One day, however, that was about to change. Charlie had been out on a flooring job of some sort, and when he came home, he regaled me with tales of the cute kittens at the house of said job, complete with description of their unbearable living conditions.
The kittens, he told me, were fed dog food out of the same bowls used by the Rottweilers. The kittens could barely get anything to eat due to the dogs pushing them out of the way! The place was filthy with cat and dog poop lying everywhere, and the kittens were ignored and neglected, not to mention in very PERIL of their LIVES.
I'm not stupid. I knew what was coming. I cringed internally as he waxed eloquent on the subject of the poor little kittens until finally, it came: the moment I had dreaded.
"Can we please just get one little kitten?" he asked, looking at me with the "I'm a sad puppy dog" look.
"Honey, we already have two cats," I told him firmly. "Two cats are enough, don't you think?"
"But just one more wouldn't be bad," he pleaded, and went on to describe in even fuller detail the impending doom of the poor kittens if we didn't take one.
This went on for some time, until finally, I couldn't take it anymore.
"Okay, okay!" I conceded, "You can have ONE kitten."
He thanked me and gave me a big hug. Nothing more was heard on the subject of kittens until that weekend, and I kind of forgot about the whole thing.
That Saturday, we had a blizzard of sorts. It was the kind of snowfall that makes it so you can only see about three feet in front of your face. I noticed that Charlie was throwing on his jacket, and appeared to be headed out the door. "Where are you going?" I asked. "The weather's crazy out there?"
"To get the kitten," he explained as though I should have known.
Oh. Yes. The kitten. I sighed a bit, then waved him off. After all, how much trouble could one little kitten be?
How much indeed.
After an hour or so, I heard Charlie's truck pull up, and moments later, he walked in the door. When he turned to face me, I didn't quite register what was happening. But suddenly, a small kitten face yawned at me from the breast pocket of his jacket.
I looked at him more closely. In one of the breast pockets, a tiny little black and calico face peered out at me curiously. In the other breast pocket, a tiny little black and white face and a tiny little white paw hung over the lip of the pocket.
The OTHER breast pocket?
I stared at him, and at the kittens for a few minutes, in shock at the enormity of what he had done. Finally, I managed to speak.
"Honey!" I said helplessly, "I said ONE kitten!"
Charlie pulled out the "I'm a sad puppy" look again, and hit me with the ultimate weapon. He sighed and said, "I know, I'm so sorry. I just couldn't decide. Here -- you decide which one goes back with the Rottweilers."
I looked Charlie straight in the eye. "You BASTARD," I said grimly. He just smiled at me.
I looked at the tiny little calico face which was now grooming itself with a tiny little calico paw, and at the other (dammit!) little tiny black face with the little tiny white-tipped paw hanging over the edge of the pocket. I steeled myself to be cruel and uncaring. Bravely, I hardened my heart against the kittens, and prepared to pick one at random. Then, I did what anyone would do in such a situation.
"Okay," I sighed, "I guess two kittens isn't that bad."
Oh you would, too. Except sushirob. Admit it. ADMIT IT!
And that, my friends, is how we acquired four cats.