Sunday, July 2, 2006
I (sort of) have a cat named Luna. (Origin of the name: matches her eyes – bright orbs of gold against an all-black background; plus it was the only word I could think of that referred to the same thing in all of the languages I knew at the time). I got her in Bulgaria, originally thinking of it as a highly practical method of trying to rid my very small Bulgarian apartment of its many, many uninvited guests of the crawly variety. Of course, I fell in love with her. About six months before leaving Bulgaria for good, I brought her back to the U.S. with me on a visit home, leaving her with my mother (mostly for purposes of good veterinary care). The plan was that she would live with my mom until the following summer, when I would take her to DC with me when I started grad school. What I didn’t plan on was (1) my mom falling in love with her too, (2) her becoming so quickly accustomed to the freedom of wandering outside whenever she pleased, and (3) the restrictions and added expense regarding pets in DC apartment buildings. Suffice it to say that now, three years later, she is still living in Seattle with my mom.
When I found out I was being sent to Korea, I was excited because I thought it would be a good opportunity to be able to bring Luna with me and still be in a place with reliable veterinary care and good availability of pet food. But my mom fought hard with arguments about Luna being accustomed to being outside (not really a possibility with the military base accommodations in Seoul), the difficulty of taking a pet across international borders, and even the idea that Luna has become such great pals with the golden retriever and my mom’s cat. After a couple of months, I basically conceded and began to come to terms with the idea that Luna probably would not get to come with me.
With this in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I was on the phone with my mom the other day and she said, “Do you want to take your cat to Korea?” Me: “Um, yeah, I would have, but haven’t we talked about this already and you weren’t going to let me take her?” Mom: “Well, I think she would make a great Korean cat.” Me: “Uh, how so?” Mom: “I just think she would do well over there.” Me: “But if I was going to take her, I would have had to start making arrangements well before now.” Mom: “Well, it’s just that if she were in Korea, she wouldn’t be leaving dead mice in my car.” Ah. What a good cat. She still does exactly what she was meant to do. If (heaven forbid) I have uninvited guests again in my place in Seoul, I will probably get back into negotiations with my mom.