chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: cats

a dozen…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ a dozen
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

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never cats…

no catsThere were dogs. There was a parakeet, a rabbit, a hamster and a tiny turtle. There were fish, including Oscar the oscar, and the plecostomus, whose suctioning of the aquarium glass was endlessly fascinating to me. But never cats.

My mother’s face would wrinkle up at the word and she would repeat her childhood tale of the family cat and the refrigerator door — a story that was short on details but sufficiently traumatic to fuel a lifelong aversion. Or who knows, maybe she hated cats from the get-go and just used this as an excuse. My father had no part in this conversation and never expressed an opinion either way; if there were cats in his past, he wisely didn’t mention them, though he spoke affectionately of a dog and a horse that had been part of his family’s two-year sojourn on the farm in Unionville, Ohio. If there were cats living among our friends or relatives, they were kept well out of sight when we visited.

There were dog people and cat people and Dorothy made clear where we stood, offering little sympathy for those on the other side of the line, including, perhaps, her own parents. In this, as in most things, she was a harsh judge. Cats were another integer in her calculus of We versus They and she drummed out the cat people along with the cats.

I was a kid who loved all things soft and furry, but Dorothy made the rules and her hand was firm; we were not cat people and there would be no cats.
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no cats

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