Posted in CRITTERS ETC., Southernisms

Claire the Cat

My last CRITTERS ETC. post, Rats, hinted at the decision to make my Momma a cat owner.   We desperately needed a good “mouser.”  A cat rescue group had several animals up for adoption.  Mostly, cute, cuddly kittens.  But it was a 3 year-old that caught my attention -an orange short haired tabby with striking green eyes.  The sign in Claire’s window read “Adult cats need homes too!”  Awwwww.  I knew I wanted her for Momma’s house – female cats are wonderful hunters.  But what sealed the deal was that she “talked”.   It was feeding time and Claire’s face was buried in her bowl of canned chow.

“My goodness.  Is it THAT good girl?”  I’d never seen an animal eat with such zeal!

“Me-YESow.”   Was Claire’s one word response, not stopping to look up from her bowl.

“Oh my gosh!  She talks!”  I roared with laughter.  The volunteer told me that Claire was quite the “talker.”  She described her as a really lovable cat with only one draw back – she doesn’t get along with other cats or animals in general.  Because of this they had a difficult time adopting her out.  Thus the descriptive surname “Bear” was added in by anxious volunteers.  Claire Bear.

“She’s perfect!  When can I take her home?”   I felt like the two brothers selecting the “perfect” cat in this clip from the MouseHunt movie.

 Posted on YouTube by YoureAJagOff

I had to convince the volunteer that I really wanted to adopt Claire.  Yes. She will be the only pet.  No.  Her talking will not be bothersome.  Eventually I convinced the agency that we would be a good fit.

Claire was also a “hard sell” with Momma.  When Claire first arrived she warmly greeted Momma with a Me-Hi0w and a snuggle on the leg.  Then Claire Bear caught the pungent scent of rodents and she was off hunting!  Over the next 48 hours I received multiple phone calls from Momma – Claire had disheveled neatly stacked bathroom linens, burrowed under beds and twisted drapery in pursuit of her prey.

“You better come get that cat!  She’ll going all over my house!”

“No ma’am.  The cat is helping us get rid of all your mice.  And since they are all over your house, she has to hunt all over your house.”  I defied my mother in the most respectful tone possible.

“Mmmph!”  Miss. Daisy was not pleased.

But the family did not back down.  And neither did Claire.  She hunted – getting rid of all the rodents.  She hissed – getting rid of all the stray cats that had taken up resident in Momma’s yard.  She persevered – when Momma locked her out of the house, she’d claw her way back inside,  “knocking” relentlessly on the back door.  She talked – engaging Momma in family gossip.  And she protected – staying by Momma when she fell on the kitchen floor.

Soon Momma had to go to live in a Nursing Home.  She entertained the staff with stories about her heroic “talking” cat who wouldn’t leave her side when she fell until human help arrived.

“Who got my cat?” 

“She’s at my house Momma.”

“Well, y’all better take good care of her.  That’s a very smart cat.  She’s a GOOD cat.”  Miss. Daisy was pleased.

Claire napping with on her favorite Human


 Cat Close-up Image Credit: McGuire








Hi! I'm Denise Massey - the funny face behind ArtReach at Home. My past: museum curator, art teacher and consultant. Today: a blogger sharing creativity and personal stories about life in the South.

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