Parenting a cat requires patience and petting and plenty of crunchy cat treats. It also requires honesty; which is why tonight proved so difficult.
Lolita approached me at my desk:
“Dad?” she asked innocently enough.
“What is it son?” I replied.
“I’m a girl,” she hissed.
“Oh, yes,” I said, blowing a bubble. “How can I help you?”
“Where does meat come from?”
Here she was, my little furry animal, asking the question no parent of a furry animal wants to answer. What made it worse was that earlier tonight I ate another furry animal–well not as furry, but slightly hairy–a pig at Fat Matt’s:
Then it occurred to me that, in many ways, I’m a hairy animal too. I have hair on my head, hair on my chest (ha!) and hair between my toes. Lolita and I are in the same boat.
“Look, Lola,” I explained. “We’re all animals, see. And animals, by nature, eat other animals. Which is why you and I both have canine teeth.”
I pulled up her gums and tapped on her canine. She hissed.
“Look at Andrew for example…”
“…he is an animal eating another animal. Does that make him a bad animal? No. It just makes him an animal.”
Lolita was unimpressed.
“Then look at Trinh…”
“…see what she’s eating? She’s eating Andrew. She ground him up into a sandwich. That’s just the way it works.”
Lola began gnawing at my foot.
“Ow,” I said.
Thank God Mickey Dolenz came in and performed his Monkees Meat-Eater Medley.
Lola loves the Monkees, much like Marsha Brady. She bopped along, tail-wagging. I slipped out quietly. My work here was done.