After my sister or I got married, we were bombarded with the clichéd question: When are you going to have kids? This is not a time where I will comment on how presumptuous it is of people to even ask that question. I will merely say that, as a twenty-four-year-old, living in a tiny apartment with the husband who does not have a full-time job yet, the concept of children right now seems absolutely ridiculous. My sister felt the same way. But I suppose a part of her was feeling motherly, so she and her husband adopted a kitten.

Mike and I were at their apartment when they brought her home in a cardboard box. This tiny ball of black fluff poked its head above the box, looked at me with big blue eyes, and squeaked the tiniest kitty squeak you could imagine. They named her Millicent Bluebell, Millie for short. I had my own nicknames for her: Millers, Millsers-Pillsers, Millificent, Kit-Kat, Kittastrophe, and Skitter McKitter (courtesy of Hate that Cat, by Sharon Creech. Side Note: If you have never read Love That Dog or Hate That Cat (the sequel), please take an hour and do so right now. I’ll wait).

We were all completely enamored of that cat. She would do these hilarious random somersaults into our laps and take taps on our chests. I would give my students updates about cute things she would do, like any good auntie would. Let me pause here, because I’m afraid I’m making it sound like something terrible has happened to Millie, and that this is her online eulogy. Let me make this clear: She’s not dead. She’s just evil.

Millie is now an adolescent and just a bit too young to be spayed or declawed. She is a black ball of energy that cannot be contained. Whenever I come over to visit Julia, Millie is on the couch, looking sweet as can be. I go to scratch her little kitty ears and I see a look of deranged obsession come into her eyes. She. Must. Bite.

Sometimes she goes for the hands. She might play with the stuffed squirrel or mouse or even hair tie lying around, but the hand holding the toy is so much more appealing, and it is not long before she attacks.

Sometimes she goes for the feet. There must be something about the way my toes wiggle or the look of my flip flops, but I can hardly walk to the bathroom without having a little black ball of fury pounce on them, and she has been in danger of me accidentally stepping on her.

Sometimes she goes for the hair. This was cute at first. She would jump on the table behind the couch and bat at my braid. It felt nice, like a small child trying to play hair dresser. Then it got weird, like when I was lying on the rug, talking to Julia, and Millie started attacking my ponytail. I tried to sit up, and up came Millie, attached to my hair by her claws.

Millie is an adorable little fluff ball, but if anyone tried asking me again why I don’t have kids yet, I will point to her. She is not even my own cat, and being a kitty-aunt is enough to handle as it is.

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