Eric Hertlein’s grandmother is, like many women of her age and station, an avid cat lover. She is welcoming to strays and always makes space for her furry friends.
And who wouldn’t? When there’s a passel of homeless furballs around, how could you not bring them in and care for them?
Well Grandma’s heart was big and she brought them in. Large cats, small cats, old cats, and young cats.
At one point she found a little kitten struggling outside, clearly coming up to the house in an attempt to find shelter. She ushered it in without another thought, and it grew up alongside her other cats.
She named him “Tete,” and all the furbabies got along smashingly. She didn’t give it another thought.
But maybe she should’ve given it another look.
At some point her grandson, Eric, decided to visit. He was probably used to the four-legged friends that dotted his grandmother’s abode, but one looked a little odd to him.
After getting a better look, he started laughing. Eric told The Dodo that she couldn’t figure out why.
“She reassured me it was one of her cats. I told her it wasn’t what she thought it was.”
Nestled up snug as a bug in a rug among the cats was a very smug opossum. He clearly knew what he was — he had always been an opossum — and probably didn’t understand what all the grandson’s ruckus was about. He had always been there and would like the loud noises to stop, thank you very much, so he could retire to his fleece-lined dreams for the evening.
Eric said he laughed for five straight minutes. “She didn’t realize what I was laughing about until I started pointing out the pointy nose and skinny tail. She didn’t realize he wasn’t a cat.”
Fortunately, grandma was happy to keep him on even after she realized her gaffe. He wasn’t causing any problems, and plus, he had a name — everyone knows once you name something, that’s it. You have to keep it.
Many people would probably panic over finding out what they thought was a cat was a rat-tailed marsupial with far too many sharp teeth, but not this grandma.
Eric found her manners exemplary, and so do we. “She loves animals and taking care of them whenever she can,” he said. “It kind of just motivates you to do better and treat other beings better too.”