I heart cats

When I was in grade school there was a yearly school store that would arrive this time of year so that students could buy “surprise” presents for their family members. Art has a funny memory of using all the money his mom gave him on toys for himself. Me? Well, I loved cats.

See, both of my parents are allergic to cats. My mom is allergic to just about everything else under the sun, while my dad’s greatest respiratory nemesis is simply cats. And me? I loved cats. I had no allergies and I attempted befriending every stray in the neighborhood (which really never worked, but I like to think I at least got close).

When I received the seasonal school store’s order sheet and saw “I Love Cats Mug” I was ecstatic. I just had to have it! If I couldn’t have an actual cat at least I could have a mug declaring my love for them! What I was going to drink from a ceramic coffee mug at the age of 7, I have no clue, but my mom complied despite their tight budget at the time, and I placed a little X on the sheet.

I remember I bought refrigerator magnets for my grandparents that year that were cheesy shiny plastic squares with pastel-colored stereotypical pastimes (knitting and fishing, respectively) with “World’s Greatest Grandma/pa” in bold black letters. When my grandparents passed away a few years ago I found them still hanging on their fridge.

I have no memory of what trinket I selected for my parents. But I have a very clear memory of the little white cardboard box that housed my mug–my mug that was going to finally declare my passion for felines.

After paying the cash register attendant I stood off to the side in my school’s cafeteria-turned-temporary-store and tore open the box; I couldn’t possibly wait until I got home after school to see my beautiful mug.

And there it was. My mug…

Mocking me.

How could the addition of one little word slash my 7 year old dreams in an instant? Oh, the dramatics of a grade school girl. Oh, the guilt I would conjure up utilizing this mug to my poor allergen-ridden parents who really couldn’t live with a cat. I dreamed of painting over the “my” before stashing it away in the cupboard that held all of my mom’s other coffee mugs.

And there it sat unused for nearly 20 years until I decided to help my mom purge and organize her kitchen. Now I drink my coffee out of it nearly every morning in my own home and I can’t help but laugh at my poor 7 year old self. I hope that I found the humor in it back then like I do now. Additional irony: Art’s allergic to cats too. Why do I surround myself with people who can’t tolerate felines? Whyyy?

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1 Comment

  1. So sad, but so, so funny.


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