Kittens from heaven

By Maureen Schlangen

A litter of four kittens turned up outside St. Mary’s Hall on June 21. They ended up in central receiving, where my son Joe, an incoming first-year student, works.

“It’s a sign,” Joe tells me in a picture-text that afternoon. It’s an adorable picture-text, but I am uncowed.

“A sign of what?” I ask.

“You need,” he says. This is short for, “When I move into the residence hall in August, you’ll be lonely.” He forgets, I think, that I have friends and family all around town, plus dozens of wonderful colleagues in the University Libraries.

“A cat is not the answer,” I tell him. If I get a cat, I explain to him, I can no longer be friends with Michelle Tedford, a treasured but severely cat-allergic colleague in University Communications and the editor of University of Dayton Magazine.

“But it’s a sign from God,” he texts.

Oh, sure. Found outside St. Mary’s … I love Mary … therefore, I need a cat — this cat? That line of logic will never get him through Philosophy 301 … though I am starting to think he may have a promising future in sales.

I float this exchange past Michelle, who assures me she’d still be my friend if I got a cat; she’d just take Benadryl before she came to visit. (This is how I know she is a very good friend; Benadryl makes her hallucinate.)

“Or,” she volunteered, “it could be sign from God that we need to raise more funds for SICSA.”

Can I get an amen?

— Maureen Schlangen manages UD’s open-access institutional repository, eCommons, an online archive of scholarly publications, creative works, historical materials, and University documents and records. 

SICSA, The Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals, promotes the welfare and adoption of companion animals, and nurture loving, lifelong relationships between animals and people. SICSA spays and neuters more than 2,700 dogs and cats annually.

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