Seven-year-old Maddie Heiar wanted a kitten for the longest time, but what she got on Christmas morning was a gray stuffed toy cat. Then came a knock on the door.
Two women dressed as elves said they had a special delivery for her from Santa. And they were holding a 4-month-old kitten named Noel.
“Oh my gosh,” Maddie said softly, still dressed in purple Barbie PJ’s and wearing a fuzzy blue-and-white headband with cat ears. “I love it, I love it.”
She put her hand over her mouth and started to quietly cry. They were, she said later, happy tears.
The delivery came courtesy of the Humane Society of Charlotte, where the cat was adopted by Maddie’s parents, Megan and Tim Heiar. For the first time, the organization gave people the option for a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day delivery by Santa or his elves for anyone who adopted certain animals between Dec. 21-23.
The elves at the door, Humane Society volunteers Boni Lea and Cheryl Lindsey, read a letter from Santa to Maddie. He said he knew she was a sweet girl who did well in school.
Noel was scared and alone when Santa found her, and she needed medicine and surgery. But now, Santa told Maddie, “I know you’ll be a great mommy for her.”
Megan held the fidgety kitty as Maddie and her brothers, 10-year-old Ben and 11-year-old Brady, took turns petting the purring pussycat.
“She’s so cute,” Maddie said, wiping away more tears. “I’m so happy.”
Even the elves and Maddie’s mom and brothers choked up.
Maddie told them she already had big plans for Noel: “I’m probably gonna snuggle with her at night when I sleep.”