I’ve been dragging myself through life for the past couple days. Sooo tired. Out early, back home late. I was still at work, looking out the window at the grey day, when my dd Sydney called.
She doesn’t usually call at work. It was an emergency. Life or death. Her friend’s friend’s cat had free kittens. She really, really wanted one. I explained that free kittens were the most expensive kind. You have to take them to the vet for a check up and shots. And worming (do they actually have worms?). And then you have to take out their private gender defining bits. And have some krytponite chip implanted under the skin to make them superpets. When you were finished with all of this the free kitten would cost more than my first car. Or my second. Or my last. I really need a better car.
Syd was not impressed. I reminded her that we already have a cat. Her name is Boo. She is a wonderful cat and an awesome mouser. That’s a lie. Boo is a great cat. And she can catch mice. We’ve gone over this, however. She gives them to her friends, the dogs. She likes dogs. She’s weird. She likes to go on walks with the dogs. She doesn’t like other cats. I told her Syd wanted another cat and you know what she said? Neither do I, but this is the face she made when I told her. That’s not her happy face. That’s her “why me” face. She doesn’t meow, she doesn’t hack up fur balls, she just spends her days patrolling the town and keeping us safe. And this is her thanks.
Syd was not deterred. In fact, the more she went on, the more anxious she sounded. It was “Mom, we have to” and Mom, you don’t understand”, “We can’t wait”… It was giving me a feeling of deja vu. What was it?
Then I recognized that thing. It was the same desperate, excited, high pitched sound she used to make years ago. Every afternoon, when she was about 3 or so, the ice cream truck would drive by. The frenzy, the pleading that would happen. “Pullleeaaazzee! Get money fast Mumm. He’s leaving!!!!”. She didn’t believe that he’d come back. Ever. It was surely the last ice cream on the planet. And I couldn’t bear to break her heart. She’d use those big blue eyes and blonde curls for all they were worth. We’d scoop up the money and run outside. She’d dither every time before she finally bought the powerpuff girls popsicle. The nasty one with the face spraypainted on the front. And a rock-hard gumball in each eye. She never actually ate much. It would just melt all over her. But it was her favorite.
And now she was doing it again. She’s so excited about that kitten. I almost don’t have the heart to say no. I really don’t want another cat. I want chickens. And a new car.
You know what, though? She brought me right back to those hot summer days, the ice cream man and my little girls. I’m feeling much better. I’m probably not going to let her have the kitten. But I think I might be on the lookout for some powerpuff girl popsicles.