When I was eight or nine I asked for a cat. It didn't matter that we had a yard full of dogs. I wanted a cat. My parents told me that I had to wait until I was ten. So, I waited.
A little after I was ten, my dad put us on a waiting list for a friend's Persian cat's litter. The cat had one kitten live. We were number three on the list. The waiting was too much for my little self. I was ready to have any kitten. I knew cats had lots of them, so waiting for some foo-foo cat to have just one kitten wasn't going to be good enough. I wanted any cat. We brought home a kitten that we found in a parking lot. It was sickly and didn't make it.
My dad, although he was not a fan of cats, kept looking in the paper for people offering kittens to a good home. A litter was advertised, and Dad took me to see them. I chose the one with stripes. I named her Lucy. I was in love with this cat. She was mine. She slept with me. I fed her. She waited for me to come home from school. She was mine, mine, mine.
Dad reveled in chasing Lucy around the house. He made loud growling sounds and pretended that he would catch her. We always thought she was scared of him. We chastised him about his behavior. I'm sure at times that we were just plain angry at him. This, however, did not stop him.
Lucy didn't hate Dad. In fact, she would beg him to hold her near the ceiling so she could swat at flies in the house. She began waking him in the mornings for her breakfast. He was a hero the day he brought home some peaches from the farmers' market in a basket. Lucy loved the basket. Her trips to the vet were only accomplished because she rode in the basket.
I had always hoped to take Lucy with me when I had a place of my own. My parents, Dad in particular, wouldn't even consider it. In just the few years that I was in college, Lucy had become his cat.