Sherry Hopkins Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2007

Get the picture? by Sherry Hopkins

‘…Not a cat person,’ Sherry insists as Gabby weaves way into her heart

I’m a loner. Always have been always will be. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the company of others, I just seem to enjoy my own better.

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Does that make me strange? You bet. Do I care? Can’t say that I do.

So, you ask, why bring up my character flaws? Well, you know we adopted a cat back in April. Gabby, a pretty, gray spayed female has become a real part of our family. She has her routine and we love watching her do funny cat things. She pretends to do reconnaissance on the birds but then ignores them as they fly all around her in their taunting way.

After her supper every night she chases her tail acting as though she doesn’t know it’s attached to her backside. She only drinks water from the birdbath and not her water dish, her idea of revenge on the birds I suppose. She hides under my car making mad cat noises while watching neighbor cats eat her leftovers. There is never, however, a hint of confrontation.

But — and here’s the rub — I’m not a cat person. I’m really not an animal person. Well, to be honest, I’m not a people person either but I’ve established that already in the first couple of sentences.

Gabby is slowly changing that about me. She greets me when I come home, she rubs against my legs lovingly when I am on the porch, and she has taken to lying beside me when I sit alone on the glider. I have taken to rubbing her head between her ears and talking quietly to her about my day. We are both quickly warming to this daily interaction.

When we see and hear Dear Don coming down the road, I quickly shoo Gabby down from the glider. She takes her place lazily on the cool concrete porch as if she had held that position all day. Neither of us wants to reveal our fondness for one another to anyone else just yet.

She is not a people person either I suspect. But she loves Don. She talks to him in a flirty cat kinda way. He picks her up,  holds her and pets her, gently rubbing the back of her neck. She begins to breathe rhythmically and soon drifts off to sleep. She mews loudly at him to feed her, batting her big green eyes. She follows him around the yard when he’s piddlin’ or out to his shop when he’s exercising. She has taken to him like he has to her.

People do that too, take to Dear Don that is. He is a people person. He relishes the company of others, animals and folks alike. So while I snarl and grouse, whine and complain about anything or anyone that breathes the air, Dear Don just smiles and nods knowingly and motions for me to come near. He gently pats the seat next to him motioning for me to sit. I acquiesce and he begins to rub my neck and I began to hum all calm, settled and relaxed. I close my eyes and soon become entranced.

Gabby curls up next to us both, and we all spend wonderful moments catnapping in the shade of the big front porch. Seems Dear Don has the same affect on both of his female loners as he does everyone else.

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at