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My mother is many things. She’s kind and patient; funny and sweet; compassionate and generous. MoC has a very short list of things she is not, but “animal lover” is at the top of that list.

It’s true that I have blackmail pictures of her playing with puppies, but everyone loves puppies so that doesn’t even count. The problem is they turn into dogs. She thinks kittens are cute (but would never play with them. Claws, you know), but they turn into cats. MoC can tolerate dogs if she has to, but would rather not deal with them at all. She has serious cat issues, though.

So of course I tease her relentlessly. One time I asked her if I could bring my cat if I got really sick and had to move in with her. She hesitated a long time. Finally she said, “Yes. But I really, really wouldn’t like it.”

The other night, I plugged in my little Christmas tree and enjoyed the lights. A few nights later, the lights on the top half of the tree didn’t work. Of course I blamed the cat who has been attacking it when I’m not around. I discovered the light malfunction as I was talking to MoC so I told her that I was sending Indy to live with her. This is what happened.

MoC: Oh, no. That’s not a good idea.

Me: Sure it is. I’ll bring her by tomorrow after work. I’ll even include a bag of kitten food.

MoC: I don’t think I’ll be home.

Me: Come on. You’ll love her. When you put up your tree, she can eat the ornaments. You get to put drops in her eyes occasionally. Best of all, she’ll sleep at your feet and keep you warm and she’ll crawl up on you and purr. It’s a known fact that owning a cat can lower your blood pressure.

MoC: I don’t have high blood pressure, but I will if you bring that cat over here.

Me: She’s no trouble at all, unless she’s trying to trip you or attacking your feet. You’ll love her.

MoC: Let me put it this way. Either I can have the cat or you can have your mother.

Me: Oh.

Long pause.

Me: I’ll miss you.