We have a cat. Her name is Minnie, and we’ve had her for fourteen years– longer than we’ve been parents, longer than we’ve lived in North Carolina, almost as long as we’ve been married.

She is a Very Sweet Cat.

I think rescued animals are often sweet, because they are, by and large, grateful. Minnie was rescued. She had been kicked out of a car (I saw it happen) and into the grey Pennsylvania snow on an equally grey day in January and when we reached the place where the kicking had occurred (we were pedestrians on this grey January day), there she was: small and white and grey against the snow, nose pink and eyes running from some sort of cold. She was Not At All inhibited by the neighbor’s dog (which we were walking), but came running to us immediately, mewling and meowing fit to make you cry.

I picked her up and stuffed her into my coat. We brought her home and fed her on canned dog food (which I kept for the neighbor’s dog, as she was neglected). She began purring Almost Immediately and has kept it going, by and large, Ever Since.

She has tolerated six moves and three children, and never ever scratches unless provoked In The Extreme (which means that she only scratches when pressed into an inescapable position by very persistent and small children). She defines “Scaredy Cat,” and will hide sooner than fight; she is decidedly the undercat in our neighborhood even though, in some of the match-ups, she was here first.

Our children love her.

So today my father posed a question to the children about their cat. What color is she, he wondered. Is she grey with white spots or white with grey spots?

It’s hard to know.

The children debated. Yes, white with grey, I think they concluded. But then they studied her as she stretched in the sunlight. No, she’s grey with white. Because look at that grey on her head, and also on her feet. She’s a grey cat, mostly grey. No, she’s white. Yes, white.

But Emma Grace knew, and she decided to put the entire debate to rest. “She’s a white and grey cat,” she said.

And that was that.


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