Yesterday I saw a cat in the window of a resurfaced Victorian house. It had Siamese features but with gray stripes on the legs. Not really a Siamese at all and not a tabby either–someone all together different. Someone familiar.
And I got to talking to my husband about the cat named Animal I had as a kid. Although my dad hates cats, finds them useless, he brought this one home from work to live with his wife and kids. Someone at work, he said, couldn’t keep this cat and it needed a home.
It is interesting to me now to consider his brashness. How he walked into the house carrying that cat with a name and a full adult life. How Animal became a part of our home free to torment the dog and lounge across freshly laundered clothes. How Dad made the rules, but didn’t tend to them, not as a mother would, not mine.
Oh, how Dad broke the rules with that Animal cat insinuating its place on the couch. A coworker at the plant, he said, couldn’t keep him and he needed a home. It wasn’t the cat who would answer the phone. The cat would have recognized the voice, “Your husband,” it said, “is sneaking around with my wife.”