This is a sad note to let you know that Miss Kitty, our loyal friend and feline associate for the last 14 years, died peacefully in her sleep during the night of March 31, 2008.
We miss her very much and I know that many of you will miss her, too.
Miss Kitty appeared on our doorstep in February of 1994 after we had interviewed a big yellow cat for the job of shop cat. The yellow cat had an attitude that did not endear him to the staff or customers, but the stray black and white cat who stood outside the cafe window asking to be let in, had a very different personality. She had been spayed and de-clawed and we just assumed that she would soon be claimed by a grateful owner, so instead of spending time finding the just right literary name, we called her Miss Kitty.
As time passed, our efforts shifted from hoping that we would find her owner to looking askance at anyone who walked in the door looking like a potential claimant. Soon Miss Kitty became such a favorite with everyone at the store and with our many cat-loving customers that anyone who had tried to take her home would have had a serious custody battle on their hands.
Miss Kitty attended most of our readings, winding her way between chair and people legs until she found the right lap, unless she decided she wanted a chair of her own. She often found customers sitting on the floor who, at least according to her opinion, needed a cat in their lap. She acted as a paperweight on the front desk whenever she needed a people fix and quietly disappeared into one of her retreats whenever an enthusiastic customer under three feet tall began an assault on her dignity.
She loved to find the sunniest window in the store and arrange herself artfully on whatever surface was nearby. She was a very photogenic cat and many customers snapped photos of her poses. One of my favorites was her draped over a copy of Bird Watching for Dummies.
During her early years, she liked being outside and used her cat-door for her mostly nocturnal wanderings. Some mornings, we would find evidence of her prowess as a hunter, proudly and prominently deposited in a pathway. Occasionally, a customer would find her stowed away in the backseat of a convertible or the back of a truck. Fortunately, no one drove away with her, but we did speculate that her tendency to stow-away may have been responsible for her appearance on our doorstep.
There are many more Miss Kitty stories that can be told. We would be glad to hear from you with your favorite reminiscence.
Miss Kitty occasionally made appeals for special causes. So following her example, I would like to suggest that if any of you would like to remember her in any way, please make a donation to your favorite animal charity or to the Jackson County Library Building Fund. That way we can all celebrate the memory of a very special cat.
This is an inventive story about teaching the history of real people (not generals and kings). It features a beautiful home situated within a mirage and filled with fifty cats!
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