a case of mistaken identity

We all make mistakes, and here’s one of mine.

This is the cat formerly known as Bully Cat.

When Carport Kitty (may she rest in peace) first started hanging around in our carport more than a year ago, a larger comparatively healthy looking gray cat which I now know is a type of Tabby attacked the smaller frail Calico we named CPK when she walked toward her food bowl one afternoon. I then jumped to the conclusion that the larger gray cat was malicious so I named this interloper Bully Cat. Later on I found it strange that CPK always left Bully Cat some of her food – she seemed to be friends with this cat I chased off every time I caught him lingering over her food bowl. And when I say chased off, I’m not talking about chasing in a nice way.

How could Bully Cat be mean if CPK liked him?

Regardless of my high drama trying to scare him away, the Bully Cat stayed close to CPK for as long as she lived. Since her death five weeks ago, Bully Cat and another CPK amigo I dubbed Tuxedo Cat have wandered through our carport periodically. I told Pretty they were grieving for her, but turns out they were interested in the reliable food chain that once belonged to Carport Kitty.

No one will be surprised I put out a small amount of kibble in the morning for Tuxedo Cat when she triggered our security lights the way CPK used to do. Sigh. I miss that little creature every day.

Tux usually shares with Bully Cat like Carport Kitty used to do.

This morning, however, I looked out my kitchen door and saw the Bully Cat hissing at Tux, his back arched for battle, teeth bared. What in the world had gotten into him? And then I saw it: a pink rhinestone infused collar around his/her thick neck. A light bulb went off in my tiny brain that I had just seen Bully Cat sharing a morning meal with Tux in our carport. No sign of a pink rhinestone collar five minutes before.

The only explanation I could think of when I told Pretty the story was the Bully Cat I had berated for months was really Carport Kitty’s friend – there was a mean Tabby in our neighborhood, but it wasn’t him. I felt awful for my mistake, my unwillingness to change my original judgment which was a simple case of mistaken identity. (Bully Cat has been renamed Belli Cat by Pretty, same initials BC.)

No one lives to be seventy-six years old without making blunders, but this one was a doozy. I have no excuses, but I hope I’ve been reminded of a valuable lesson about looking twice before I jump to judgment…sometimes our mistakes have a ripple effect that hurts the innocent.

If we’re lucky, we get a second chance.


Today is the 1st day of December. Pretty and I want to share a miraculous Christmas cactus we somehow managed not to kill in the five months since she brought it home from one of her treasure hunts. Enjoy.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to a case of mistaken identity

  1. They are keeping you on your feet Sheila 😀 Do you think it’s on purpose? Will there be a different BC every day? 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob says:

    Of course we also have Tuxedo, or as I call him, The Great Tuxedo.
    I think it sweet that CPK’s buddies are keeping the tradition alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Luanne says:

    First of all, that Christmas cactus is really something!!
    Then, I loved reading the high drama of your kitty carport. It sounds like there are strays mixing in with actual residents of your neighborhood? It must be very confusing! Belli cat is a pretty name. And, yes, there are a lot of near-lookalikes in the cat world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wayside Artist says:

    I think the Great Cat Goddess understands good intentions and forgives an occasional affront to feline superiority. She has, after all, presented a path to further knowledge, which you took and compassion which you couldn’t help but indulge. Three cats are enjoying your cafeteria. As The Tao of Meow tells us: It all comes out in the whisker wash.

    (That Christmas cactus is outta sight!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Tao of Meow – I am laughing and hoping it all comes out in the whisker wash! I am happy to have a second chance with these Friends of CPK.
      If you knew our history of plant issues, you would be even more stunned with the Christmas cactus survivor!

      Liked by 1 person

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