As a child, my family and I would make our way to my grandparent’s home in Fort Blackmore, Virginia every year. My grandfather was a man who was always in charge and had a no-nonsense attitude. He was the sole proprietor of his treasure, an ancient black box, the television. The knobs to turn on and change the channels had been broken for years, leaving my grandfather in full control of the television. To me, it seemed like the television was useless, but we all knew that my grandfather held the key to unlocking the magic of the box.
Without Fail~The Warning!
My dad always cautioned us not to make a fuss about the TV before we headed to my grandparent’s place. I mean, it was no easy feat, especially back then when it was as crucial as our smartphones are today. It’s crazy how things have changed!
Lessons from Grandpa
Without fail, every evening at 7 pm following dinner, my grandpa would turn on the TV. I used to be fascinated by how he did it and would always run over to watch. However, my grandpa caught on and would block my view by standing in front of me. But no worries, I knew I would have another chance to figure it out when grandpa was busy mowing the grass or hanging up his tobacco leaves to dry.
Whenever my grandfather switched on the TV, he held the power to choose the channel. No one else dared to interfere with his reign as the TV boss. If someone wanted to change the channel, they had to use a pair of pliers, which were only found in my grandfather’s pocket. He always kept them on him, no matter where he went. So, if you wanted to watch something different, you had to ask him nicely. This is how my grandfather held the ultimate power over the TV at all times.
Same TV, Same Pliers, Same Grandpa
Each day brought a new adventure as I embarked on my mission to unravel the mystery of the television. Despite my repeated failed attempts, I couldn’t help but feel a rush of excitement with each new attempt, hoping that this time would be the breakthrough I was searching for. To be honest, I wasn’t even particular about what I wanted to watch; simply being able to turn it on would have been a triumph in itself.
As the years passed, I found myself in the same situation each time – in front of the television, with the same old pliers and my grandpa by my side. Every year, I held onto the hope of finding a new clue that would finally unravel the mystery of the black box. Looking back now, I realize that my ultimate goal was to prove my intelligence to my grandfather and to show him that I too had the power to control the television. Despite my best efforts, year after year, my search for the elusive magic switch at the back of the TV proved to be futile.
Kentucky Fried Chicken: The Tale of Feline Love
Like I mentioned earlier, my grandfather was quite a character. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy, but there was one exception – his love for cats. And when I say love, I mean he had over 30 cats! Can you believe it? But wait, before you start picturing a house full of stray cats, let me clarify.
All of his feline friends were well-cared for; they were healthy, vaccinated, and had been neutered or spayed. He even made sure they received regular veterinary care. And here’s the best part – every month when he went to town, he would call up Kentucky Fried Chicken and place an order for 30 skinless, fried chicken breasts, just for his kitties! Now that’s what I call love.
Whenever my grandfather returned from town, it was a sight to behold. The cats, in all shapes and sizes, would come running from every direction, as if they were angels welcoming him home. They would scurry around his feet, climb up his pant leg, and meow for their treat. He would pass out one chicken breast at a time from the KFC bucket, and you could see the cats dragging off their mealtime treats in every direction.
The excitement was palpable, and you could almost set your watch by the hysteria that followed 60 minutes after the chicken was handed out. Cats that had finished their chicken started battling over the scraps of the ones still feasting. It was quite a scene to witness!
The Power of Memories: Bonnie Bell
Only a few of the felines were lucky enough to make it inside the house, and Grandfather had a soft spot for one particular cat named Bonnie Bell. She had a unique talent for kneading muffins while simultaneously milking your shirt. Grandpa would drape a hand towel over his shoulder each evening, and Bonnie Bell would come scurrying up the side of his chair to perform her routine. Eventually, he would shoo her away with his hands, and she would scamper off.
Then, Grandpa would suddenly rise from his chair, dig into his pocket, and pull the pair of golden pliers. Without a second thought, he went to the back of the tv and used those golden pliers to turn off the tv, then, summoning my grandmother to bed.
