Modeling wonder is purrfect

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2009

The first time I met Slip, I was awakened to a loud wailing from across the street.

Stumbling out of bed, I cracked open the bedroom window blinds to make sure there was no melee in the street. The crying stopped. Not seeing anything amiss, I returned to bed.

And then it started again.

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Even though my wife is a heavy sleeper, the plaintive cry aroused her from her slumber. She had heard similar sounds before and quickly bolted out of the bed. She raced out into the darkness, barely wrapping herself in a bathrobe.

I followed her across the street as she searched frantically for the source of the high-pitched sound. With a flashlight in hand, she searched high and low.

She had help: our cat Garry was eyeing this tiny, wailing creature and giving it an occasional poke.

There she was — a small ball of fur tucked under a car, and then in the middle of the street. The kitten was wailing at the top of her lungs, screaming for food, for a home, for companionship.

As my wife reached out to pick up this creature, I knew what I had to do. Without hesitation I let out my own plaintive moan.

“Noooooooooo,” I said. Looking at my wife I repeated my wailing. “No. No. No. No,” I pleaded. “We cannot take another cat into this home.”

Then like one of those scenes in Disney animation, my wife and this tiny ball of fur looked up at me, both with sad blinking eyes.

I realized my pleading was pointless.

That is how I met Slip the cat, now a star of print and Internet.

In fact, that is how our family has been introduced to all three cats in our lives.

Whether it is Jazzy who showed up on my wife’s porch before we were married or the only guy cat in our lives, Garry, cats just seem to gravitate to my wife.

As I understand it, she has always had this uncanny ability. As a child, she heard a kitten far across the road from her home and rescued it in a driving rain. She once heard a cat’s meow on a crowded airplane and barely resisted donning the cat-rescue cape she apparently carries in her bag.

Well, enough about the cat rescue artist — let’s talk about the cat.

My cat Slip is the perfect example of a rags-to-riches story for felines everywhere.

This once small, homeless furball is now ensconced in comfort as an office mascot and occasional cat model.

If you saw Wednesday’s Life section or logged on to, you know her. She is the cat who modeled for the article about the Natchez-Adams County Human Society’s newest fundraiser.

Shy at first, she quickly warmed to the spotlight, the makeup artists and the glitzy crown.

Not one to just cater to canines, the Human Society is sponsoring the 2009 Most Purrfect photo contest.

For a $5 entry fee and a photo of your furry loved-one, your cat could become the talk of the town.

Photos of all entries will be displayed at the Natchez Mall for the public to cast votes for the perfect cat.

Entries can be mailed to the Humane Society at 570 John R. Junkin Drive, Suite C, Box 277, Natchez, MS 39121 or delivered to the animal shelter on Liberty Road by Jan. 31.

Voting will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. Votes can be placed for $1 each.

Money raised will go directly to the NACHS general fund used to run the shelter.

Who knows, your donations could help another cat become another rags-to-riches story.

Wouldn’t that be purrfect?

Ben Hillyer is the web editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540.