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Puffed Up

by James Arendt


My dad has always, ever since I was little, "anti-cat". He just didn't develop a liking, but instead a loathing towards them. Once we (my mom, brothers, and I) adopted a lil' kitten. It was a spunky gray striped kitten that wandered around, "I'm not afraid of no dog." And sure enough.. He wasn't. Our full grown dalmation was terrified! :-) Anyway, we didn't mention to dad that we adopted the lil' guy and left it as a surprise hoping that maybe, just maybe he'd be won over. It didn't happen. :-( We ended up bringing the kitten back the next day to the previous owner, who was quite understanding since we told her that the chances were slim that it would work out. She was willing to try out our experiment.

Speed ahead numerous years to the present. My oldest brother owns two cats and my dad isn't fond of them. His visits usually are along the lines of, "Cat, if you knew what was best for you, you'd better not jump on my lap." (We all know what the cat would do.)

Now, this Christmas I brought home Matt. My mom and brother were excited and Dad was basically grudgingly going along for the ride. After a couple of days with Matt home, Dad was cuddling and playing with him.

A couple of times we confronted him..

"I thought you didn't like cats?"

"I don't."

"Then, why are you cuddling and playing with Matt?"

"I'm just trying to be nice to him."

Un huh, sure.

He even denied it in front of neighbors.

But, there was no way he was going to be able to maintain his cover. Morning visits waking me up and asking, "Can Matt come out to play?" sorta blows the cover wide open. :-)

When pressed further, Dad would respond.. "I won't really miss him when he goes back with you to Illinois." More denial.

That's why I receive phone calls from Dad while he's at work asking, "How's Matt doing? Does he miss us?"

Right, Dad, you still hate cats. Surrrreeee.. :-)

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