As an adult I never looked to own an animal (a human conceit, in any case); possibly it had something to do with still-lingering goldfish-death trauma. I did once imagine I might have a dog, much in the same way I once thought I might grow up to be a famous architect (known for his secret passages) and marry Yvonne Craig andor Elizabeth Montgomery and get around town with a jet pack -- as part of my eventual bitchen lifestyle. But I never could get that lifestyle stuff together. My neighborhood is full of lifestyle people and their lifestyle dogs, dogs on parade -- you are what you walk. They know what they‘re about, these people, or at least what they want to be about, or want to be seen to be about. My life is perhaps not so doggedly intentional. All our cats have been strays; they came, they saw, they stayed. You can go out and choose your breed or you can welcome what scratches at the door, what jumps in through the window. I didn’t grow up to be an architect or marry a TV star or pilot a jet pack. I grew up to scribble words and marry Sarah and drive a 17-year-old Volkswagen. And to have cats -- stray cats, street cats. By and large (it‘s too bad about the jet pack), it’s fallen out better than I could have devised.