Friday, October 25, 2013


First there was Telzon. Now, there's Cowgirl.

Don't get me wrong, I like Telzon, but I think Cowgirl is pretty cool. She's feisty. She growls at the other cats when we feed them. As soon as the food hits the bowl, she's throwing her paw in the bowl to keep the other cats away - and well, growls at them.

It cracks me up.

Of course, not knowing cats very well, this could be an awful trait to have. But I think it's awesome. I see a mouse killer. A no nonsense attitude.

Please tell me if I am wrong and shouldn't love on this cat. Because she does let me pick her up and hold her and scratch her.

The kids and I did find some collars last week, so I tagged her and Telzon the next day. She didn't have a name until yesterday, when Genevieve tried to declare her as "her kitty." I asked her what she wanted to call her, and rather than coming up with a name like "Doody" or "Cat" or even "Kitty", she declared Cowboy.

Yes, Cowboy.

We think the cat is a girl cat, so I suggested we call her Cowgirl. Fortunately, she agreed.

The name really struck home with me. About two weeks ago, we lost a friend of ours, Jackie Koltz. It was very sudden and unexpected. I've known Jackie for about 23 years. She's celebrated high school and college graduations with me and came to our wedding. She was a chili cook, and cooked under the name Cowgirl Chili. She was full of personality. She was caring and very loving. She was feisty. She was just a great person to know. I will always remember learning how to do the "Achy Breaky Heart" dance with Jackie when I was a kid, and for her teaching me other line dances. I admired her for tackling an addiction and overcoming it. I loved her for accepting me into her extended family. She was part of my village as a kid. Her husband, Roger, an awesome man in his own right, was one of the people I was hoping to see last weekend when the migraine knocked me out.

While I was heartbroken when I found out Jackie died, last night, in my dreams, it really hit me. I suppose it's my own mental preparation for tomorrow, when we will be at a chili cook-off that she had been registered to compete in with Roger. In my dream, I got to the event, saw the Cowboy and Cowgirl chili set up and broke down crying with another set of our friends, the Bauers. I woke up with tears in my eyes, that's how real it was. Tomorrow morning will be intense for sure when I see Roger. It will no longer be Roger and Jackie, and that takes some real getting used to.

Our favorite Cowgirl - Jackie Koltz

When Genevieve suggested Cowboy out of nowhere, and I countered with Cowgirl, Jackie had immediately entered my mind. It may seem odd to name a cat in honor of a friend, but I know Jackie enjoyed her pets, and again, they are both feisty.

I'll miss you Jackie. You were one of a kind and taken too soon.

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