Sometime around the age of six, I began to campaign for a kitty of my very own. The two cats in our home had clearly claimed my Mom as their person. We had a casual, but cool relationship. I longed for the special bond with a furry one that my Mom had.
My step-father was equally determined to not have any more cats. Two was enough, he said. He and I also had a cool relationship - actually it was closer to cold - ice cold.
Luckily, I had my Mom on my side. When she learned her friend's cat had kittens, she wrangled a casual dinner invitation for the family. I was beside myself in a kitten-pile of black-and-white tuxies. I was begging to take one home, but my step-father was still holding firm on "No".
I had my eye on a cute little lady, but Eugene had other plans.
Eugene sized up the real decision-maker, and made his move. He strolled right over to my step-father and began to meow loudly to be picked up. I think Eugene wanted to have a face-to-face discussion. My step-father ignored his request.
Eugene was not going to be denied. Eugene began to scale his pant leg like he was climbing Mount Everest. I felt sure this was going to push the option of getting a kitten even further to the "No" category.
"Look at the balls on this little chit!" My step-father said with some admiration as Eugene paused at his knee. Eugene stared up at him and fearlessly began his ascent again.
"Well, if you're gonna get one, it's gonna have to be this one." He said, pointing at Eugene - now clinging at mid-thigh.
I was already snuggling the kitten I had selected close to my heart. I wasn't ready to cave, but Eugene knew he was my cat. Our eyes met, and he just knew what to do to convince me.
I swear there was a knowing glint in Eugene's eyes as he sunk his claws into my step-father's tender lap area.
"Yeah. I'll take him!" I said, as I plucked him from danger. "You're a good kitty!"
Eugene purred in agreement.