I am not an animal person. I cannot stress this enough. I’m sure your dog or your cat is Precious but I am totally uninterested (Mosby being the ONLY exception to this hard and fast rule.) I have written about my non-animalness in great detail and have received plenty o’hate mail over my stance– so close that email, Lady. It’s already been said and I’m just going to delete it without reading it as soon as you tell me that I’m going to hell over a dead goldfish.
THAT said, about 8 months ago, a stray calico cat started showing up at my house after school everyday. Aubrey and Emma (7yo & 5yo) inherited their Daddy’s animal lover gene and would not shut up until I bought cat food and started feeding what I lovingly referred to as, “That Damn Cat.” (Not lovingly. I sort of hated her.)
But Dottie, as she was quickly named by Aubrey (even though I lobbied hard for “Streaker”) started to sneak into my house and my good graces. As the winter became harsher, I would come in the kitchen to find Dottie sitting on my welcome mat, all three girls hovered around her petting her while she ate in the warmth of our kitchen.
Every evening she would come to our kitchen door and meow until I stomped through the kitchen, slamming cabinets and dragging out bowls to feed her.
“YOU are not the boss of me!” I hissed at her as I poured a little heavy cream into her bowl. (It was about to go old in the fridge. I was going to have to throw it away.)
A couple of months ago Zeb started insisting that Dottie was knocked up. I defended her honor, Dottie was not that kind of girl, AND I figured she was just getting fat from getting fed by at least two members of my family on a daily basis.
But alas, for the first time in his life (almost) my husband was right. Dottie was in The Way and last week she had her kittens. We looked for them for a few days before finding them in our neighbor’s yard on Easter.
I had mostly conceded to not officially hating Dottie anymore but still not admitting any real affection for her, when just now, as I cleaned the kitchen after dinner I heard Zeb shout from the driveway, “Dottie is bringing her kittens!”
She held her tiny baby in her mouth and came and laid it proudly at our feet. Zeb and the girls scrambled around yelling, “Get The Cat Box! Get The Cat Box!”
“The whaaaaa?” I asked.
They had prepared a cardboard box with straw and towels– they grabbed it and placed Dottie and her kitten inside. Zeb walked across the street and gathered the two other babies and my girls APPLAUDED. And then the cackles of my cold, dead animal heart melted.
And just like that… I became the Crazy Cat Lady.
Hi. My name is Robin. I’m a writer and uh… I have four cats.
(The girls all named a kitten. Here are the kitten’s names– guess which kid picked which name– Fluffy, Lily and Hercules. I’ll leave the answer in the comments!)