When my sister and I were young, our parents took us on vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our seal point Siamese, who only ever really loved my mother, was along for the ride. It was a hot August day, with the Valiant rolling down the eastern seaboard headed for Nag's Head. Dad was driving with sis behind him. Sandy's litter box was below her feet, which barely dangled over the edge in their beat-up navy Keds.
The windows were open, pre-air conditioning, and we were relatively quiet, given our years and tendency to squabble. Then Heather dropped her doll. And the whining – which my usually patient father abhorred - began. With one arm on the wheel he reached behind him with the other and felt around in the box for the soft doll – when he finally snagged her, he tossed her to my sister and tugged his arm out of the too small space between the door and his seat back. He reached up and wiped the sweat from his forehead and then gasped. My mother started to laugh. She was laughing so hard she was nearly crying.
“Knock it off Shirley and find me a tissue!”
Dad had smeared cat poo on his forehead while driving down I-95 in August. And my mother was laughing too hard to see into the depths of her handbag for a now priceless used Kleenex. Did I mention Sandy only ever really loved Mom?