When Kelsey met Charlie (and Charlotte)

First, let it be said that I love cats. I think they’re cute and generally sweet. But they seem not to like me, at least when it comes to allergies.

This weekend I’ve been cat-sitting for my neighbor. Her two cats, Charlie and Charlotte, are pretty easy when it comes to food and water. They’re both litter-trained. Where it gets dicey is when I have to put them outside and let them in. They’re out on the prowl at night, and inside during the day.

Charlie’s a piece of cake. Once I’ve popped a Claritin tab, I’m good to let him sit in my lap and nuzzle me and purr and all that cat stuff. I try not to touch him, though, because I don’t want the dander to make my hands itch (the Claritin helps with eyes but not really skin). He has enough love for both of us, though. He’s ready to go out at night, and always there when I arrive in the morning to let him in.

Charlotte’s a little harder. She’s much more aloof, not really into cuddling or touching. I don’t mind this, really. She just epitomizes the main difference between dogs and cats: Dogs come when you call them. Charlotte stares at me like I’m offending her with my presence.

Leaving her inside all night isn’t really an option, as she can get irritated and cause havoc. So I’m stuck waiting for her to do me the honor of letting me hold the door open for her. I have to lure her off of a bed or upstairs from the cats’ litter and food in the basement. I’m getting the hang of it, though. Tonight, for instance, I managed to sort of corner her in the living room, so there was nowhere to go but out. Using the dog’s collar as a sort of cat toy was a no-go, resulting in a “Are you stupid?” stare rather than Charlotte batting it around, entranced.

I’m hopeful that tomorrow morning when I go to let them in, Charlotte will (eventually) show up, probably long after Charlie. She might even spare me a glance as she rushes past me to get downstairs to her food and litter.

You’re welcome, cat.

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