I don't like cats.

It's a thing about me. I think they're darling when they're kittens (I'm not made of stone!), but I still don't want one living with me. Which is why it surprised me when one day, not too long ago, I learned that a cat had somehow managed to infiltrate my borders and make herself at home as our family pet.

Meet Gilbert.

This is the short list of what I know about Gilbert:
  1. She is a girl (don't be fooled by the name). 
  2. She is a cat.
  3. She is Daphne's cat, even though Daphne insists that she loves the whole family. Gilbert may love me (I am, after all, the provider of milk and cookies, Gilber'ts favorites), but she is fierce about her devotion to Daphne. She follows Daphne around, hardly ever leaving her side, and when the lazy ways of a cat manage to tear Gilbert away from Daphne's side, she is 99.9% of the time curled up on Daphne's bed.
  4. I have no idea when, exactly, Gilbert joined our family - one day she was just there. A part of things.
  5. Gilbert is imaginary.
And...I hate to admit it, but...I'm a huge fan of Gilbert the cat. BEST PET EVER!

She hardly eats anything. As a rule, imaginary pets eat very little - and their person is usually happy to help finish off the scraps. Especially because imaginary pets tend to like EXACTLY the things their person likes to eat. Like, popcorn. And licorice.

Gilbert does not need a litter box.
Gilbert does not smell.
Gilbert does not shed.
Like all cats, Gilbert is quiet and self-reliant. But unlike all cats, Gilbert does not hate you.

And just look at that face!

THIS is the kind of cat mischief I can handle.

Plus, Daphne is learning the ins and outs of being a responsible pet owner without any fear of killing the poor thing! Gilbert may wander off - but she always comes back! And Daphne, ever responsible in her role as Gilbert's Person, always seems to know exactly where Gilbert is!

Gilbert does sometimes sneak where she shouldn't. Like...sometimes I'm surprised when a distressed Daphne announces that I almost stepped on Gilbert while I'm pushing the kid-laden cart down the isle at the grocery store. I don't allow pets on our trips to the grocery store, but the store people never seem to mind. And I figure, if Daphne can keep Gilbert out of trouble, what's the harm?

Look at these two, thick as thieves!

I got really curious about Gilbert yesterday, so I asked Daphne some questions about her.

Me: How did you and Gilbert meet? When did you first see her?
Daphne: I was petting her and I talked to her. She had a lot of questions. That is all.
Me: How long as Gilbert been your pet?
Daphne: ALL DAY!
Me: What is your favorite thing to do together?
Daphne: Play together! She likes to play with a string. I roll it around and her tries to catch it. She runs! It's so fun to run!
Me: What is your favorite thing about Gilbert?
Daphne: She loves me. She plays with me. She likes to say MEOW to me! (laughs)
Me: What does Gilbert look like?
Daphne: She's furry and she has ears—and they are shaped like triangles! And her is BLACK!
Me: What is the best thing about having a pet?
Daphne: Saying hi to her.
Me: Where is Gilbert's favorite place to be in the house?
Daphne: On my BED! (she laughs - and I laugh - because we know this is where Gilbert is hiding right now)
Me: That is her favorite place. Is there anything else you would like everyone to know about Gilbert?
Daphne: Well. She's so little! She's just THIS little! I'm going to go check on her. (runs off)

So next time you're at our house, be sure to ask after Gilbert. And please—mind where you step!


Kristen said...

Dude, BEST PET EVER. That is seriously my kind of pet - the non-existant kind. Not a pet person.

And I read somewhere that kids that have imaginary pets/friends are smarter. Bam.

William C. McCrery said...

And I'm not allergic!

Diana Larson said...

I would be happy to cat sit Gilbert when you go on holiday!

Barb Wendell said...

Best blog post I've read in months!

Nae said...

Gilbert! I'd love to meet her. She sounds fantastic, and I wouldn't be allergic to her, either!

Emily said...

I wish our dog were imaginary...

Jenn said...

I also am not a cat lover, but this Gilbert sounds awesome!
I especially loved the pictures of her.

Charms said...

So cute! Lauryn has adopted a horse named "Starry" (who coincidentally, showed up after I rejected her heartfelt plea of receiving a pony for Christmas) Good thing we got a van so we can all fit.