That Time My Dad Talked to Bill Clinton About Our Cats

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What is the most badass thing your parent has ever done? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Ellen Vrana, full-time writer at, on Quora:

When my dad met President Clinton, he spoke to the President about our cats. Who does that?

You meet Bill Clinton, leader of the free world, super powerful, not to mention full of charm and grace, and you talk to him about cats? For 10 minutes? That's my Dad!


In the picture above, my dad is on the far right, next to Grandma, my uncle, and of course, the President.

My Dad is a big Republican, always has been. My aunt and uncle are rather active Democrats and used to fundraise for the Clintons. At this particular event, my Dad attended and met the President. And talked to him about our cats.

To be fair, it wasn't just about cats. It was also about P.G. Wodehouse, my father's favorite author, a sublimely funny British writer whom my Dad suggested the President should read. Because why? He thought the President would be interested, and Bill, to his credit, probably was. He's a smart man.

Then, to embellish upon his love for this singular author, my singular Dad mentioned that we loved Wodehouse so much, in fact, that we had a cat named Bertie Wooster, after Wodehouse's main character. Because we did. Why not share that with Bill Clinton?

I asked Dad about it later and he said, "I just thought he'd like to read him. Wodehouse is a terrific author!"

My Dad is badass. Because he's not afraid to be himself.

If you scratch his surface a little bit, or even a lot, in fact if you put the most powerful and famous person in the room with my dad, Dad will be Dad. He simply cannot be anyone else.

I love and admire that about him. He has such authenticity. I have it, but not like him. Hell, put me on with the Clintons and I'll swear violently and throw phones.

Authenticity is the quality I most admire about my husband, too. My husband, who funny enough, also ends up talking about our cats in obscure moments with famous people.

My husband was at a dinner recently for work, seated next to Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer among other things. Mr. Vrana, not recognizing Lord Nigel, somehow got talking about how we named our cats after British television characters (Morse and Lewis). Because, why not?

Next thing he knows, the guy stands up--because he was Nigel Lawson, speaker at the event--and mentions my husband and our cats to the entire room before he begins his real speech. I don't know, maybe he was also impressed at Mr. Vrana's authenticity. Or maybe he just liked cats.

I love my Dad. He has dignity. He loves good fiction. He loves cats. He's a good man, through and through.

And I think I might have married him.

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