The cat, Comma.

The last few weeks have been trying. Between a death in the neighborhood, experiencing that earthquake (not far from the epicenter) all alone in my house, and days of hurricane rain, the silver lining has been the new old cat, the eight pound Comma.

It isn't a good day without a few condescending glares from the cat. 
But truth be told, we've been friends for a long time. About ten years ago she walked up to my neighbor's house and got their attention. She and about five kittens had been abandoned somewhere. Carrying the kittens, one by one, she brought them through the woods, across the fields, hiding them under shrubs to keep them safe. When she determined the neighbors could be trusted, she trotted out the kittens. The neighbors called her Mom, and kept her, though the kittens ended up elsewhere.

For years, she was a terror to rabbits and birds in the big field, but to me she was sweet and neighborly. Whenever I went for walks and found myself before the neighbor's house, this cat would trot down the driveway, and demand a pet. After much purring, she would start rolling around in the gravel, and I could make an escape to finish the walk.

A few weeks ago, the neighbor passed away tragically and unexpectedly from apparent heart attack. The cat didn't really seem to notice, but all of a sudden her options were us or the ASPCA. So we adopted this Mom-cat, and she's taken the changes in stride. It turned out to be too confusing to call her Mom, because we already call the raccoon Mom. Thus, Comma is a near-anagram for mom-cat. And besides, a comma is also a little pause. She has four little paws. The connection should be evident. In further support of the name, a comma is the exact shape of a sleeping cat.

Her hobbies include purring like a jackhammer and circling me while I'm sleeping, then headbutting my hands until I wake up and pay attention. If she hasn't ruined my sleep three times, then the night isn't over. In general, she is very interested in the feeding of squirrels, and was not in the least impressed by the earthquake.

I know you may not care about cats. You may even be a dog person. I mention dear Comma merely because cats are vital to a writer's cred. The two are always paired; this is proven, definitively, by the esteemed blog, Writers and Kitties.


Dan said...


Kat Zantow said...


I like cats in all the nine stages of their life cycle, from catpole to catfish to tiger.

Jason H. said...

Another connection for the name: as you said, commas are like pauses, and Comma caused you to pause on your walks. So the name fits. And you can't go wrong talking about cats...