of the joy and glee in the house that night.

As you can imagine, Caleb, Yahbi, and Sega were shocked, surprised and thrilled by this adorable gift.


They were all in awe of his tininess and adorableness.




Smiles were huge and abundant, hearts were happy.



The kids were so sweet with Graham.  They took turns holding him and playing with him and even in all this excitement of getting a new kitten, were very aware of Melvin, who could have easily been overlooked in this moment, and gave him lots of love too.

Craig and I stayed for a spell and enjoyed talking with the family and soaking in this lovely scene.   The kids, again and again, thanked us for their kitten.


Briana, Sascha, Sega, Calab, Yahbi and Melvin, thank you so much for adopting our sweet boy. We are thrilled to no end that he has found a place in your beautiful, loving family.

Watching you receive the gift of Graham will forever be one of my favorite Christmas memories, and I hope it's the same for you.


  1. Yes, a wonderful Christmas tale, er...tail?
    -Rosemary K, Mpls, MN

  2. Laurie: thanks for the memories of the wonderful gift of Graham. It is so true that the smallest of gifts is the biggest of treasures -- may your Holidays be filled with peace and love.

  3. Oh, I remember reading this post when it was first published, and once again I've got happy tears in my eyes!

  4. I love this story! It's so heartwarming to see the love and joy on all their faces - even Graham's!

  5. Still makes me all teary.... What a wonderful story. Are there any updates?

  6. Love this story! Read it previously and I'm so glad it's back again. What a great memory!

  7. Awww, I just looked up this story on IBKC Archives the other day, it's so sweet!!! I just love the picture at the bottom of baby Graham peeping up from under the Christmas Tree!

    Hope they are all happy this year and Melvin and Graham are still best of buds!

  8. Love that story! Thanks for reminding me of it. I bet Melvin and Graham are about the same size now--I'd also love to see recent pictures if you get them.

    Happy holidays to all!

  9. What a wonderful heart-warming post. Thank you. xx

  10. I love this story. What a pawsome family! I second the wish to see recent pictures of them!

  11. Cried at the first post of Graham and again today. Thank You, Laurie! Any chance we could get a picture of the grown up Graham and Melvin?

  12. Such a great Christmas story. Definitely worth reading again. I'd love to see pictures of a year-old Graham as well and hear about how he's wrapped his humans around his paw and the hijinks he gets up to with Melvin.

  13. I love the kitten, but more than that, I love the "we have a new kitten!" look on the children's faces. Nothing is quite as wonderful as seeing children love tiny animals. This is such a sweet example of what love children have in their hearts. Thanks, Laurie!

  14. What a great Christmas story! Any update pix of young Graham?.

  15. Glad you reposted this. Still makes me teary-eyed

  16. Thank you Laurie so much for re-posting this beautiful story!! I was hoping you would - it is one of my all-time favourite Christmas stories! I know Graham is so happy and loved by his wonderful family. Is there an update on him?

  17. What a pawsome story!!!

  18. Wow so cute! That pic of him in the tree looks so much like my cat! The instant we got the tree up he climbed under it and fell asleep!! I love kitties!

  19. I somehow missed this the first time around, so I'm very happy you decided to share it again. This might be one of those posts that becomes an annual gift to all the IBKC followers. It's sort of like the tradition of "It's a Wonderful Life. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen that movie, it's like the first time I've seen it. I'd love to make reading this beautiful adoption story a new tradition!

  20. We shared a recent picture of him during Alumni Week during our FUNdraiser. Also, I just put one on our Facebook wall.

  21. What a fabulous reminder of Graham's adoption.
    And such a lucky & loving family!

  22. Such a lovely story! I do remember it the first time - and the gladdening effect now is just as strong. <3



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