When I was 5 years old, we had a white cat named Muffin. She was a horrible mom. She had a litter of kittens and then ran away. Sad but true. She left behind her babies and my mom had to go out and buy the teeniest bottle imaginable and we did everything we good to keep them alive. Muffin left behind 3 boy kittens and one girl kitten. The girl kitten was all white – just like her mama.
Of course, we named the girl kitten Muffin Jr. We were determined that Muffin Jr. would be a better cat than her mother. She would not tramp around and then abandon her babies! We were going to raise her with morals and convictions – a good citizen of the neighborhood.
My cousin Leigh and I took it upon ourselves to raise Muffin with the highest standards. We fed her, rocked her, sang to her, dressed her in pretty clothes – we made her feel loved and welcome in the world.
Muffin ate a lot of pinto beans (a staple in our fridge). We fed them to her regularly and I think she really did like them. In fact, we made a song about it. Our song was called, “Muffin Eats Beans”. True Story.
I don’t remember the melody or any of the lyrics except “Muffin Eats Beans”.
Sometimes, when we played “Name that Tune” with the fam, one of us would start humming an unheard of song and Leigh and I would shout out “Muffin Eats Beans”!!! It was one of our most favorite phrases of all time. Of all time. We said it frequently. I’m pretty sure the tune and lyrics changed at least 75 times.
In my mind, the phrase “Muffin Eats Beans” is sort of like that phrase you say when you are the only one who understands what you are talking about. Like when people say, “whatchamacallit” or “thingamajiggy” or “you know what I mean”.
Tonight, I was singing my little love to sleep. All day I’ve been calling him “muffin” (not because I think of him as a kitten but just because I had a really good cinnamon chip muffin the other day and now I can’t stop thinking about muffins).
Anyway, all of this calling him “muffin” got me reminscing about the original Muffin and Muffin Jr.
And as I was singing him to sleep tonight, I started to make up my own song. He looked up at me and smiled. He grabbed at my face with his fat fingers, confirming that he liked my newly made-up song. It was a great tune (though I can’t remember it now) and it was that special, unexplainable moment as we snuggled and he fell asleep.
The only appropriate phrase for moments like this is, Muffin Eats Beans.