By Kristin van Ogtrop
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Cats love my husband. I really have no idea why. But if he finds himself in a cat household, sitting in one place for any length of time, invariably a cat will leap into his lap.

Last week we had dinner with friends who have two cats; let’s call them Ray and Petey. After dinner we repaired to the living room, as they say, my husband and I side by side on the sofa. Five minutes passed, and Ray jumped up and settled in behind my head on the top of the sofa cushion. No one paid any attention, because apparently Ray does this all the time and is quite indiscriminate in his affection. But fifteen minutes later, Petey appeared out of nowhere and jumped up into my husband’s lap.

“Petey!” our host exclaimed. “Wow! He never does that! WOWWOWWOW! He really likes you!!!!!” My husband shrugged, and I immediately thought of Lucy. Lucy was once the Petey in my parents’ household—i.e. the reclusive pet who annoyed you (or me, at least) with her standoffishness. Still, every time we visited my parents, Lucy would jump up into my husband’s lap, much to the astonishment of everyone who fed her and took her to the vet and basically kept her alive, despite the fact that she seemed completely disengaged and ungrateful.

You may be wondering: does my husband love cats? No, not in the least. Well, not as a category of animal. He loved exactly one cat, George, who was our first pet after we got married and lived for nearly twenty years, gently guiding us through three houses, nine jobs, one dog, and two children. George was an exemplary cat who is now buried in our perennial garden. We have absolutely no plans to replace him.

So what is it? Does my husband give off some sort of undefined, cat-friendly energy? Is this George, visiting from The Great Beyond? Or was my husband, uh, a cat in a former life?