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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Finding our Calico

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We’d been looking for a Calico for a few months.  We answered several ads that offered free kittens, and a few said they had a calico, but by the time we got there, it was gone.

At the pet store, there were a few Calicos, but they were a bit older than we were looking for.  Apparently, there is a law disallowing the commercial trade of cats under the age of 8 weeks, and the pet store, just to make sure, won’t sell them until they are 10 weeks old.

One day I took my kids to the park and along the way, we spotted a cat.  The youngest, of course, brought up the kitten saga again because she was the one who didn’t care what kind of kitten it was, so every time we turned one down because it was not Calico, or a Calico older than 6 weeks, she got upset.  “Dad, I want a kitten.”
“We’ll get one, sweetie, don’t worry.  We just have to keep looking.”
“We want a Cacola,” she said, giving me a big grin.
“Cal-eh-co.”
“Cac-”
“No, sweetie, say ‘cal’.”
“Cal.”
“Good, now say ‘eh’.”
‘eh.’
“Co.”
“Co.”
...
“Dad?”
“Mm Hmm?”
“What is a CAL-EH-CO?”
“It’s a girl cat that has patches of different colors on her fur.”
“Are there boy CAL-EH-CO kittens?”
“Nope.  It’s a femal trait.”
“What’s a female?”
“A girl.  Only girl kittens can be Calico.”
“Why?”
“Well… The reason that a kitten is a boy or a girl - or why any creature is a boy or girl - is that one of the sets of instructions in our cells is different.  In boys, it’s in the shape of a Y, and in girls, it’s an X like all the other sets.”
“Why?”

A guy watching a basketball game at the park apparently overheard me trying to explain to her the difference between boy kitties and girl kitties, as well as our earlier conversation about Calicos because he called across the court:
“Hey, you want a Calico?”

We worked out a deal.  Apparently he owned a cloning lab that had been making illegal copies of Calicos and other deirable cats and selling them for anywhere between $25 and $2500 on the black market.  He was a… Kitten Pirate.

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