Brunching with Rooby near Columbia at the end of a long weekend in New York. 

Rooby: Did you grow up here?

Me: No, I just went to college here. 

Rooby: You came here to know what your job is?

Me: Well, I came here to learn things, and also decide what kind of work I wanted to do, yes. 

Rooby: And you decided you want to work in a university?

Me: Yes, exactly. 

Rooby: Because universities are very serious places?


Me, waking up to find that the “hay fever” attack last night was actually the onset of a vicious head cold: Ugggggh

Rooby: Are you ready to go downstairs?

Me: No, I’m staying in bed. I’m sick. 

Rooby: Are you going to die?

Me: Not from this. 

Rooby: Hmm. 


Rooby, in my bed: Meow! Meow!

Me: Hello, kitty cat. What are you doing here? I thought you were going to get dressed. Oh wait, do kitties wear clothes?

Rooby: No, but Mom, pretend I only wore underwear, just to sleep. And dresses. Pretend my old family put them on me to protect me from the sun. Meow!

D, from downstairs: Time to come eat your breakfast!

Me: OK, kitty, better go get dressed super quick!

Rooby, as she runs from the room: And don’t forget to name me super quick!

Me: I think I’ll name you…hmm…I’ll name you—

Rooby, from her room: SUNCREAM!

New York.

“You know what I’m going to NEW YORK on an AIRPLANE to see my GRANDMA and she has TWO CATS but one of them DIED and that one was named Julia and she was my FAVORITE but the one that’s left is named BELLA!!!!!!”

I have heard Rooby deliver this breathless monologue to no fewer than eight people in the past two days, including several strangers just out walking their dogs.


Rooby: Mom, pretend I was a kitty and you found me under this blanket with all of these toys.

Me, peering under blanket: Oh, look at this kitty under here with all of these toys.

Rooby: Meow! Meow! Pretend you knew I liked to drink water so you named me Water-Likes.

Me: I can tell you like to drink water, so I’ll call you Water-Likes.

Rooby: Meow!

Me: Good Water-Likes.

Rooby, holding up John Lennon figure missing a hand: Pretend you saw this and his hand was with my parents who were killed.

Me: Oh, kitty, your John is missing a hand. Is it with your parents who were killed?

Rooby: Meow meow! Pretend that means yes.

Me: How sad.

Rooby, snuggling under the covers: Pretend I was making myself at home.

Me: Oh look, you’re making yourself at home. Would you like to live here with us, kitty?

Rooby: Meow meow meow! Ha, I tooted.

Me: Yes, I can tell.

Rooby: Can you smell it?

Me: Yes.

Rooby: Pretend I’m a tootster. That’s someone who toots.

Me: You sure are.

Rooby: It’s like a toaster, but different.


Rooby: You know what I just realized?

Me: What?

Rooby: That girls become boys, and boys become girls.

Me: That’s true, sometimes.

Rooby: But I don’t ever want to become a boy.

Me: Why not?

Rooby: Because you think girls are more stronger than boys.

Me: Well, I think they’re–


Me: Yes. Yes I do.