Columns Small Talk

Small Talk: One big Happy family

In my next life, I am definitely coming back as one of my daughter’s cats.

My daughter and son-in-law are the world’s biggest softies. Their cat-owner history now includes three strays out of four cats.

As some readers may already know, I’m allergic to cats and was a little surprised when my daughter acquired her first one.  I don’t think she did it just to discourage unannounced visits to her apartment. She will neither confirm nor deny.

The first cat arrived when my child went exploring the deserted top floor of the building where she worked in Los Angeles. There she found a small cat, trapped in the empty offices. We still wonder how it got there.

The next cat came from a no-kill shelter but a third joined the family when her husband found a tiny, feral kitten at his night job. It rubbed up against his legs, and he was undone. So then there were three. Sadly, over the years, two of them wandered away and failed to return. We choose not to speculate on their fates.

After recent plans were made for daughter and husband to live with us for a while, my daughter dropped by unannounced, saying she “wanted to talk to me.” No mother ever wants to hear that, but I set aside my panic and sat down.

“If we got a second cat, would that be a deal-breaker for moving in with you?” she timidly asked. After nearly falling off my chair in relief, I assured her that two cats kept upstairs would be no worse than one, but I loved that she was worried. And then she introduced me to an adorable, big-eyed piece of fluff they had named Happy — like I could say no to that.

Again, my big-hearted son-in-law is to blame, and I find it adorable. He saw the kids at his preschool fussing over a kitten in the play yard. There had been two kitties the day before, they told him.

“That little cat looked like a chicken nugget for coyotes,” he said. “I just couldn’t leave him.”

The fact that Happy is as cute as they come, with white paws and white markings, did not hurt his decision, I suspect. They just arrived today and Happy is currently hiding somewhere in the attic, because I already forgot and left the bedroom door open. I think I’ll just double up on my allergy pills tonight.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer fighting the urge to snuggle soft kitties in her house. Contact her a