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Cat Hair Fruit Salad

September 23, 2009

When I was in college, I sang in the select choir and we would travel 2 weekends out of the year to visit churches in the 4-state area (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana & Illinois). When we traveled, the people at the churches would open their homes to us overnight so we wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel. Sometimes we got really great homes with fantastic people. Sometimes we didn’t. But it was understood rule that when we entered someone else’s graciously offered home, we were to accept everything they offered us, eat without complaint, and treat them with the ultimate respect.

There were always some really great stories the flew around during tour time, including my favorite which involves our choir director (back when he was in the choir as a student) being served lime jello with carrots and tomatoes suspended in it.  As gross as it was, he obeyed the rule and just ate it as quickly as he could.  The woman of the house misinterpreted this as an affection for the dish, and promptly served him an even larger second helping.  When she left the room, he looked around for a quick way to dispose of the meal without her seeing it.  He looked outside and saw a couple of the farm animals wandering around and decided to throw it down to them.  Imagine his surprise when he realized there was a screen in the window. 

Can’t you picture his face??  So classic.  Luckily a friend jumped in with a story about him getting up to get a drink and tripping, which sent the dish flying out of his hands and into the window.

My personal favorite tour story involves my friend Jen and I. The woman we stayed with was so nice and very gracious, and she had a great little dog. But she also had cats. I’m not sure if you know how I feel about cats, but it’s not a happy emotion. I’ll just leave it at that.

Anyway, this woman (I can’t even remember what her name was or what city we were in) seemed very normal. Until she offered us some root beer. She poured it into glasses, and immediately her demon feline proceeded to arch it’s back and scratch it’s back using the side of our glasses. As hair got stuck to all the condensation on the side of the glass. As hair adhered to the ice cubes. As I held down my gag reflex by biting off the tip of my tongue. As I watched Jen’s big, beautiful eyes get even bigger.

We then had to sit on the couch with our drinks and pretend to drink them. Because cat owners are stupid when it comes to their pet. They are oblivious to the hair and have no idea that it’s completely disgusting. I think it’s because the evil kitties brainwash them in the night, but that’s another story.

We eventually got to go to bed and woke up in the morning to her making the most beautiful fruit salad I have ever seen. Starfruit, peaches, blueberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, grapes and raspberries. Jen and I sat in reverie, anticipating the taste of this fabulous breakfast, when one of the cats jumped up on the counter. And the woman started to have a good old-fashioned scratching party with the cat. She was scratching, the cat was purring, and the hair was flying… INTO OUR BREAKFAST!!! And I don’t mean one or two hairs. I mean giant clumps of hair sticking to every piece of beautiful fruit.

The awkwardness of that moment was so palpable. I had just been remarking about how I couldn’t wait to eat this fruit salad. I was going on and on about how lovely it was and how delicious it was going to be. I had two choices. Lie and tell her I was allergic to fruit or eat with a smile on my face?   

I can tell you, with deepest regret, that I lied. 

And asked for a bagel.

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