A Small Town’s Love for Feline Friends
My grandpa was always the go-to guy whenever there was a stray cat in need of a home. He had a heart of gold and could never say no to a furry little friend. One day, my dad asked him how many cats he had, and grandpa confidently replied, “This morning I have 42.” My dad couldn’t help but joke, “Looks like soon, these felines will outnumber us all!” With the population of Fort Blackmore being only 76 residents, it seemed like the cats might need their own city. And so, grandpa’s house became known as Kitty City – where new cats are welcomed with open arms and adopted into the family without hesitation.
The Joy of Feline Companionship
Throughout my life, feline friends have always held a special place in my heart. In fact, over the span of three decades, I’ve been lucky enough to share my home with seven beloved cats, each with their own unique personality. There was the playful Fuzz to the regal Asrael, and from the mischievous Beavis to the sweet Toots. My furry companions have brought me endless joy. Currently, I have the pleasure of spending my days with Troy, who’s been by my side for 12 years, and Zelda, who’s now ten years young. Remarkably, every one of my feline family members have lived to the ripe old age of 17 or beyond.
The Curious Case of the Condo Squirrel
By now, we are all aware of the important role that squirrels play in this story. But where exactly do they fit in? Allow me to recount a personal experience – one morning, while standing on my condo balcony, I heard a strange noise emanating from the utility closet. Intrigued, I peered through the slightly ajar door and to my surprise, caught sight of a squirrel! Its beady brown eyes locked onto mine before it darted away at lightning speed, leaving my heart racing. This encounter got me thinking – what could that furry little critter possibly want?
Tiny Paw Prints
The next morning, it surprised me to see the same squirrel peering through my balcony door. The weather had turned windy and rainy; her fur and tail were sopping wet from a morning rainstorm. She gazed up at me with her eyes the color of charcoal, clearly expecting to be fed again.
I tossed out a few nuts and quickly closed the slider. Leaving her tiny paw prints behind on the glass, she gathered her nuts and quickly scampered away. As she took off, it didn’t take long for me to realize something different about her: she sported an unusually short tail with what looked like a pom-pom at its end. I had a feeling she was going to show up again tomorrow.
Later on the same day, I headed out to run errands. The rain had been pouring for hours, and as I opened my front door, there she was again, sitting outside on the ledge. I go back inside and find some almonds, which the little critter gobbled up in an instant before running off with lightning speed! My first instinct was to think that she’s hungry.
Pretty Girl with the Pom-Pom Tail
The Pretty Girl with the pom-pom tail appeared like magic at my balcony door again the next morning. I kept calling her Pretty Girl. That name stuck, and she is the original squirrel of the Kitty City Squirrels gang that started it all.
Every day, I took pictures of Pretty Girl, and any little thing she did was photo worthy. I thought, wow, she really likes me, and she keeps coming back. Hmmm, I think now she was only here for the nuts.
Rumors Travel Fast
Well, rumor travels fast in the squirrel community, and pretty soon, I had a squad of squirrels demanding nuts every day. The more nuts I bought, the more squirrels I collected. I had enough squirrels to rival my grandfather’s Kitty City. I took so many pictures of every little thing, and I was running out of storage space on my cell phone.
I had a collection of pictures of squirrels that I’d been gathering for a while, and I was excited to show them off to my neighbor. However, it turned out that she wasn’t as enthusiastic about them as I was. Despite my best efforts to convince her of their cuteness, she suggested that I should create an Instagram account specifically for people who love seeing these furry creatures on their screens. She even added that while she wasn’t a fan, she was sure someone else out there would be!
So, there you have it; I started an IG page. I nicknamed my house Kitty City because my cats outnumbered me. Suddenly, it hit me as I watched my cats staring at the squirrels on the balcony.
Boom, Kitty City Squirrels! Established 2018~Population 20 plus and growing.
If you have your own story, you would like to share, please let us know by contacting Kitty City Squirrels.