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Molly the Cat | Mistress of shunning

By Linda Grist Cunningham, editor and proprietor

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.


Let’s get this on the record first: We like cats. Witness the five of our own — known locally as the Cat 5s — and the one or two foster kittens that have the run of the house on a semi-permanent schedule.

Aside: Why add foster kittens? Well, Michael, our 2-year-old baby and a classic foster-fail, needs friends. What better way than fosters who spend six weeks or so with us to create playmates? Plus those little ones are darn cute. OK, back to the purpose at hand.

Oops, one more thing: Really, you don’t like cats? Then don’t read on. You’ll just waste time better spent on, say, some goofy dog story.

Key West Island News

OK, back to the Cat 5s. Molly the Cat is the oldest of the pride and a supreme princess. She’s my cat; the other four are really Ed’s, so don’t be calling me the crazy cat lady. More like crazy Cat Dada.

Anyway, Molly’s mine. Most visitors to Casa Cunningham swear Molly doesn’t exist because the princess never deigns to make an appearance when strangers are around. (She still considers Ed a stranger although she’s known him for a dozen years.)

Can a cat shun you? Think not? I’m living with the Mistress of Cat Shunning.

Miss Molly is not a lap cat. She’s not a people cat. She’s not even a much fun cat. She wails the song of her people when I clip her nails. She protests in full voice when I pick her up, though, in fairness, she is limp as a dish rag. She headbutts with sound effects promptly at 7:23 a.m., when she’s ready for breakfast.

And, she jumps on the bed, snuggles into my side and around my neck each night to sleep. She doth protest when I roll over, but settles back in. Every night.

Until a month ago.

That’s when the vet said “you’ve got to apply this thyroid medication two times a day. Just rub it into her ear. Easy.”

Two clicks of the applicator, quick work; Molly didn’t even flinch. Well, I thought, this IS gonna be easy even if I do have to do it two times a day for the rest of her life.”

Not so much.

Second dose. Two clicks. And …. Molly flew off the chair and under the bed. Not before, however, giving me a green-eyed glance that brooked no misunderstanding. You will not, said that glance, get another chance.

I thought she was kidding. Bedtime rolled around. No Molly. I knew she was under the bed because I looked. She glared.

Five nights pass. No Molly though she did wander out regally to dine and litter. She glared disdainfully as she passed.

On night six, she’s at the edge of the bed — glaring. I say, OK, Molly the Cat. No more medicine. I promise. Please come to bed. She did. For exactly two minutes and disappeared again with another glare that said “I’ll show you.”

On night 10 she decided it was safe to take me at my “no more medicine” word and she snuggled in again though she was on guard. We went without medicine for another two weeks.

AND THEN CAT 5 DADA DID TWO CLICKS AND APPLIED THE MEDS TO HER EAR. She’s not happy, of course, but she’s getting her drugs.

Last night she snuggled in next to me, wrapped around my neck and cranked up the purr machine — and glared at Ed for two minutes. Fine with me and Molly. He’s the evil one.


  1. Lynnette La Marca Nelson

    I love this Molly Story! And she looks so much like our Zipper Joe – we had t0 say Good-Bye to Zippper on March 31, 2018 after 18 years. He was my husband’s buddy – and would tentatively venture a lap stay with me for only a few minutes maybe once a year when his favorite human buddy was gone for a couple days. We miss him and it melts my heart to see your Molly.

    • LGC KWIN

      Molly says “I’m glad I could make you smile. Wish I could have met Zipper!”

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