My Cat Spit McGee by Willie Morris

Willie Morris loved dogs and hated cats.  His love of dogs started with Skip, his boyhood dog.  He wrote about Skip in the book  “My Dog Skip” and a movie was made of the story.  All his life Willie had loved and lived with dogs.  When his last beloved dog died he said there would be no more dogs, he might get another wife, but not another dog.

He did not get another dog but he did get another wife, who was a cat woman.  So the cat hater now lives with a cat lover but no cat.  Their first Christmas together cat woman is given a starving kitten and thus begins the metamorphosis of a cat hater.  The kitten grows up and becomes the mama of Spit McGee.  The fact that Willie helps the new-born kitten take his first breaths of life, then three weeks later again saves his life, seals the deal on whether or not to keep Spit.

What follows is how Spit and Willie learn to accommodate each others schedules and habits, how they share interests and affection.  The cat remains a cat but the man changes from a sceptical cat owner to a devoted cat lover.  Willie learns about cats, their idiosyncracies and eccentricities, intellect and individuality, resilience and resourcefulness, and how they are not dogs.

Cat woman and Willie end up with several cats, all loved for who the are, but none quite like Spit McGee.  This is not just a story about a man and a cat.  It is about living and loyalty and loving and learning. It is about two lives and the friendship and daily pursuits they share.  That one is a man and the other is a cat shows how interdependent  all creatures are upon one another for fullness of life.

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