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A new kitten brings back memories of past cats

Written by Kathryn Spira


I've always loved cats and recently my aide Heather brought a new kitten for a visit and it brought back memories of all my past cats.

My very first cat that I had once I moved into my first off campus apartment at Indiana University was named Jasmine. Though she was not a Kitten, Jasmine was only about a year old. She lived with myself and three roommates. She was Tiger striped, black and brown and very lazy! The apartment we lived in was a basement apartment which was tough for me since I craved the sunshine and it was rather dark down there for me. My roommates all enjoyed Jasmine but I remember my one girlfriend Dina really took a shine to her. Jasmine lived with us the entire school year but when it came time for summer break, Dina took Jasmine home with her to Chicago.

The following year my voice and diction teacher (who was a southern bell) brought about seven kittens with her to class. She was giving them away for free and I decided to get one. She was a calico kitten and I named her Emily. The kittens were too small for us to take away from the mother yet so my teacher hung on the kittens until they were ready. Emily lived with me throughout my college years and when I left Indiana I first moved to New York with Emily. I had a very hard time stopping her from peeing on my oriental rug. But I must say that was her only fault. When I drove from NY to LA in a UHAUL, Emily traveled with me and my then boyfriend, Brad. Emily lived from 1980-1992 and let me list all of the places she lived with me : Indiana University, IN ; Cinncinnatti, OH ; NYC, NY ; and finally Los Angeles, CA.

My next cat that I had was Sam the Man (so named so he wouldn't feel bad about being neutered). Sam was an orange kitten that had been running with his litter mates on Herman's farm. I took one look at Sam and fell in love. Herman had a Jeep at the time and when we went to pick up Sam we put him in a cat carrier. I gotta tell ya, he did not like that one bit! We drove with him back to our previous camp here in Caroga Lake, and once in the house let him run free. Sam lived to the ripe old age of 18. During all those years, I have amazing, fond memories of Sam. We put Sam down on August 3, 2014 as he was battling weight loss, not drinking anymore and in general had no more life left in him.

The following day August 4th, 2014, I went online with Herman to and we found a featured cat named Jerry. Jerry was described as a friendly cat that really loved people and enjoyed sitting on laps. So off we went to St. Johnsville to the cat rescue house. He is probably the most sociable cat that I have ever had. He comes when called and he doesn't really try to get out.

As I just typed that last sentence both my aides Heather and Jeff simply laughed and said that I haven't paid that much attention because according to Heather, Jerry wants to get outside badly.

I have forgotten to mention our black cat named Sally. Sally is now 14 and has a perspicacious attitude towards most things. She was very close to Sam and when we put Sam down she had a hard time adjusting. For a very long time after getting Jerry, she hissed, spit, and swatted at him. After quite awhile I can't say that she mellowed out but she has gotten used to the idea of Jerry being here and I've even seen her rub against Jerry in a friendly manner.

My final thought is this: if you've never thought about cat ownership I would highly recommend it. It is both fun and peaceful at the same time. Check out your local Humane Societies if you're interested in adopting a cat or kitten. There are so many out there that need a home. I include a photo of my aide Heather Stowell, myself and her kitten AmberLyn. AmberLyn Is a Maine Coon Cat. I just adore this Kitten. She has stolen my heart.


About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site