TGIF: It’s destined that we become a two-cat household again

Brownwood Bulletin
Gene Deason

It’s been three months since I offered any information on the little cat who “adopted” us last summer, and I’m happy today to report that progress is being made, albeit slowly.

This progress has not yet advanced to the point where getting “Rover” to the veterinarian will be an enjoyable process, but that day is getting closer.

For now, it’s a “tale of two kitties” at our household.

Rover remains an outside cat, which is his choice. And I might add that the humans occupying this household concur with that decision, at least for now. We see evidence that he might be inclined to climb drapery, and then there’s the conflict with our other cat.

Rover remains fascinated by how doors work, especially the sliding glass variety, but he retreats whenever they are opened. He sits at the glass door for extended periods, looking either for one of the human occupants to emerge with a cup of his food, or to engage our mostly inside cat of 13 years. That would be Yum-Yum, who has not yet accepted the fact that another cat has taken up residence in her back yard.

Still, we are making progress.

Since my last report, Rover has been successfully relocated from our front yard to the back, which allows my wife and me wearing our pajamas to sit with him in the mornings. It’s also a safer location — for example, no cars to dodge on the street. The downside, however, is we don’t get to wave at the neighbors as they leave to start their day. They must think the early mornings have gotten too cold for us to continue. Not so. We’re wearing coats over our pajamas, but the tradition is ongoing in the backyard.

Making the transition from daylight saving time took some planning, but we accomplished that. The traditional feeding at 7 a.m. during daylight saving meant that the cat, who goes by “My Bowl’s Empty Time” instead of the clocks humans use, was expecting breakfast at 6 a.m.

We managed to accomplish this by delaying breakfast by 10 minutes on consecutive days until we were showing up on the back porch at 7 a.m. standard time on the Sunday morning everyone “fell back.” No, we aren’t overthinking this at all.

Speaking of colder mornings, we have taken steps to provide Rover with warmer accommodations, and he has readily accepted them. The portable greenhouse we’ve been using for several winters was set up at the first of this month, and it maintains a temperature of 50 degrees or higher on most nights. The exception came last February, when the greenhouse struggled to keep its interior barely above the freezing mark amid single-digit temps outside.

After years of having two cats, we were down to one when “Pooh-Bah” died in May. Once again, our world feels right.

By the time we meet here again next week, our Thanksgiving turkeys will be gobbled up, and the Christmas holidays will be under way in earnest. We’ll save Rover and Yum-Yum a small sample of poultry, but until then, let’s take time for some Blackie Sherrod-inspired “scattershooting”:

THANKSGIVING FEAST — As someone who watched firsthand as leaders from Howard Payne University and the Brownwood Bulletin planned the first community Thanksgiving feast in the early 1980s, I’m pleased to see that it will continue next week, post-COVID. Thanksgiving is an American holiday that spans all faith traditions, and this is a community event that brings residents together regardless of their financial situations.

Everyone can participate, whether it’s by helping to serve or deliver meals, making a financial contribution, or showing up and enjoying the meal with others. The 37th Thanksgiving feast is one of many ways Brown County residents make this community special, and having North Lake Community Church as lead entity and coordinator ensures continued success.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN — The mention of the holidays being in full force by this time next week is a reminder that a host of Christmas activities has been planned in the area during early December. A partial list includes the production of “Elf the Musical” at Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre on weekends December 3-12, the Lighted Christmas Parade December 2, and Christmas Under the Stars December 3-4 including Sipping Under the Stars December 4.

But don’t let a turkey-day hangover keep you from enjoying what’s happening this month. The Pregnancy Care Center’s Turkey Trot at Festival Park will be Thursday, and the Brown County Museum of History will hold Holiday in the Boot Shop November 27. Also at the museum, the exhibit honoring Vietnam Veterans continues through the end of the year.

I’ve no doubt just skimmed the surface. The holidays are arriving in Brown County, so take your family out and enjoy as much as possible with friends and neighbors.

Christmas is coming, for sure. Let’s make the most of it.

Gene Deason is editor emeritus of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column “TGIF” appears on Fridays. He may be contacted at tgifcolumn@yahoo.com.