Published in the Rains County Leader on August 27, 2019:
David and I made a quick trip to Louisiana for some family business last week. We left Thursday morning and returned Saturday afternoon. If we’re going to be gone for a week or so, we line up someone to come in and check on Kitty, but for a couple of days, Kitty does fine on her own. All she needs is a liter-and-a-half of water in her gravity waterier, half a dozen scoops of food in her large food bowl, and a clean litter box, and she’s good to go.
I think she probably slept most of the time we were gone because I didn’t see anything broken or even out of place, but she was glad to see us. She ran back and forth between us for petting until David went across the street for coffee with Charles. After that, she settled down in her condo for a nap. She did visit me long enough to rub her chin on the edge of my computer table and let me scratch between her eyes for a couple of seconds. But when she tried to bite me, I withdrew my hand, and she went back to her nap. (more…)
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 June 4, 2019:
Kitty came to live with us four years ago this month. If you’ve followed my column for any length of time, you know that her assimilation into our family has not always been smooth. However, through the months and years, we’ve worked out routines that work for all of us. Some of them have even become rituals.
Kitty makes no secret of the fact that David is her favorite, but since I’m the first one up after a long, lonely night, she’s usually glad to see me. When I come into the kitchen, she stands by her feeding station and looks at me pitifully. While I scoop kibble into her bowl, she runs around the island counter clockwise, stops in front of her bowl, and looks up again. This time she has a more demanding look, asking without words why I’m not petting her. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 19, 2019:
When I say that Kitty keeps us straight, I don’t mean that she keeps us on the straight and narrow. What I mean is that, because she is a curious cat, and she always wants to be where she’s not, we have learned to put things away and batten down the hatches.
Like most cats, Kitty enjoys batting small objects around the floor before knocking them under the grandfather clock or between the refrigerator and cabinet. Then, she stares mournfully after the lost toy until I put my laptop aside and retrieve the toy. She thanks me by either knocking it back into hiding or marching away with her nose and tail in the air. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 12, 2019:
Kitty has been in a strange mood for the last several weeks. I know you’re thinking How could you tell? – and that’s a valid question. Let’s just say her behavior has been a different kind of strange.
I’m not sure what put her into her latest tail spin, but I have a couple of ideas. A week or so ago, we were getting ready for bed, and I heard an unfamiliar noise coming from the kitchen.
“That sounded like Kitty jumping on top of the cabinets,” I said to David. He agreed, so I went to the kitchen to investigate. Sure enough, there she was, staring down at me from the cabinet above the refrigerator. I retrieved the squirt bottle and proceeded to try and convince her of the error of her ways. By the time she made it back to the floor, she was pretty wet, and I didn’t see much of her for the next few days. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 15, 2019:
One of my favorite Christmas presents this year is a blanket or, more accurately, a throw. The love seat where I usually sit in the living room is in one of the colder spots in the house, and I always have an afghan or other cover within reach in case of a sudden chill. Kitty has a fondness for warm covers, but she generally prefers them to be neatly folded and on the end of the couch where David sits – until now, that is.
The new throw was given to me by Pastor Jason, my soon-to-be ex-boss, and his wife Stacy. They said I might need it to keep me warm while I spend my free time either reading or writing a book. It’s microfiber with a soft plush finish on one side and a woolly look on the other, and it’s very warm.
Kitty didn’t pay any attention to it at first, so I had it all to myself until one night last week. I couldn’t sleep, so I went into the living room to read. Kitty followed me and made the rounds of her usual roosting spots, looking out the windows into the darkened yard to be sure there were no intruders. Satisfied that her kingdom was safe, she came over to see what I was doing. She sniffed my book and rubbed her whiskers against the edges until she lost interest. Then, she discovered the blanket. (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…)