Months passed and Benny grew, and grew and I resigned myself to having a fussy little fucker of a cat. Then one day Mr. Onion came home and mentioned oh so casually that there was a cat at the critter barn who needed a home. He said that she was a young female, about Benny's age (8 months) who was found abandoned in a trailer with her litter of kittens. Since she had been taken in she had fostered an additional litter that someone had tried to drown in the river, and had managed to tame a feral kitten she was given to foster. I peppered him with questions: what was she like? Was she feline lukemia tested? what color was she? Mr. Onion in his infuriating way had no information, and seemed to think I was mad for suggesting we act on this information.
Lucky for me I immediately knew his game. Expressing a desire to save a cat and offer it a home would put some serious strikes on the man card. By casually mentioning it to me he knew that I would attack like a Doberman on the mailman and relentlessly badger him until he agreed that I could get the cat. Then it would be my cat, my idea, my responsibility, and he and his man card would still be clear of any litter box obligations. Thus, began operation kitty kitty. I meowed under my breath when he walked by and suggested it was his conscience. Cat toys on his pillow and ventriloquist pleas from Benny for a sister. Finally, it was my appeal to his cheaper nature that won him over ("She can be one of my christmas presents").
Saturday morning arrived and Mr. Onion appeared with a giant spaceship of a pet carrier, a tiny, modge-podge, speckled kitty blinking inside. I presented the crate to Benny and let him sniff and inspect. After several hiss free minutes I opened the door and Minnie Mae West sashayed forth. She sniffed Benny in the face and dismissed him instead surveying her dominion. Benny followed her, trying for all he was worth to get a sniff of her behind. In minutes Mae had made Benny her bitch and he hasn't been the same since. Like Romeo and his Juliet, Baby and Johnny, Buttercup and Westley, there is Benny and Mae.