Thursday, April 8, 2010
It’s in the DNA
I read an inspiring newspaper article in the Houston Chronicle about a woman who believes she was born with “the animal rescue gene,” as she puts it. When she was a child, she always brought home every stray or wounded animal. I cannot claim doing the same ever since I was a kid. But a recent round of spring cleaning at home unearthed a small box containing some Kodachrome slides of me at a tender age, enjoying the company of cats. These originally color-saturated images have led me to reconsider whether the Cat Lady gene is indeed part of my DNA.
My mother had labeled one envelope “Prissy the cat.” I would be telling a lie to say that I vividly remember Prissy, the Siamese cat who lived next door to us in New Orleans. The slides portray me as a two-year-old child sporting the then “it” style of Shirley Temple curls. Apparently I liked Prissy very much and looked forward to seeing her walk across the neighbor’s lawn to the front steps of our house. But I was confused one day when Prissy brought a bird to me as “a present.” My mother reports that I became mad at Prissy for killing the bird, although I came around to forgiving the cat.
Finding the unexpected treasure trove of images has prompted me to think further of our—the Cat Ladies’—shared cause. Were we predestined to rescue and care for cats? Maybe Prissy already knew, way back when, of what was in the cards for this once curly-haired girl.
Query of the Day: Were you born to be a Cat Lady?