This essay by Louise Smith is from our archives. It is the first in a series about Louise and Snuggles the cat.
It was years ago that my daughter, Ann, and her husband, Larry surprised me with an early Christmas present – a 4-month-old, fluffy white Ragdoll kitten – to be my constant companion.
The gift left me speechless. He was adorable, but I had never liked cats.
Larry then excitedly filled me in on his tedious trip east of the mountains near Yakima so he could purchase this special breed of cat.
“He is not only lovable and affectionate, but he doesn’t shed,” he said. (HA. That was a misstatement; he sheds all over the house.)
What could I say! Well, we bonded on his first night. I was awakened by this new addition to my family, purring most contentedly loud and clear, happily snuggled up on the pillow next to mine. I dubbed him, “Snuggles.”
Snuggles is affectionate and kisses me frequently ON MY MOUTH – something I never dreamed I could tolerate. He can be very loving but does have his negatives.
Snuggles is constantly introducing new “games,” some of which aggravate me to the hilt. Many of my treasures have hit the dust being knocked from a perch by Snuggles. He loves to stretch out across the threshold to the bedroom or especially to my bathroom. I go charging into the bathroom, generally in a big hurry, and have to stop and battle with Snuggles to let me and my walker through.
I have sweet-talked and badmouthed him, trying to encourage him to move. I’m unable to hop over him or to kick him out of my way. He just looks up at me defiantly as much as to say, “What’s your problem?”
I was relating my plight to a dinner guest thinking he might have a solution, since they own three cats and love Snuggles.
“That’s easy,” he said, “we have a water bottle and squirt a thin steady stream onto our cats when they’re naughty.”
Aha! That I was anxious to try.
Ann gave me a new spray bottle cautioning me against misfiring onto the hardwood floors or walls of their new home. So I decided to practice first. I sat in the bathroom, aiming the bottle at a specific target.
WOW! Suddenly my face was dripping wet from the bottle’s spray. I never was famous for my sense of direction.
Louise Smith was a retired newspaper editor and frequent contributor to Northwest Prime Time. She passed away at 95 & one-half in 2009.
I was utterly charmed by Louise when I met her years ago. I remember thinking to myself that I hoped to become more like her as I grew older.
To learn more about Louise, read a funny, heartfelt tribute by another frequent Northwest Prime Time contributor, former associate editor Suzanne Beyer. Here is the link – I recommend you give it a go. Reading it brought a tear and a hearty chuckle: Remembering a special friend — Louise R. Smith