Little Sister

Alecia Kennedy
10 min readJun 15, 2024

A tribute to Mei Mei — such a good girl

Author’s photo of Mei Mei hiding in a sleeping bag

I didn’t want her.

Well, it’s not that I didn’t want her, I just wanted to be part of the decision to adopt a dog. I didn’t expect that my now ex-husband would simply wait until I was at work and then take my six-year-old daughter to pick out a puppy without me. I know why he did it — he always liked to be the hero. But I was livid.

I had asked that we wait until after the holidays to get a pet for Abigail. I knew that the time for “tank” pets had run out for my daughter. She had cared for and mourned the goldfish and the hermit crabs. Especially the hermit crabs. She had loved those cold-blooded creatures with all her heart and suffered greatly at the demise of each and every one of them. I had mourned the loss of my fourteen-year-old cat five years earlier and honestly wasn’t looking for another pet where the risk of attachment was so great. But I understood what it means to a child to have a four-legged companion. So I relented.

While I was open to the idea of getting Abigail a dog or a cat, I just asked that we please wait until after the holidays and then go and pick out a pet together. I was secretly hoping for another cat.

Imagine my surprise when I returned home from my second job one day in November (decidedly not after the holidays) to find a small black and gray Jack…