Invasion of the Upside Down Cats

When I was growing up, my family had its share of dogs and cats. As an adult, I don’t have any pets because I don’t want the added responsibility of caring for them and for Bill who is partially paralyzed as a result of two strokes. I’ve always enjoyed other people’s pets.

It’s funny how animals react to certain objects. One evening when I was single, I left my apartment and went down the hall to visit my friend Becky who had just acquired a cat named Princess. I was wearing cat slippers at the time and didn’t even think of it. When I first saw Princess, I was struck by how much this tiger-striped cat resembled Howard, a female cat we had when I was a little girl. Howard had long since passed away, but maybe her spirit had come back to me in Princess’s body. I approached and said, “Hello, Princess.”

But the first thing Princess saw were two upside down cats invading her territory. She snarled, hissed, and spat. I dared not pet her, but continued talking to her. “It’s okay, sweetie. I’m a friend of your new mommy’s, and I want to be your friend too.”

“Maybe she thinks your slippers are going to attack her,” she said. “Why don’t you take them off and see what happens?”

I sat on a nearby couch, removed the slippers, and placed them on the floor. Princess came over and sniffed them. I think she then realized they were harmless, but she still wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Needless to say, I never wore the slippers again when I visited Becky.

During the many years of Princess’s nine lives, I tried everything I could to develop a rapport with her. Becky bought her a myriad of toys, and whenever I visited, I tried tempting her to play with one of these, but she would have none of that. When Becky was out of town, I visited Princess twice a day, fed her, and changed her water, but although she knew I was the one supplying the sustenance, she showed absolutely no gratitude.

One day while Becky was gone, I bought a can of tuna at Wal-Mart. I used half of it to make a sandwich for myself, and brought the other half to her. I put the can on the floor next to her food bowl, and she saw me do it. Since tuna was one of her favorite foods, I thought surely this would bring her around to me. But that evening when I came back to check on her, the can of tuna was completely empty, but Princess performed her usual growling, hissing, and spitting routine when I approached and greeted her.

I gave up after that. Maybe I should have given her the whole can, but I doubt it would have mattered. When Princess first saw me, she saw two upside down cats. First impressions mean a lot, even to animals.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com
abbie@samobile.net

National Poetry Day

October 15th is National Poetry Day. Many writers’ groups hold events in their communities. Here in Sheridan, our monthly poetry group is planning a reading at the local senior center for the 20th. If you’re not a poet but like poetry, you can still celebrate. Find an event in your community. Read a poem to yourself, a friend or family member, or even your cat.

There are many Websites that promote poetry. Your Daily Poem is one of them. You can browse the poems on the site and search for material by a particular poet. You can sign up to receive a poem a day via e-mail, and you can comment on the poems you read. Check it out at http://www.yourdailypoem.com

Now, in celebration of National Poetry Day, I’ll leave you with a poem. This appeared in Wyoming Fence Lines, an anthology of poems about borders: physical, mental, or otherwise. It’s one example of what happens when such boundaries are crossed.

BORDERS

The branches of the evergreen tree

on the other side of the fence are covered with snow.

A barking dog scoots over the fence and towards the squalid house,

skidding on the slippery ground.

The cat in the window sill squeals

and jumps to a nearby chair.

Her paw hits a vase of wilted flowers

that falls to the floor with a loud crash.

A shot rings out, signaling the canine’s demise.

That happens when borders are crossed.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome

http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

abbie@samobile.net

My New Website

The URL is the same, but the look is different. The gentleman maintaining my site for me recently retired, and I hired his daughter. She has since changed the site so it’s more accessible and visually appealing. She even inserted an image of my novel cover on the page advertising my book. I encourage everyone reading this to check out my site. It’s awesome!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com
abbie@samobile.net

My New Website

The URL is the same, but the look is different. The gentleman maintaining my site for me recently retired, and I hired his daughter. She has since changed the site so it’s more accessible and visually appealing. She even inserted an image of my novel cover on the page advertising my book. I encourage everyone reading this to check out my site. It’s awesome!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com
abbie@samobile.net