Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


March 11, 2013

Cathie Shaffer: Boxed in by a quandry: 03/12/13

GREENUP — So I woke up the other day to the baby cats — who are now almost a year old — recreating the fight scenes from “Clash of the Titans” in the hall outside my bedroom.

Batman (she’s a girl; ignore the name) is longer, leaner and just plain bigger than Bitsy, who got her name because she was the tiniest kitten in her litter. Although these two are separated in age by about a month, had different mothers and even came from areas miles from each other, they are soul sisters.

So when they fight, it’s all play. I’ve never seen, well, heard, them growl at each other. But although they play-fight silently, you can’t miss hearing them.

Batman gets up on her back feet, rises to her full height and jumps three feet in the area on top of Bitsy. Bits is ready for her, eyes narrowed and tail swishing. The connection brings thuds and thumps on my hardwood floor outdone only by the whomp-whomp-whomp of the cats chasing each other down the stairs and through the house.

On occasion, my older cat Tabby will join in the fray. It’s not unusual to see Batman running down the stairs with Tabby in pursuit and, a few minutes later, Tabby heading back through with Batman close on her heels.

Free entertainment is always good and it is amusing to watch the cats romp and stomp. Also shocking on occasion, as when Batman and Bitsy took their flight through the dining room and across me to head for the safe zone beneath the couch.

When they finally wear themselves out, they flop down and go to sleep the first place they can find. While Tabby prefers a cushion on the couch or a sunny spot in the kitchen, the younger cats have yet to make their preference known.

Back when they were younger, you never saw one without the other a few feet away. They do take occasional breaks from each other now, although they’re usually in the same room.

Bitsy likes my bed. Sometimes she’ll be joined by both Batman and Tabby, but usually she sleeps there alone and uninterrupted. Batman, however, plops down wherever she feels like it.

If I’m sitting in my recliner on the laptop and watching TV, she cuddles into a spot right next to me. She prefers to go to sleep with a paw outstretched across the keyboard and her head on my leg.

But I’ve come home from work to find her sleeping on the stack of newspapers headed for recycling. Or snuggled down on a jacket she’s knocked off a dining room chair back or curled into a ball in whatever box she can find.

The cats all like boxes, but Batman is especially fascinated by them. The minute the box is opened, she’s in there and quite peeved if you remove her so you can take the contents of the box out.

Curiosity being a trait of cats, Bitsy will soon be joining her faux-sister in the exploration of the divine carton. I walked into my living room the other day to see both the young cats in a box and Tabby, back paws on the floor and front paws on the edge of the box, assessing them thoughtfully.

I’m pretty sure I know what she was thinking:

“Can I get this box closed, sealed, addressed and the post office before these two idiots wake up and realize they’re being sent to a catless family on the other side of the world?”

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

Text Only
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014