I had to break the news to the kid that Pirians (my Utopian society the series I'm writing) do not have cats.
"What?" she demanded. "How can it be a Utopian society if they don't have kitties?"
Me: "Well, they can't have cats. They live on space ships, see, and--"
The Kid: "But kitties!"
Me: "In space ships, see, we use plants to purify the air, and lots of those plants are toxic to cats. So--"
The Kid: "Couldn't they just keep the cats away from the plants?"
Me: "They could, I suppose. Mostly the plants are in the Exchange. [Digression while I explain what that is.] But also, Pirians live at zee or near zee, most of the time. Can you imagine a litterbox at zero-gravity?"
The Kid imagines a litterbox at zero gravity.
The Kid: "But no cats!"
Me: (Sadly): "I know. Pirian kids think of them like dragons. Wonderful mythic creatures."
The Kid: (Brightening): You've got that dagan. From "Velocity's Ghost"? Who can turn itself into anything? The therapist?"
Me: "Um. Right...I mean, they're like therapists..."
The Kid: "Well, those could turn themselves into kitties! For Pirians who needed cat therapy!"
Me: "...emergency cat therapy."
The Kid: "Right!"
Me: "...Okay. Yeah. I suppose."
6 hours ago