Permissible Missy

Judith Issette

© Copyright 2002 by Judith Issette

Photo of Missy and her kittens.

I wrote the story for my son because he loved the cat so. It tells 
of an incredibly ugly cat that came up to our old farm house in 
the country and how all the neighboring toms came to see her 
because she loved to tease them.

"Meow, Meow, come see me,"

Said a permissible Missy

When she would see.

Those tom cats roaming

And looking to see

If permissible Missy

Was out to tease.


Although, her looks

Left something to desire,

Those tom cats roaming

Thought she was fine.

She danced and teased

For all mates to see,

And they came running

with the greatest of ease.


She loved her men,

It was plain to see.

Since she needed them

For the babes to be.

So many were born

And she was so proud.

They were of each color

And ever so loud.


She hunted and fed them

Like no other sweet mom.

She bathed and watched them

With so much caring and love.

Such a good mother

Was that little gray cat.


Her days were filled

And her fate was sealed.

 For her love of motherhood

Would eventually take

The life of a mother

And a little sweet cat.


Heaven has called her

Home to be,

The little gray cat

That loved to tease.

She flicks her tail now

And meows to say,

"I'm permissible Missy.

Do you want to play?"

I remember when we first moved to the country. We had found a little farmhouse on about four acres, and it was like paradise when compared to the crowded neighborhood we had come from. The houses were so close you could see into each other's windows, and I know everyone had at least four cars each. Multiply and be fruitful was no problem either, for each couple had at least two to five kids. If you drove down our street, all you could see were cars and kids. It was like a three ring circus all the time.

Being out in the country was an extraordinary experience for us. There was not a house in sight, and all you could hear were the birds singing. It was Heaven to us city folks. We settled into our little house and started planning all the things we wanted to do as country folk now. The first item on the list was selecting a spot for a garden and getting it ready to plant. This was not a simple chore, since neither of us knew anything about planting a garden. However, books are a great help in learning about gardening and we tackled it with great enthusiasm.

After a few weeks of settling in, I began to see that city people had no manners and compassion for country folk because they would drive by our place and dump out their unwanted animals. There was an endless parade of cats coming up my driveway all the time. I went down to look at my mailbox to see if it had "animal lover" written on the outside, for surely these people picked our house every time to dispose of their animals.

Well, I couldn't let them starve! So within a few months, I had about twenty cats lying around my garage. I loved animals, but this was just too much. I hated to do so, but something had to give. I had to spread the cheer around. I knew if I took them to the animal shelter they would just put them to sleep, so I decided the most humane act to do was to take a few to each little rural town, and drop them out in a nice neighborhood. Hey, I'm not proud of that, but what could a person do with twenty cats. Each day, I would pick up a few cats and carry them to a neighboring town. There were lots of little one-stop towns around, so that wasn't a problem. Within a couple of weeks, I had disposed of all my cats, but one.

Of all the cats I had, she was probably the ugliest of them all, and I was sure nobody in their right mind would want her. Being the softie that I was, I let her stay. Besides that, my youngest son had taken a fancy to her. He picked out the name of Missy for her, and we would later find out that she lived up to her name. She was certainly "Permissible Missy."

I was hard pressed to find anything pretty about Missy. She was obviously the runt of the litter and always looked like she was starving to death. You could see her bones sticking out at all times. Her breed was Brennel looking, which were known for their gray stripes and white coloring. Even her fur was ugly. It was thin and laid to her body like she had been oiled down, or fell in a grease bucket. It was never thick and fluffy like most cats. And to make matters worse, she had these enormous yellow-green eyes that looked mad all the time. Nevertheless, my son adored her, and she became a part of our family.

As Missy grew up, she was a good cat. She had a sweet disposition and she really couldn't help that she had no looks to speak of. She and my son became inseparable in the next weeks. It was lonely out on a farm for a child sometimes, and Missy filled that void of not having playmates around all the time. She would follow my son everywhere he went, and loved his attention.

