04-04-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

For cat people Admittedly I’m a dog person. Always have been, always will be. But many people in this world love cats, keep cats, and are happy with that. My complaint has always been that Mr. Cat is for Mr. Cat and no one else. He suffers the presence of humans just to serve his needs. If you can get beyond that, cats are beautiful creatures and most interesting. I have made a study of the feline persuasion, and have decided that most cats use a passive/ aggressive psychology on us humans. They get us to do what they want indirectly. If you grant all their wishes, they will purr and rub up against you… “Oh, you are such a nice person!” If you thwart them in some way, they may withhold the purring and rubbing. If the situation is bad enough, out come the claws. But I’ll admit in my lifetime I’ve known some interesting cats. My mom was a cat person… she always had at least one or two around. And I admit some of them developed quite well beyond the idiotic stage. Two of them were kittens that she literally mothered. We were going on a camping trip for a week over at Lake Michigan. We had this mother cat with two very small kittens. My mom thought they would be all right in the box with a blanket, so we took them along. The mother cat adapted well to camping. Matter of fact she loved hunting for mice and little ground squirrels. She spent more and more time away from her family, and when we packed up to come home she was nowhere to be found. My mom called and called for her, but she never answered… faithless creature that she was. Meanwhile we had a box with two baby kittens wailing piteously. My Mom solved the problem. She bought two little doll baby bottles with rubber nipples, poked a hole in the nipples, and filled them with warm milk. Then she taught the wee nippers to hold the bottle and drink! What a sight to see those kittens lying on their backs and holding the bottle with their paws while they drank their supper! I’ve forgotten one of the cats’ names, but the other one always seemed so happy and was smiling. My mom called him Smiley Glad. Sounds like a nice arrangement, but there was a downside. Back in the day if you were going to have cats you would have fleas. No sophisticated treatment for them either. Sand fleas like some people, and others they leave alone. They happen to like me, so I had flea bites all over my little legs and was always scratching. I cordially hated those cats for that. Didn’t seem to bother my mom. I date my dislike for felines from that time. And I have had a hard time getting over it. Most of our kids have both, or have had both cats and dogs. No trouble with the dogs, and I have written about them from time to time. But cats are a different story. I’d like to write about a few that I have remembered with a certain amount of fondness. Youngest daughter Laurie had a German short-haired retriever that was almost my dog. She lived a lonely life while the kids were at work. So Laurie had an inspiration… she got the dog her own cat! Yup, her own cat named Travis. Thereafter the dog was no longer lonely and didn’t mind staying in the house with her pet cat! Nobody asked the cat what it felt like to be owned by a dog! But the arrangement worked. Son Rob tried adopting a wandering cat that showed up at his door. Seemed to be a nice arrangement until one day the cat went berserk and started ripping things up. So Rob showed him the door again. And that was the end of the cat experiment! Daughter Becky loves pets. I’ve written about her Irish setter in previous columns. Now there was a dog! She thought she was human. Then there were the cats… an elderly spinster tiger kitty, very set in her ways! If things didn’t go as she thought they should, she would swear a blue streak. I could tell just by looking at her. There was also a mama kitty (black) and her two kids (also black). Quite a menagerie! One of the kids was mentally challenged, and the other one fancied herself a dancer. She liked to cavort on rooftops and scary high places. Oldest daughter Deb had several cats in succession, not all at the same time. Some of them were mitten cats… you know, the kind with extra toes. One of them was named Bobby Coco. Don’t ask me why, and I don’t think he distinguished himself in any way with intellectual pursuits. But he was a handsome creature! Now, mind you, all of these cats lived their lives with our kids and their dogs. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I wish I could go back and interview those doggie family members. What did they think about it? The only one for whom I can speak is youngest daughter’s short-haired retriever. She loved having her own cat. So I guess that justified it. And I have woven enough feline threads into The Great Tapestry of Life to last me for a while in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Library News Story Hour Story Hour is held on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, craft, and songtime. Story Hour is a weekly program for toddlers and preschool-aged children. Sign-up is not required and the program is free. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thurs., April 18 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “I’ll be Gone in the Dark” by Michelle McNamara. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members. Join for a lively discussion! Read with Spirit Spirit, a certified therapy dog will be at the library on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Children may sign up for a 15-minute slot by stopping in at the front desk or calling the library at 269-468-3431.

Watervliet District Library News Teen Table Projects: April Do-it-yourself project for teens whenever they’re at the library; all supplies provided. This month – Seashell Poems to make-n-take for gifting or keeping. Guest author Monday, Apr. 8 In celebration of National Library Week, April 8 at 6:30 p.m., in partnership with Watervliet Public Schools, Holocaust survivor and author Irene Miller will share her story at the library. Make-it Monday Apr. 8, 4–5 p.m. Crafts and games for K-6th graders and families second Monday of every month. This month – DIY robot hand; sign-up required. Sensory Bin Blast Apr. 9, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The perfect time for a perfect mess! Activity for 0 – 5 year olds and their families. In Stitches Knitting Group Apr. 12, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Second Friday of every month, bring a project or interest; they’ll help you get started. Third Monday Book Club Apr. 15, 7-8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for a copy at the desk; this month –The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. Story Hours: Wed. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. & Thur. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Picture books, crafts and fun designed to inspire the love of reading! For ages 3 – 5. Yoga Mon. 9 a.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.; Fri. 10:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga Wed. 6 p.m. Please call 463-6382 for more information on any Watervliet Library activity.

Glimpses From The Past