Doug: “We’ve gotta stop feeding this cat. I’ll tell you what he does with his food: half of it he turns into energy which he uses to terrorize us, and the other half he turns into the most foul-smelling turds.”

The universe delivered us a kitten this summer. It wandered onto Doug’s land, accompanied by a deer. It was tiny, probably the runt of its litter. The deer brought it up to Doug and then stepped back, watched Doug play with it for a while, and then walked away. We were joking that the deer had probably been scouting out a good home for the kitten in Doug’s town. Peered into the window of his neighbors who were drinking moonshine and firing their illegal fully automatic rifle, and then moved on to Doug’s window, where he was strumming his guitar and reading poetry.

So now Ketos lives with us in Iowa City, and boy is he adorable, but also a terror. He is usually attacking us, so we really savor the moments when he is tired enough to allow affection. This only happens when we get home after having been out a while, when he has gotten bored and fallen asleep. So we rush over to him whenever we walk in the door and shower him with strokes and kisses until he becomes alert enough to start biting and clawing again.

And yet, I find myself amazed at how much I love him. Even when he is knocking over soda cans or running around our apartment drenched in his own runny diarrhea, my heart is so full that it aches. It reminds me of something I once read by David Sedaris. He was talking about how he didn’t think he could have children because he couldn’t handle all that love. Because he already loved his dogs, just his dogs, so much that it nearly killed him. I can relate.

Anyway. Turns out there are many therapy agencies in the area that do not wish to hire me. So I responded to an ad on Craigslist for a University of Iowa merchandise store that was looking for part-time employees, and stated “Stay-at-home-moms encouraged to apply.” I figure I am basically a stay-at-home-mom to Ketos, so I applied. They had me come in and take an aptitude test. Questions included: What percentage of people do you think smoke marijuana socially? What percentage of judges do you think can be bribed? What percentage of people do you like? Do you ever have thoughts you wouldn’t want other people to know about? How often do you enjoy hearing gossip?

After the fact I regretted that I had admitted to “occasionally” enjoying gossip and hoped that this wouldn’t ruin my chances, but turned out it didn’t and I start work tomorrow.