Hello. I'm the calico cat that lives at the Sullivan place.
You might as well call me Miss Kitty, because everyone else around here does.
I prefer to be called Adabelle, which was my great-grandmother's middle name. But I can't seem to get that across to the humans who live here. How can you tell humans anything?
Oh, don't worry. I get my message across just fine most of the time.
For example, I have everyone trained to pick me up when they come home.
And I've got my own electric heating pad -- scientifically adapted for pet use -- in my nest with the sheepskin lining in the garage. I have a food dish that's always full, and a water dish that wards off dehydration. And there's the special door just for me.
Of course, living in a garage is not the same as living in the big house, if you know what I mean. The garage is dry, which is important during thunderstorms. I don't like to let it show, but I'm scared spitless when there are booms in the night.
Perhaps you've noticed that the thermometer has taken a dive recently. Or maybe you haven't. After all, if your reading this, you most likely are not a cat or dog or hamster. I can attest that humans don't pay much attention to big swings in the weather, thanks to something they call a "thermostat."
The garage where I live -- with two motorized vehicles, two garbage cans, a barbecue grill, a workbench and a storage cabinet -- does not have central heat. I've called this to the attention of the Big Guy human, but he just scratches under my chin and starts uttering a bunch of nonsense about "Pretty kitty."
There's not a vain bone in my body, so I have no use for mirrors. I don't know if I'm pretty or not. What I do know is that I'm ready to eat at the drop of a hat, so I spend a lot of my time convincing the humans to add more cat chow to the never-empty dish.
Lately, I've taken a keen interest in the house where the humans live, which is not at all like a garage, as far as I can tell. I am constantly being reminded that I can't come in the door, no matter how mournful I look or how I hunch my haunches and make my tail shiver.
When the temperature drops to the teens at night, I do long to go inside the big house just to see what it's like. For example, do humans sleep on big heating pads? That's just one of the little things a cat like me thinks about on frosty evenings.
One day, there is a lot of scurrying going on. The humans are coming and going all day. In and out. In and out. As a matter of fact, there is so much traffic that the door to the big house is left open.
Well, I says to myself, I might as well have a look-see. Who knows when another opportunity like this will come around?
So in I slither, like cats do when they try to become invisible to humans.
Right away I notice how temperate the climate is in the big house -- tropical by garage standards.
I make a circuit of the family room and notice a lot of soft furniture and several items -- cushions, afghans -- with tassels. I made a mental note.
During a brief lull, I inspect the kitchen. How do humans eat? There isn't a single food dish on the floor. Maybe those humans aren't so special after all.
Oops! I'm spotted. Out the door I go. Back into the garage.
Frankly, I don't know what all the fuss is about. I'll bet they don't even have mice.
R. Joe Sullivan is the editor of the Southeast Missourian.