Wit & Wisdom: In a Kentucky Minute Everything Changed


In one episode of my all-time favorite TV show “Friends,” Ross, one of the main characters, tries to figure out how he will know he’s ready to be a father. His dad tells him he knew the first-time baby Ross reached out to grab his finger. After Ross rushes his pet monkey Marcel to the hospital, a recovering Marcel reaches out to grab Ross’ finger. Then, as we hear Don Henley sing “New York Minute,” Ross finally realizes he’s ready to be a father. 

I’ve never been an animal person. My husband Roger wanted a pet for years, but I had always managed to come up with a ton of great excuses that somehow worked. So, if you had told me six months ago that a little ball of fur would completely turn my world upside down, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. But just as Ross learned everything can change in a “New York minute,” and that’s exactly what happened to me when Kiriakis Bentley reached out to me the very first time. 

In the wee hours of a rainy October day, Roger discovered a tiny kitten whimpering outside our house. She was so young, and her meows sounded more like a bird chirping. We discussed finding somewhere to take her, but I knew this kitten wasn’t going anywhere. Roger was in love, and I was just going to have to deal with it. 

I said we could keep the kitten if I could name her, and I immediately christened her Joey B. However, my love for the kitten’s namesake, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, didn’t quite fit. 

Sure, I went with Roger to the pet store to buy items we needed, but I still had my doubts. I knew how important this pet was to Roger, so I wanted to find a way to accept her – even if I never loved her the way Roger already did. 

Then one day, when she climbed up my leg for the hundredth time, I finally caved and picked her up. Cue Don Henley! The next thing you know I’m planning our Christmas card photo to show off our new family of three! 

I think part of my hesitation about having a pet was a lot like Ross’ concern over being a parent. I wasn’t sure if I could have another living thing dependent on me for care. It hasn’t been easy, and more than once I’ve been reminded why Roger and I never had children. But, thanks to Google and my more-experienced, cat-owner boss, the kitten has managed to survive and thrive. 

As I said before, Joey B. didn’t quite stick. So, I turned to something Roger and I both love, “Days of Our Lives,” for another name. Kiriakis,or Kiri for short, became her new name and she took to it instantly! 

I am now a proud cat mom who would do just about anything for the kitten she loves. Everything changed in a “New York,” or should I say “Kentucky Minute,” and I am honestly so glad it did. 

Angela Henderson-Bentley is a freelance writer living in South Shore, Kentucky, with her husband, Roger and their kitten, Kiriakis.