My cousin G. once told me her husband didn't like cats. G. and C. had a few cats living indoors and out, and I thought maybe C. was just a considerate husband. He seems a pretty nice guy generally. Then G.'s parents had to change apartments and they couldn't keep their cats. G. and C. took the three cats in. I think the total number of cats inside now is 12, even though their entire house would probably fit in the living room and kitchen of my apartment. C. must be very considerate I thought.
A few years ago G.'s father passed away and I drove down to the funeral. I met C. by his father-in-law's casket. C. started telling me cat stories! He works nights on the railroad and leaves saying he has to go make cat food money. Before he leaves, he makes sure all the inside cats are inside and that all cats have food and water. He also told me about his favorite cat. A man who doesn't like cats has a favorite?
The second story evolved through bits and pieces of information. C. has a large building in back where he keeps the old cars he likes and an old airplane. There's a loft inside. When my aunt and uncle were moving, C. asked his wife to ask her parents for any old pillow, towels or blankets that they didn't want anymore. G. asked why. C.had scrounged up some old armchairs to put in the loft of his workshop in back. The soft furnishings were to put in the chairs in the loft so that the outside cats could come in and stay warm in the winter. Since when does a man who doesn't like cats scrounge up cat furniture and bedding?
I have a theory. G.'s father was pretty much a loud-mouth red-neck. He thought it was funny when his uncontrolled and neglected huskies killed and ate a kitten. He had two sons who took right after him. Another son told me that verbal abuse was pretty common in the household. If I were C., I would keep my thoughts about cats to myself too. But C., I know.