Remember When Mom Shot My Cat

She really did shoot my cat, except it was a kitten. True story.
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My mom shot my cat the summer I was eight.

My cat was actually a kitten, a ball of gray fluff that could fit in your hand. One bullet from a .45 and all that was left was a tail tip and four paws. Before you judge her harshly, know that she actually ran over the poor thing first. On accident of course, and then had to finish him off with what was available. If you know anything about guns, you know that a .45 is overkill for a cat...no pun intended.

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Fast forward nine years to when my barn cat goes missing. He's a gigantic black tom with bright green eyes, Halloween style. My mom's assessment: "The devil worshippers probably got him and tacked him to a tree in the cemetery." It was kind of a trend at the time. She had a point. (Someday we'll also discuss the lack of verbal filters in my family.)

Every day I wonder if I'm a good mom -- most moms do. There are lots of ways to be a bad mom, and the above stories are not examples. My mom is a great mom and always has been. Sure, she mistook my cat for my brother's cat and comforted the wrong kid until I found his cat and realized mine was blown to smithereens. But then she held us both, and we all cried.

Sure, she could have said that my black tom died a peaceful death in a field, but that would have been far too predictable. Instead I got to turn my head sideways and look at the world in a different way than most middle class girls in an Indiana cornfield would get to see (or imagine.) Obviously, she's also the kind of mom who goes shopping and says that dress doesn't do much for you (but also says when it does.) I guess what a good mom does is provide honesty, love, and laughter, which my mom provides in spades.

One bad thing about this good mom: We can't get the kids a cat. Right now I claim that Daddy has allergies. Someday we'll talk about guns and devil worshippers. All in good time.

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