I like cats that are cartoon characters and chase mice named Jerry. They get hit on the head with falling pianos and chased by sledge hammer-wielding bulldogs.
However, I have an aversion to real cats ... an allergy actually. So I’ve had very few interactions with cats except the occasional visit to a cat-owning friend which only ended in a spigot for a nose and a teary-eyed, coughing fit. So you’ll understand my lack of fondness for the feline species.
Besides, I tend to be a dog man. I mean, I like an animal that loves unconditionally, that is always happy to see me, good day or bad. Cats tend to have a general indifference toward humans, if not an overriding disdain for our presence.
However, my children do not share my desire for distance from Tom and his fur ball friends. My children have been fooled by the fuzzy breed’s cute disguises and playful behavior, but I have wisdom and experience. However, recently I was confronted by this impending clash of philosophical beliefs.
Upon walking out of church recently, my children ran into a stray kitten playing in the parking lot near the vehicle. My brother-in-law and his wife were bringing the children home, but because they have less experience in the persuasive sweet talk of our adorable children, they fell victim to their begging and pleading and actually picked the kitten up.
Now I’d like to pause a moment to prevent a series of angry emails and upset phone calls to defend myself. I am not heartless ... although I have very sensitive tear ducts, ear drums and nose cavity, and that has the tendency to override matters of the heart. I will leave cat collection to others. So yes, I would have opposed this maneuver.
All that being said, the kitten must have been pleased with her covert operation as she was happily riding home with my children. The next morning, I received this series of texts from my wife:
Wife: “How much can we spend on a vet appointment for the kitten?”
Wife: “Seriously. How much?”
An hour later I received this series of text messages:
Wife: “The kitten is healthy and we are stopping to get food for her.”
Me: “Food? For what? What are you saying?”
Wife: “The kids named her G.G. for Good Girl.”
And it is done. I now have a cat. A cute kitten with a name. A cute kitten with a name that my children love.
When I arrived home, I was finally introduced to this kitten that had already infiltrated her way into the hearts of my entire family. Even my dog seemed intrigued by this intruder.
In the midst of the love fest, I was experiencing less enjoyable coughing fits. As I made a dash for the tissues to wipe my eyes and nose, I caught a glance of the kitten out of the corner of my eye as my daughter held it over her shoulder and I am certain she gave me a sly, knowing wink of a manipulator that just beat our kitty defenses.
Round 1 goes to you, G.G. Good work.
(Editor’s Note: Matt has a beautiful family — his wife, son, two daughters, Tucker the family dog, seven chickens, and yes, now a cute kitten named G.G. “Father Time” is published in alternating Wednesday editions of the Cleveland Daily Banner.)