K. D. McCrite

K.D. McCrite grew up on an Ozark Mountain farm along an old dirt road, just like April Grace Reilly in In Front of God and Everybody. She loves writing stories that make people laugh and think. For a while, she worked as a librarian, but these days she sits at her desk and makes up stories. Her second book to this series will release in December 2011. Visit her at http://kdmccrite.com/

K. D. McCrite

A Cat-Lover’s Tale

If you read In Front of God and Everybody: Confessions of April Grace, you were introduced to Daisy, the Great Pyrenees. She’s a sweet dog that any family would welcome.

I did not paint such a warm, fuzzy portrait of cats. Grandma’s cat, Queenie, is what I’d call a “psycho feline.” She rules the house, gets her way, is utterly spoiled and doted on by Grandma. As April Grace tells us, that cat “will bite the hand that feeds her, and any other hand, for that matter.”

You might think I’m less than a cat lover, but you’d be wrong. I adore cats.

As a farm girl, I always had a cat or two. I recall when I heard the most pitiful mewing. I searched and found a tiny kitten hidden in tall grass near the barn. He was nothing but a ball of orange fluff, with weensy little ears and tail, and blue, blue eyes. He was my beloved companion for years. He loved to put a paw on either side of my head and bury his nose in my ear. He’d purr and purr and purr while he hugged me in this way. Sometimes I’d drape him over my shoulder and wear him like a fur cape. He’d let me dress him up in doll clothes, and he loved to be carried upside down. I don’t know many cats that would put up with that.

A few years later, when I was teenager, a fellow who had more cats than good sense, gave me a kitten. I told him I wanted a tomcat. He picked one up and said, “Here you go. This is a good one.”

Boy, was that kitten adorable! Thick, fuzzy gray fur and green eyes. I named him Sir Isaac Newton. The next spring, and every spring following for several years, Sir Isaac gave birth to a litter of kittens.

I’ve owned a couple of psycho cats, which is where I got some of my ideas for the fictional Queenie. Smokey had thick, long gray fur the color of smoke. She loved bananas and peas and would drink water only from a glass. She liked to hide behind doors and jump out at unsuspecting passers-by. Monkey is with us now. She is orange and white and very fluffy. She chases the dogs and wants to drink from water dripping in the bathroom sink. That silly cat likes to hide while we go crazy looking for her, fearing she’s gotten out of the house. Then, after we spend hours calling and searching and worrying, she casually strolls out of whatever dark, dusty corner she’s been lounging in. She blinks at us for a moment, as if thinking, “You people really need to chill out.” Then she yawns and begins to groom herself, or goes to get herself a little snack.

By the way, Monkey does not belong to us. My younger daughter, Joy, discovered her as a small kitten, frightened and caught in a tree (hence the name Monkey), but after a year or so, Joy moved into an apartment that did not allow pets. She asked me, “Mom, will you take her? Please? It will only be for a few weeks.” That was more than eight years ago. I’m still waiting for Monkey to go back home to Joy. I’m beginning to think it will never happen.

Recently, my husband and I happened upon a stray kitten in the parking lot of a busy convenience store next to a very busy street. I picked him up, a thin, orange-and-white cuddle bug. He buried his face against my chest, his purr louder than any I’d ever heard. We brought him home, fed him, named him (Barney), introduced him to the other animals, and now he’s another member of our family.

I’ve had many more cats in my life. Rocky, Simone, Bryant, Dan D. Lyon, just to name a few. None of them have been similar in any way other than having four legs and fur. Sometimes I wonder what was on God’s mind when He created cats. I guess maybe He wanted us to have something warm and cuddly, aloof and independent, and quietly comforting while making us smile.


In Front Of God And Everybody