I took my 90 year-old dad shopping for some pants this morning. When I arrived to pick him up, I was greeted by his pet cat.
This is the man who told my sister that he could never move in with me because of all my pets. I only have three dogs and one cat. I'm not like some animal hoarder or something. It's so annoying. I don't even want the old man to move in with me--I was just being nice when I offered, so my sister wouldn't get stuck taking him in. Again. And still, it hurts my feelings that he won't graciously accept my offer of our spare bedroom.
I was just kidding when I said he had to share the room with our cat. We don't confine our feline to any small space. She comes and goes, inside or outside, as she pleases. As most cat lovers know, what pleases Kitty pleases the whole family.
Dad's no cat lover, but when I pulled into his driveway and saw the cat on his front porch, it made him look like he's at least kinda a cat guy. When the eff did Dad become a cat guy? This is the man who, when I was a teen, allowed us to have a cat who wasn't allowed anywhere but the basement. Although I don't recall his actually saying it, it was just a known fact: dad hates cats.
"I thought I knew you," I said inside my head. "Who are you and what have you done with my father?"
I got out of the car to help dad walk down the steps from his front porch. The cat ran to me and let me pet it. A friendly cat! I may or may not have squealed in delight.
Me: "You have a cat?! How on earth did that happen?"
Dad: "Well, it's Joyce's cat really."
Joyce is my dad's housemate. She gets her way a lot more than I recall my own mother getting hers back before they finally divorced after 22 years unhappily married.
Me: "Well, it's rubbing its head on your legs, so I think it thinks it's your cat, Dad."
Dad: "Yeah, it likes to get hair on my pant legs. It stays outdoors, but we feed it and all."
Me: "But how? I thought you don't like pets."
Dad: "Well, it just showed up one day after the neighbors moved out. It kinda goes between our house and the other neighbor's house."
Like he's just some kind of shrugger, now. The grumpy, temper-tantrum throwing guy I grew up with has mellowed in his old age. I like this guy, after all these years. My dad, the cat guy.