I know a cat-lady. She owns more than 25 cats. She’s not crazy, she just loves cats. And she has a sympathetic feeling for them, can’t stand to see one homeless. Never sends a stray or feral to a shelter.
Cat-lady lives in a house large enough to accommodate her family of cats and kittens. They have a room of their own. Each feline has been given a name that suits its unique personality. Their owner spends a good part of her day feeding animals and cleaning and changing litter boxes. She spends a good part of her income at the vet clinic, because she is a firm believer of “spay and neuter your pets.”
This woman is unique. Most cat-ladies make it to the newspaper or ten-o’clock news when their neighbors complain that the cats are being abused or neglected. This will never happen here. In fact, if I believed in reincarnation, I would want to come back as one of Lee’s cats.
Last week I visited my BFF, who I accuse of aspiring to become a cat-lady. She has one indoor cat, an indoor-outdoor cat and a bunch of ferals living under her house. She, too, is a proponent of spay and neuter and whenever possible she catches a feral cat and hies to the vet (who charges her an arm and a leg to neuter these strays, unlike vets in my small town who give folks a break for being such good citizens).
During my visit, I heard a strange high-pitched “meow” in an octave just below that which only animals can hear. “Who is that?” I asked. It was Boots, indoor-outdoor neutered male. “You fixed him too soon,” I accused. “Now you have a castrato!”
I will close with a verse I wrote many years ago for a teacher who insisted I write a rhymed poem.
My Kitty Cat’s in heaven with Grandpa and Uncle Ted.
He’s living there with Jesus. ‘Least that’s what Mama said.
I named my kitty Midnight ’cause he was black as black,
But his middle name was Trouble. So said my brother Jack.
Once Jack was playing checkers and winning fair and square.
Midnight pounced and checkers went flying through the air.
Midnight scattered Legos and drank from the potty bowl,
He climbed the drapes and shredded the toilet paper roll.
He knocked the trashcan over as he scampered through the house,
He scared the pretty birds away. But never caught a mouse.
My Sunday School teacher told me to do the things I should
And I will go to heaven, if I am very good.
I think about my kitty and it really makes me sad.
How can he be in heaven when he was always bad?