A Gift for my Grandson

It always begins with “Where’s Kiwi?” And it always ends with squeals of excitement from my grandson, Jack. He’s eighteen months old and the smartest child I’ve ever known his age. (of course…)

Kiwi is the name of one of my cats—a beautiful, calico patterned, long-haired house cat, who’s quite the talker. On any given day it is anybody’s guess as to where she is lounging in the house.

Jack fell in love with her during his visit with me last summer. Each day he asked “Where’s Kiwi” and would go searching throughout the house for her. When he went back home to Chicago, I didn’t want Jack to forget the fun he had at his “Mambo’s” house (the story behind how I acquired that endearing name must wait for a later blog). So, I decided to use my cat as a way to stay connected with my grandson.

Armed with a digital camcorder I began video taping my own feline search. You can see and hear me say, “Where’s Kiwi? Is she under the chair?”

I show the chair on video. “No. No Kiwi. Is she on the couch? No. No Kiwi. Is she under the table?”

On video you can see a puffy tail sticking out from beneath the table cover. I slowly raise the cloth and say, “Is Kiwi under the table? There’s Kiwi!”

My surprised and possibly irritated kitty looks up at the camera, meows and scampers off to her next hideaway. I do this recorded thirty-second routine once a week and email the video to my daughter for my grandson to watch. This grandmotherly gesture does not go unrewarded. In return, my daughter videotapes Jack watching and reacting to each edition of “Where’s Kiwi”. He responds to my voice, with his eyes wide and attentive, and then screams with glee clapping his hands when he discovers Kiwi.

Seeing that on my computer makes the miles between us not seem so vast. I feel the joy of watching him grow, and I love knowing that he remembers his Mambo’s voice. So, you might want to try it. What’s the name of your cat? Your dog? Do you have a video camera? (I use the simple Flip camera). Make a
short video and email it to your grandchild.

This is a personalized gift that anyone can do for a dear child or grandchild—something simple that invokes fun learning and symbolizes eternal love.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!


  1. So clever! What an endearing way to use technology to put a modern twist on an old-fashioned game ;-)

  2. What a beautiful idea!! Not only keeping that connection but it's educational as well...always a favourite on my list of gifts for children -- fun but something they can learn from as well. And memories? Something to keep to look back on when Jack is older. Lovely idea!

  3. love the cat..she is adorable. susan L.


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Mary Alice