Pop Tart and Jelly Bean Save the World

The Podcasting Store
3 min readJan 11, 2024

by Drew Holmes

Pop Tart (left) and Jelly Bean (right)

Half awake, I made my way to the breakfast table. Timothy, age 8, was feverishly drawing and based on the number of pages filled with pictures and text, he had been at it for a while.

“What are you drawing, buddy?” I asked.

“A comic book!” he replied. “It’s called Pop Tart and Jelly Bean Save the World”.

I should have guessed. We had lost Louie, our elderly cat, over the summer. Timothy loved him with all his heart and for months had repeatedly asked when we could adopt another pet. Jamie and I discussed it and with her no longer working at home full-time we reasoned that two cats would be best because they would be there for each other during the day. She found a bonded pair on the cat rescue web site and made an appointment for us to meet them.

At dinner the night before, we told the boys that we were going to see about adopting two cats the next day. As soon as they heard the news, they left their seats and circled the table with excitement. At bedtime sleep came slowly and they awoke the next day with the excited anticipation usually reserved for Christmas Morning.

On the way to see them, I reminded Timothy that we were visiting to figure out if they were a good fit for our family. This was a big responsibility and we wanted to give it every chance to succeed. Arriving at the foster home, we met the cats. They were skittish around new people and alternated between hiding and zooming around the condo. Trusting that they would calm down and adapt to our family, we turned our meeting into an adoption and brought them home.

“We’re taking you to your forever home…” Timothy murmured from the back seat, Pop Tart in the pet carrier next to him.

When we arrived at the house, the cats immediately scattered. Judging by the clunks and crashes, they had set up shop in the basement, as far away from two small boys as they could get. Timothy was crestfallen. In his mind, these animals would be his best friends, sleeping every night on his bed and joining him for whatever adventures he dreamt up. The reality of the situation could not have been further from his expectations.

“Hey buddy,” I gently explained to him. “When we first brought Louie home, he hid under the bed for a whole week. And after that he stayed in the basement for most of a month. Give the cats time, they’ll acclimate to our family.”

I’ve seen this same scenario play out repeatedly in two decades working at music stores. Beginners of all ages arrive with grandiose dreams of stardom, but shortly thereafter reality sets in. Success in making music requires dedication, effort, and consistent practice. The vision is attainable with persistence but may be further off than initially expected. Instead of giving up these dreams, a recalibration of expectations is necessary to move forward.

The next afternoon I could not find Timothy. His room was empty, and he was not outside in the yard. Descending the stairs to the basement, the light was on in the corner the cats had claimed. In that corner was a beaming Timothy, plying the cats with treats and, more or less, petting them while the cats, more or less, let him.

“See!” I said. “It will take time, but they’re getting to know you.”

Will the cats adjust to life in our house? No doubt, with enough love and cat treats. And who knows? Maybe someday Pop Tart and Jelly Bean really will save the world.



The Podcasting Store

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