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The Dart: Vidalia girl enjoys addition of new cat

Lillie Bazile, 9, pets Rover, one of the four kittens that her cat Pickles gave birth to last week. Lillie’s parents Joey Bazile and Dee Dee Thornhill gave her Pickles because they wanted her to have the experience of raising a cat and seeing that cat give birth. At top left, from left, Pumpkin, Rover, Caty Perry and Whiskers are Pickles’ kittens that were born last week. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Lillie Bazile, 9, pets Rover, one of the four kittens that her cat Pickles gave birth to last week. Lillie’s parents Joey Bazile and Dee Dee Thornhill gave her Pickles because they wanted her to have the experience of raising a cat and seeing that cat give birth. At top left, from left, Pumpkin, Rover, Caty Perry and Whiskers are Pickles’ kittens that were born last week. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — Plenty of children want a pet, so when Lillie Bazile, 9, wanted a cat her parents saw an opportunity.

When The Dart landed on Laurel Street in Vidalia, the Bazile family was taking it easy around their house, but with an eye on the new additions to their family.

Just days before the family’s cat Pickles gave birth to four kittens.

It all started when Bazile and his wife Dee Dee Thornhill got Pickles for their daughter as an Easter gift.

“We didn’t have any animals and she wanted one really bad,” Thornhill said. “So we got her Pickles.”

“It is Lillie’s job to feed and take care of her.”

But Bazile and Thornhill wanted Lillie to know what it was like to have kittens.

“We thought it would be good for her to have the experience of taking care of a cat and then seeing that cat bring life into the world,” Bazile said.

While Lillie does not know the finer points about what happened next she began to observe a change in her cat.

“She started puffing up,” Lillie said.

“We knew it was going to happen any day.”

It happened when Lillie was at school, she came home and found three little kittens curled up in the laundry room. The runt of the litter came the next day.

“She was ecstatic,” Bazile said. “She called me up and said ‘Daddy we have kittens, Daddy we have kittens.’”

Lillie has loved the experience.

“They are so cute and small,” she said. “I hold em and play with em.”

And she has been quick to name them.

“The white one is Rover, that one is Caty Perry, that one is Pumpkin, and this one is Whiskers,” she said.

For Bazile and Thornhill, the lesson does not end here thought. It will also be a exercise in letting go.

“She only gets to keep one,” Bazile said. “She got Pickles as a gift, now she gets to give the kittens as a gift.”