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Recognizing the fine felines of fall

Karen Wils photo Kitties and cooler weather go together like winter and hot chocolate. Here we have Topaz, one of the Wils family cats.

ESCANABA — When frost is in the forecast and the oak’s leaves are turning leathery and brown, it’s time to come in around the woodstove and purr with delight.

Cats know how to be cozy, especially on cool autumn nights.

An orange pumpkin and a sleek black feline are picture perfect together.

Halloween cats may look like witch’s friends, but they have no more bad luck or magic than a white cat.

Is a house really a home without a striped, spoiled, green-eyed tabby sprawled out on the braided rug?

How could you enjoy a good book in your favorite rocking chair without a kitty curled up on your lap?

How could you get through morning chores, making coffee, fixing your hair, and starting breakfast without a fluffy cat following you around?

Cats are great companions, as well as very helpful animals to mankind and womankind.

My husband grew up on a farm, where barn cats freely roamed the hayloft and fields.

When we were married only a few weeks, I asked my husband if he liked cats. “Oh, sure,” he said, “as long as they stay outside.”

That’s when I explained to him that besides great mouse catchers, cats were great company to have in the house.

One of the nice things about owning a cat is that you can talk to yourself in any room at any time. When your husband asks, “Hey honey, who you are talking to in there?” you can always say “I’m talking to the cat.”

The role of the domestic cat has changed some over the years. In ancient Egypt, cats were considered sacred. Artwork from ancient Rome features cats as valuable mousers and hunters.

In the Middle Ages, cats were associated with magic and witchcraft. When there was a lack of cats, things like the bubonic plague or “black death” spread quickly.

When there was a good supply of cats in an area killing the disease-spreading rats and mice, people stayed healthier.

In Michigan’s early days, cats were always welcomed around the homestead and lumber camps.

Today there are more pet cats than dogs in the United States. Cats can be comfortable in tiny apartments, huge mansions, nursing homes or a backwoods barn.

When icy raindrops hit the window, there’s no place like home, a favorite sweatshirt, and a hot cup of coffee with a cuddly cat.

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Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.

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