I grew up loving cats and kittens. The first cat I remember was Gramma Kitty. I’m not sure how she got her name. She was probably a stray that stayed around Gramma and Grampa’s barn. Her name probably morphed from Kitty to Gramma’s Kitty, to Gramma Kitty.
She was never fed cat food. She lived outside most of her life. She had a litter of kittens almost every year. And she taught them how to hunt and take care of themselves. Once, we saw her bring a full grown rabbit to her family to eat. She was walking backwards, dragging it, because it was bigger than she was.
She loved the day Grampa cleaned out the chicken coop. After harvesting the field corn, Grampa would take it to the grain elevator to be shelled. He’d bring a load of corn cobs back to line the floor of the chicken coop. Grampa and my brother would scoop out the old cobs (I’m not sure what they did with them) before spreading the new corn cobs. My brother tells the story of how Gramma Kitty would be waiting, because as they scooped, the mice would start to run. Loran remembers seeing Gramma Kitty with two mouse in each paw and one in her mouth, and her head searching back and forth wondering how she could catch some more. She was a true ‘mouser’!
That’s why God created cats – to keep the rodent population down (and out of my house.)
Gramma Kitty lived to be 18 or 19 years old. That’s quite a feat for an outdoor cat. She was independent, but often appeared in family pictures taken outside. And, she had one endearing habit. If you laid down on the floor on your stomach, she’d crawl on your back, curl up, and sleep.
Never had a cat quite like her.