Happy tabby.

I'm allergic to cats. I don't own one. I don't want one.

Yet this did not deter me from visiting with a friend at one of Atlanta's cat cafes.

Yes, one of -- there is a plurality of cat cafes in Atlanta.

My friend brought her toddler and we sat at a table, eating potato chips and marvelling at the $8 cover charge.

With cats over, under, around, and through our conversation, we were all too distracted and stuffed up to finish our sentences.

I looked up at a gray cat napping on the bridge above my head, and when I looked back down, my eyes met those of the little one, staring at me warily.

Something occurred to me: in the undulating recesses of her growing, folding brain, she was associating this big-mouthed, curly-haired stranger with a room full of cats.

If she remembered me later, she'd probably call me the Cat Lady and ask her mom what's become of me and my dozen cats.

Maybe she would wonder if I even existed at all, and would never bring me up. I could be dismissed as a confusing fable and eventually forgotten.

So if a fable walks into a cat cafe, does it have to pay the cover?

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© 2018 Rachel Trignano