Arrival Of A Legend

“But, Jack,” my mother said, “you like cats.”

“Other people’s cats,” I said. “Cats I don’t have to clean up after.”

The kitten emerged from behind the chair and froze. A stack of plastic bins dried on a towel on the counter across the room. A corner of the towel hung down, flapping in the breeze of the ceiling fan. The kitten hunkered down, eyes wide, rear end twitching.

“But look at him,” my mother said. “He’s so cute.”

“All kittens are cute,” I countered. “He’ll grow out of it.”

The kitten sprang across the room and leapt for the towel. Plastic bowls avalanched off the counter. The kitten raced away from the noise, ears back, a streak of orange.

“So what do you want to do, Jack?” my mother asked. “Take him to the pound?”

I sighed heavily. “We can’t do that.”

Back over by the end table, the kitten had discovered my mother’s narrow vase of flowers. She moved to chase him away, and he flipped himself sideways, back arched, as if he might fight her for it.

“I suppose I can keep him a few days,” I said.

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