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A Not-So-Crazy Cat Lady

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A Not-So-Crazy Cat Lady

The Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center recently lost a dear friend. Kristine McComis, a valued employee for 17 years, passed away at age 42. Kristine was the epitome of health and happiness  —  so different from the aggressive form of cancer she faced with grace and an unwavering positive attitude.

Kristine earned both a BA (Wittenberg University) and MA (OSU) in English. She faithfully and proudly penned the veterinary hospital newsletter, and we all looked forward to her animal anecdotes. I’d like to share one with you as my memorial to her. It appears as Kristine wrote it, except for removing names. May this story bring a smile to your face – just as Kristine’s smile brought joy to many people – family, friends, co-workers and clients.

We are all familiar with the adage, “It is better to give than receive.” I would agree with this, although I also know that people dread gift-giving, especially in this day and age where no one really needs anything. They hate having to think too much about what to buy for a person and try to look on one particular theme, whether it is a hobby, sporting activity, or a favorite scent. Consequently, they buy that genre of gift every single time one is warranted. For me, that genre is cats. Ever since I adopted my cat Sonnet eight years ago, people think I need and/or love everything cat related. “I KNOW you’re a cat person,” they proudly say, as they watch me open the twentieth cat pin I’ve received since acquiring my pet. I never mean to be rude or ungrateful for any gift, but has anyone EVER seen me wear a cat pin? I wore one once to church and had a little old lady say to me, “Oh, isn’t that pin DARLING!” I immediately shoved it to the back of the jewelry box. I do not want to be “darling.” Shirley Temple was darling. I wear black.

So how do I end up with endless cat merchandise from tacky country store gift shops (my worst nightmare)? I receive cat notepads with little pink country hearts around the border. I receive cat birthday cards, cat stationery, cat magnets and cat calendars. Cat coffee cups, cat coffee table books, cat picture frames, and cat candleholders. Yes, I love cats, but I cringe at being defined by them. It’s as if I’ve been railroaded into being the crazy cat lady down the street that kids will taunt and run away from in my elder years. I already have the cat umbrella ready to shake at them in rage, in lieu of a cane…..

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Susan Wagner

Dr. Susan Wagner is a board certified veterinary neurologist whose pioneering work acknowledges the bioenergetic interaction between people and animals. She is an advocate for change in the area of interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, and works toward a greater understanding surrounding the health implications of the human-animal bond. Dr. Wagner is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Veterinary College, a Level IV Healing Touch for Animals practitioner and co-author of Through A Dog’s Ear.

138 comments

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8:56AM PDT on May 3, 2011

THANK YOU

8:38AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

She must have been loved by many, sad to have lost her life she was still too young,
I loved the story... thankyou.

1:07PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

I was engaged to Kristine. I came across this site while googling her writings. Thank you to Dr. Wagner for the nice tribute to Kristine. Thank you to all for the kind words about Kristine and her writing. She enjoyed writing about all kinds of animals in the vet hospital newsletter for many years.

An update for those who have asked about Sonnet Sonnet passed away about a year ago after a long happy life. Kristine had another cat named Cinnamon who is about five years old. Cinnamon as a new loving home with Kristine's mother where she is well looked after.

12:28PM PDT on Oct 9, 2010

I have never thought about it before, but it's very true that when someone gets a cat, they automatically become a "cat person" in everyone else's eyes. I am a huge Florida Gators fan, and I have told everyone that whenever they want to buy me a gift, you can't go wrong buying me something that has to do with the Gators. Nobody listens, but as soon as everyone thinks you are interested in something, you get over-loaded with it. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense!

6:15PM PDT on Sep 30, 2010

I am sorry to hear that she lost her battle. May she rest in peace.


I love that my family and friends give me cat stuff. They know not to give me pins and stuff. It has to be beautiful animals and hopefully useful somehow. I am grateful.

11:30PM PDT on Sep 24, 2010

good story.

5:41PM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

how true it is............but, but, but, I'm more than just the person who shares our home with feline friends, folks!
well....OK :) we do have a special relationship with the "sisters" here...and you know what they say, "dogs have masters, cats have staff."

9:29AM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

thank you

4:21AM PDT on Sep 11, 2010

Good reading, thanks.

12:26PM PDT on Sep 10, 2010

Thank you for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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