“Now that you are done with your vacation,” I told Annie Jr., “it’s time for you to get back to school.”

“I went ONCE,” Annie Jr. said, “I am done with it.”

“Don’t you want to go play with Phil at school?”  I asked knowing Annie Jr. loved Phil.

“I love Phil, remember our play date Saturday, all that play doh.”  Annie Jr. answered, eyes closed as if remembering the play date.

“Yes, I remember,” I sighed thinking about picking play doh out of her fur when she decided to make a cat out if it and covered herself with it.  “Come on now and get this little dress on.”

“No!” Annie Jr. screamed.   “I want to wear my paw patrol shirt!”

“But Annie Jr. you look so sweet in a little dress. ”

“I don’t wanna look sweet.   Girls look sweet.   I AM like Marshal on paw patrol.   I look just like him.”

“You are the same color but Marshal is a dog and a boy.   You are a cat and a girl.”

“I may be a cat but I am not a girl at all,” Annie Jr. screamed.

“You are a girl.” I said.

“Nope, I am a boy now, I have a doodle.”

I laughed a little and said, “No Annie Jr. you do not have a doodle.”

“Yes I do!   I’ve always been a boy, just cause YOU Slam do not know the difference between a doodle and a doogle.   Boys have a doodle and girl have a doogle.   I have a doodle.    You and Mommy have doogles.”

“Annie Jr. stop fooling around and let me help you get dressed for school.”

“In my paw patrol shirt?”  Annie Jr. asked.

“Yes now come on and get over here and get these clean undies on.”

Annie Jr. ran over and jumped in my lap.    “See my doodle, Slam?” she screamed.

“Annie Jr. I don’t want to see your doo…” then I stopped because there it was…a doodle.   No denying it.   Annie Jr. was really a boy.   It was not some fake doodle Annie had bought on the internet.   It was a real doodle.   I looked at Annie Jr. for a second trying to comprehend that for months I have had this cat in my house and referred to her as a girl, dressed her as a girl, bought her little dolls to play with and now only now I was finding out that she was not a she, she was a he.   How could I have not known?

I looked back over the past few months.   True Annie Jr. played with trucks and cars and wrestled with Snoopy like a boy.   I noticed she was bigger, bigger than Mary Jane as a kitten, bigger than Annie even, and Annie was a big cat.   Annie Jr. had tremendously large feet, large ears, and her face always looked more masculine but she was Annie’s clone.   She was supposed to be just like Annie.   That was the reason Annie wanted her.

“Annastasia Annamaria Albergetti!” I screamed.

“Yes, Slam!” Annie appeared from under the bed.

“Is Annie Jr. a boy?”

“Duh, Slam!” Annie said.   “You didn’t know?”

“No Annie, you told me, she was your clone, exactly like you.” I yelled.   “I have been referring to HIM as a HER for months, I registered him as a GIRL at school.”

“Annie Jr.’s teacher can’t read anyways, but she knows a doodle from a doogle,” Annie replied.   “You obviously don’t.”

Curry and Itchy said Annie Jr. was a girl.  I thought they looked.   How could three mother’s, two of us who have son’s, not know a doodle from a doogle?

“Annie you told me she was a GIRL!” I screamed.

“She was supposed to be,” Annie yelled back, “But Aunt Paula stirred the clone formula 9 million 2 thousand, 8 hundred and 39 times and it was supposed to be 9 million 2 thousand, 8 hundred and 30-11 times.    She is so stupid and I made sure Mickey D’s put a burger on her Big Mac that time as payment for stirring, she will never get meat in a burger again, I can tell you that.”

“Slam it doesn’t matter anyway’s,” Annie Jr. said.   “Annie Swanka and all the Annie’s before Mom-mom, were boys.    Mom-mom is the special one, the only girl in the lot.   Who ever has the special one, becomes rich beyond her wildest dreams.”

“Annie Jr., ” I began.   “no one is getting rich and you said all the Annie’s were the same.”

“They are except the special one which is a girl.” Annie Jr. said.

“But Annie is a girl name,” I said.

“My real name was Howard, Slam and you thought that was a boy name.” Annie defended.   “And what about that cowboy named Mary?”

“What cowboy named Mary?” I asked.

” They brave cowboy that was a chicken.   Rooster Rugburn!”  Annie said.

“Rooster Cogburn?” I asked. “John Wayne.”

“Yes!” Annie screamed. “But his name was Mary and you said Mary was a girl  and Rooster was NOT  a girl.”

“It was Marion, not Mary,” I sighed.

“Oh,” Annie said like it made a difference.   “I named my first born child a daughter, Charles.   The point is it doesn’t matter, a skunk by any other name would smell as great, Slam. ”

“Besides,”  Annie Jr. said.   “Mom mom was a girl to shake things up a little.”

“What things?” I asked.

“Well all the Annie’s have done the exact same thing for years cause they were boys.   Mom Mom is changing that.   Like Mom Mom won’t live in the poop factory, she will live with you forever and so will I.   And all the Annie’s will from now on live with you forever, a steady stream of Annie’s for the rest of your live Slam isn’t that GREAT!”  Annie Jr. began.

“Annie why didn’t you tell me?” I screamed.   “I must look like a big idiot because I was the last to know.”

“You wanted a girl cat, one that wouldn’t marry Janey.”  Annie said.

“Annie Jr. could marry Janey.” I screamed.   “I am more worried about a houseful of kittens.”

“Slam, Janey is ugly everyone knows that.   She looks like someone took buckets of paint and dumped them over her head.   Annie’s never marry ugly and imagine those kittens.   They in no way would be calling me Uncle Annie.   I would disown them all.” Annie screamed.

Mary Jane who was nearby listening screamed.   “Annie, I dislike you for that!”  Then, “Slam am I ugly?”

“No Janey,” I soothed as she jumped in my lap.   “You are pretty.  Don’t listen to Annie.”

“Ugly Janey!”   Annie screamed and Janey ran away in tears.

“Annie that is mean.”  I scolded.

“It is not. ” She replied.   “Well not that is settled.   Annie Jr. my handsome son, tomorrow is October 1st.   The poop factory tour!”

“Annie today is the first.” I said.

Annie shrugged.    “9 am sharpe!” she demanded as she stalked out of the room.

Annie Jr. jumped up and down screaming and yelling.   “No school! Yipee!”

Well I guess I was going to the poop factory, with a boy named Annie Jr.






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