Missy was a good cat, but I had just one complaint. She loved the men around the neighborhood. When the toms would come a calling, she was more than willing to receive them. I couldn't believe they would even be interested with her homely looks, but she could entice them every time.

This was a real problem for Missy and me. I think she really loved being pregnant all the time. However, it was always a nightmare for me, for I had to try and find homes for her kittens all the time. I just had so many friends and relatives, and I had just about exhausted that avenue.

I know, I know, some are asking about now why I didn't get her fixed. The truth be known, I didn't think we could afford it. It was hard times then, and we were doing good to take care of the children. Of course, I was unaware that I might have been able to get her fixed free, but I had no knowledge of such options then. So, Miss Missy continued to have babies.

I remember the first batch of kittens she had. She was a terribly mother that first time due to her inexperience. We had fixed her a box in the house when her time got near, but she decided the closet was the best place to birth. When I found her, she had already had one, and had not even torn the sac off it. Of course, the baby had suffocated and she had laid it over to the side. When she had her second one, I tore the sac off, and it was okay. I had never seen kittens born, so this was the first experience for her, the kids and me.

Out of three kittens, only the one lived and she wouldn't take care of it. She wouldn't feed it, or even try to comfort it. I was so mad at her because I was the one that had to stay up all night listening to that hungry kitten crying. I tried to give it some milk, but it was not the same as the tender loving care that it's mama could give it. When the morning came, persnickety Missy decided she would take her kitten, and after that she was a perfect mom. I was soon to find out that this litter was the first of many because now, Missy had gotten the hang of being a mom. A skill I had rather she had remained ignorant about.

Nonetheless, and to my dismay, she had many litters. She was a great hunter when it came to feeding her kittens. It was amazing how she could run down a full-grown rabbit and kill it. I would see her dragging that rabbit up to the house and it was almost twice the size of her. Her kittens never went hungry for sure. She brought home everything imaginable for them to eat. Snakes, squirrels and rats were just a few of the items she offered in her daily cuisine for her family.

Missy was a good mother, but she was also a child spoiler. She wouldn't ever wean her kittens, and she would let them nurse when they were much too big. They would nurse on her, until sometimes, I thought she was going to die of malnutrition. She looked like skin and bones all the time, no matter how much I tried to feed her.

When I look back over those times, I know now that I should have done something to stop her from having so many litters, but I was young and unthinking at the time. After about four litters, my husband and I decided we couldn't keep dealing with her pregnancies. We decided to take her over to a neighboring town and drop her off. We knew she would have no problems surviving because of her ability to hunt. She would never go hungry for sure.

Well, the day came and my husband put Missy in the car and away they went. When my son looked for Missy, we told him she was probably out hunting and would be back in her own good time. Well, she was back all right. In about three days, I looked out the window one day and saw her walking up our drive. I couldn't believe it. This cat was unreal. She had found her way home by some miracle. How in the world could this cat have walked twenty miles and found her way back?

After that, there was no question anymore of whether Missy had a home with us. We decided if she loved us that much, then she could certainly stay. My son never knew that we had taken her off. He thought she had just been out catting around. Of course, he was delighted that she was home again and they went off to play.

Missy lived out her life on our farm. She finally got too old to have more litters, but the toms still came around, and she would still tease them. I must say that lady must have had some sex appeal because the toms were always "bee lining" it over to our place when they felt frisky.

One cold morning, my son ran in crying his eyes out. Poor little Missy was lying out in the garage dead. She had finally succumbed to her old age and was gone. My son took her death hard, but we all had good memories of that little ugly cat. Even though she could be a pain, she was a faithful companion and friend to my son. She never asked for much in return. Just a pat on the head, or a rub on the tummy was all she required.

I know my son will always remember his little friend and I wrote this story mostly for him. She was beautiful to him and he loved her. I guess we all loved that little cat in the end. She won our hearts with her faithfulness and love, and will remain in our hearts forever. She will always be "Permissible Missy" and will be remembered with much love.

We loved you, Missy, and thanks for being a part of our life!

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