There is a stray cat who has been visiting us. John has allowed the two softies in the house (Caleb and his Mama) to feed it, but not to bring it indoors. It’s a sweet cat, and though I named her Claire, Josiah calls her “Hobo” (get it? She’s homeless and constantly begging?) and that name has stuck. Anyway, as you can guess-just feeding her and petting her are not enough for Caleb and I. We want to put a collar on her, take her to the vet, bring her inside, feed her dainties and have her sleep at the foot of our beds. However…
John is NOT a cat lover. John is not even an animal lover, to be straight about it. His practical nature overrides and squashes immediately any compassion that might spring up in his heart. His favorite reasoning is “I’m not paying good money to take care of something that HAS NO SOUL.” The fact that we even have our one cat, Zuzu, is a testament to how much he loves his wife and kids (and how 4 years of begging and tears will wear down the strongest of men…)
So the odds of Hobo actually moving in, sweet and needy as she is?
Slim to none.
Caleb asks me plaintively “Mom? You’ve lived with Dad the longest. How can I convince him to give me Hobo for my birthday?”
Now I know that even his WIFE, with supreme back-rubbing skills and pie-making skills, cannot change this mans mind, once it’s made up. I try to explain to my youngest child that this is a lost cause…but he is so earnest. He has spent an hour in the yard, watching the blackberries across the street where he last saw the cat go, worried that she is going to come back across the road and get hit by a car. I look out the kitchen window and see him faithfully sitting at the fence, ready to wave frantically at any neighbors cars if her brown head should happen to poke out of those prickly bushes. He is terrified she is going to die, and it will be his fault for not protecting her, and I have to sternly threaten his brothers to stop teasing him about big hawks and fast cars and rabid dogs just looking for a meal…
Caleb makes this list and presents it to his Dad at dinner. We don’t call Caleb “The Negotiator” for nothing! He has carefully taken every reason John has ever given for a “No”, and presented the solution. He drew little hearts and cat faces all over the page and I tell you, I almost cried reading it.
Wouldn’t YOU cave in and give this sweet boy his precious kitten?!