What’s happening at the Library?

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

On the cusp of National Cat Lovers’ Month, I would like to confess: I wasn’t always a cat person. It was nothing personal, really. My parents, and my grandparents, were dog people for the most part. It wasn’t until I was an adult with a family that I found myself to be a cat person, which is because my daughter, whose nickname is Kitten, is definitely a cat person. Truth to tell, I don’t know if I would call myself a cat person, but I became a cat owner–or at least, a cat caretaker–on my daughter’s fifth birthday.

Email newsletter signup

My daughter really only wanted one thing that year, something soft, furry, and predisposed to claw all the furniture. One dark October night, we drove to our local humane society and went cat shopping. They had a wide variety of cats, but one cat stood out: a tortoiseshell female with black and gold fur. Her name, back then, was Gretchen, and Kitten wanted to look at her. When we opened her cage, however, she made the jump into my arms, as though she already knew that I was the one that she needed to win over.

If this were a TV show, this would be the part where the saccharine yet soaring music would hit, and I cuddled the cat close to my chest. This could have been followed by a montage of scenes of the cat and I doing things together, like cuddling on the couch or dancing in a field of grass. But as I am reminded almost constantly, life is not like television. Gretchen, now rechristened Gwen, moved in and quietly integrated into our household; she ate her cat food, used her litter box, and occasionally helped me with my writing by sitting on the keyboard, but her presence in the house is different from my dogs.

I have three pets total (well, four counting my son’s bearded dragon, but the dragon mostly keeps to himself, a trait he shares with my son). I also have two barking, boisterous dogs, and compared to the other warm-blooded pets, Gwen is the most sedate. She has reached an age where all she really worries about is food, litter, and the occasional petting of her head. My dogs are very demanding of my attention and my cat, of course, has a special fondness for Kitten, yet I still feel special when Gwen does decide to come close and signals she is ready for pets with her signature purr. Am I a cat person? Maybe not, but I still appreciate the quiet companionship that cats provide. I also more greatly appreciate the books we have about cats.

Having a cat means that I now get more of the private jokes cat owners would get, including the ones in “How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You” (636.8 Imma), which might also be a survival guide. But if you want advice on how to take care of your cats, we have books like Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s ”Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)” (636.8 Gala). The library has even found a way to take care of all our four-legged friends with the Grub and Scrub Drive for the Animals. Until the end of December, bring in items like dog/cat food, clay cat litter, and laundry detergent. You can get a free book from our lobby. Call the library at 744-5661 for details.

But for those who love cats or don’t, I can leave you with the words of Gwen, a cat wise beyond her years with many insights on life and animal friendship.

“Meow, meow, meow, and finally, meow.”