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…..