I didn’t want to live with a cat. I certainly didn’t want to live with a cat in my house. I was certain that I didn’t like cats. I was wrong.
Years ago, my ex-wife wanted a cat. She had grown up with felines and had great memories of them. I had grown up with a father who would sooner spontaneously combust than have an animal inside his perfect house, so I knew very, very little of cats or dogs from experience. At best, I was indifferent. But Melissa wanted a cat, so I decided to find one for her.
It was my sister, Mary, who found a stray kitten in Mountain Brook, which is an upscale Birmingham suburb very close to the local zoo. I had mentioned to her that I was looking for a cat, so she called me to come take a look when Melissa wasn’t around — so it would be a surprise for her. I went to Mary’s apartment to see this tiny furball who seemed more like a starving street urchin than the healthy kittens I’d seen in cat food commercials.
I got got down on the floor with him. He came over to me and rubbed against my face — gingerly at first, but then with abandon. I smiled and suddenly felt warmer inside. I didn’t want a cat, but something inside me did. What was I getting into?