Published in the Rains County Leader on July 30, 2019:
Kitty is not a celebrity who seeks the spotlight. She is more like Greta Garbo, the Swedish-American movie star of the 1920’s and 30’s who is famous for the line, I want to be alone. Unlike some family pets who never meet a stranger, Kitty hides under the bed when visitors come, and even though she tries to sneak outside occasionally, she seems to prefer watching life go by from behind a pane of glass. However, the rules and regulations of society don’t favor the sensitivities of the recluse, and this week she had to go out into the world.
When she makes it outside, Kitty seems to be a prime target for fleas and other insects that make a furry feline itch. Even when she stays indoors, the pests seem to make it inside, possibly hitching a ride on jeans or shoes. Regardless of how they get there, Kitty is very aware of their presence, and so are we when she chooses to scratch in the middle of the bed at 3:00 am or when she evicts the little varmints into the couch or the carpet. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 4, 2018:
Kitty came to live with us in June of 2015, and a lot has changed since that mouthy little fur ball walked out from under our porch and into our hearts. She has become a big part of our lives, and she has become one of the favorite subjects for my columns, both for me as the writer and for my readers as well. I met another reader this weekend who recognized me. At least she knew my name, but she still identified me strongly with Kitty. That’s okay with me. She’s usually the more interesting of the two of us anyway.
Sunday afternoon I was going through some old files in my computer, looking for inspiration. I came across one of those nuggets writers love to find – an unfinished project that, even though it was abandoned for some reason, seems to have potential now. What I found was a paragraph I wrote about Kitty’s second Christmas with us. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 13, 2018:
Last week I mentioned that I’m trying to train Kitty to wear a harness and walk on a leash. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. I have a cousin whose cat loves his leash – so much, in fact, that he will stand on her chest and give her a death stare when he wants to go for “walkies.” A couple of months ago I asked her if she thought it was possible to train Kitty at her advanced age. She said that with time and patience she thought it could definitely be done.
The next time we made a Walmart run, I chose an inexpensive harness in a pretty shade of blue. No bling, though. We’ll wait on that until after we see how she reacts. I hesitated a bit on the size. I knew a small wouldn’t work, but I was afraid a large would fall off. I finally settled on a medium, hoping she wasn’t bigger than fourteen inches around the chest, and I found a leash to match. All the way home, I wondered if I had wasted my ten dollars. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 31, 2017:
Sunday was National Cat Day. I had no idea there was such a day until one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of her cat in celebration of the holiday. I went to Google to find out what this special day was all about, and I found a website with, among other things, an article giving 20 ways to celebrate. I was disappointed when I realized that at least 10 of the ways involved buying products from the company that sponsors the website and probably the day itself. I decided I’d celebrate in my own way – by writing about the feline I know best – Kitty.
Kitty has gone through a few changes lately. During a recent stop at one of the dollar stores in town, I found a toy I thought she would like. It’s a small stuffed fish attached to a pole by an elastic cord. It’s similar to a toy she had when she was new to the Brendle household. She liked to chase it when one of us bounced it around, but her favorite thing to do was to drag it around the house with the pole trailing behind her. She eventually chewed through the string, but the fish was still her constant companion. At some point, she stuffed it under or inside something where I can’t find it and neither can she, because it hasn’t been seen for months. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 19, 2017:
A few weeks ago, I shared a list of ways to know if your cat really loves you. After comparing the list with Kitty’s behavior, I decided that she really does love us – sometimes David more than me, but I’m mostly okay with that. Taking my cue from the list, I’ve been responding in a more feline manner, and she has become a little more affectionate toward me.
For instance, when I walk by her and she grabs for my hand, instead of jerking away from her, I now stop and hold my hand still. She will hold it gently between her paws and sniff to see what interesting things I have been up to. Then, she’ll either lick my finger or hold it between her teeth. Sometimes, she’ll let me scratch under her chin a bit, but I don’t press my luck. If I linger too long, she gets frisky and begins to bite. She seems to appreciate the interaction, and she has started following me around almost as much as she does David. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 22, 2017:
Many of Kitty’s fans have been asking about her recently, so I decided early in the week to make her the focus of this week’s column. Before I sat down at the keyboard, I consulted the Internet about the meaning of a couple of her idiosyncrasies I intended to write about. What I found was an article written in 2014 by Modi Ramoson titled “9 Signs Your Cat Actually Loves You.” It provided some very interesting insights into Kitty’s behavior.
1. Your cat brings you their “presents” – When your cat brings you their kill it is actually meant as a present…a love token.
Thankfully, Kitty is an indoor cat, so her presents consist of various toys. Her favorite at the moment is a yellow stuffed elephant. It frequently ends up at David’s feet when he’s sitting on the couch or on my side of the bed when it’s time to make it up. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 10, 2017:
Kitty was a happy cat. She had food and water, two litter boxes, the run of the house, and two humans at her beck and call. With the exception of not being allowed to go outside as often as she would have liked, her life was perfect. No changes were needed, so no resolutions were necessary – and then I made THE VIDEO! (more…)