The man in the moon, how babies are made, cats

Caitlin Brown

When I was young, I was a little confused about the way some things worked.

For example, my favorite animal was once the Canada goose. They were just beautiful – I loved watching them fly through the sky. I also thought it was so neat that to lay eggs, all they had to do was build a nest, sit there, and a little while later, goslings were there! I pictured a sort of agreement between the goose and the nest – “Ok, goose, if you sit here, I’ll magically make the eggs appear.” I had no clue.

But don’t think it was just me who was befuddled by things like this. Oh no. My mother revealed a story from her childhood involving her horse. A friend had come over to visit and, looking at her horse, asked if it was a gelding, which would mean it was “fixed.” “Oh no,” my mom replied, “it’s a Palomino.”

A friend of mine thought that Mt. Dew was an actual mountain, and another thought the real reason cars moved was because the world was turning. For a while my dad thought all dogs were boys and all cats were girls. Friends I’ve talked to used to think that everyone went to college and woke up in the morning loving their jobs, that babies were made when the bride and groom kissed at the wedding and that Elvis and Madonna were married.

To them, their fathers were invincible and the strongest men on earth, turning your lights on before going into your room would kill the goblins, and when you were in a plane, those really were toy cars down below. One friend told me that when she got thirsty on car rides, she would stick her tongue out the window because she had been told “there was water in the air.” Another thought the moon followed you wherever you drove, and, for the longest time, my cousin thought trains just ran themselves along the track.

Perhaps you thought there really was a man in the moon, or that Oreo ice cream really had dirt in it. For you, people worked inside ATM machines, and dinosaurs still roamed the earth somewhere.

Those were the good old days – before harsh realities confronted you.

Little did I know that taking our cat to the vet would prove these same realities can haunt you still. Our cat, Clementine, is the cutest and fluffiest house cat you could wish for. She was our little princess, our doted-on little girl. Unfortunately for her, we didn’t want any more little Clems running around, so to the vet she went. “She’s a girl,” we told the vet.

Not quite. “What was supposed to be there wasn’t,” the vet poetically described it.

We thought we knew she was a girl, and the vet nearly took our word for it. Imagine everyone’s surprise. In the end, though, Clem came home more of a man than we had ever supposed, and we all laughed over the way things have of confusing us still.

Caitlin Brown is a freshman nursing major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].