I didn't grow up with cats. The whole length of my youth, my father swore he was near deathly allergic to cat fleas. He'd turn sheet white if we visited a cat-prowled home. Inevitably he'd sit down and the furry monster of lore would saunter right up and plop its debilitating self right down on his shaking lap. He would start sneezing and sniffling right away, he would jump up, wild armed and googly eyed, cat flung, landing gracefully with a quiet pat pat on the carpet as he scurried in the any other direction. These are the images I conjure in my brain. But while they are there, as sure as rain, they are not exactly, I don't think, accurate. I remember the grand neurosis, I remember the frozen dread. I even remember whatever the extra cat fancy showered his direction. But I don't really, truly remember the harried reactions my hippocampus urges me to recall. Odd that I can know this. Odd that I can so objectively disbelieve myself. Odd that my father now owns two cats whom he adores.