Author Deborah Elliott-Upton’s Cat Tales

You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals. ~George Mikes

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. ~Ellen Perry Berkeley

You can’t own a cat. The best you can do is be partners. ~Sir Harry Swanson

I found the above quotes to backup my next claim, which most cat owners will agree with: We don’t choose cats, they choose us. But did you know some cats are so powerful they can convert non-cat people to cat people?

Deborah Elliott-Upton is proof. She never intended to own cats –much less be owned by some. As she put it when I contacted her about an interview: “I am but their court jester.”

From the sounds of what else I learned, she’s not kidding!

Courtney Mroch: What kind of cats do you have? Names? Ages?

Deborah Elliott-Upton: We are now owned by two cats. One black Bombay female is strictly an indoors feline named Ursula. She’s 13 and every bit the teenager. She is originally from Harlem in New York and has been royally street smart from the beginning. Lucky is our outside cat. A Himalayan with amazing sky-blue eyes showed up on our doorstep one spring day a couple of years ago. We tried to find his owner through his tags, but the house the vet directed us to was empty. The neighbors had no idea where the old man who had owned Lucky went. The vet told us Lucky’s name and assured us he was healthy. The thing is Lucky had somehow traveled about thirty miles to our home from where he’d lived. The vet said he’s about 3 years old. He has a definite swagger and this is funny: when he walks down our sidewalk other cats fall in behind him, like he’s The Fonz.

CM: You mentioned you were a previous outside-only dog owner. Do you still have a dog in addition to your cats?

DEU: After our last dog passed away, we decided not to have any other animals. Then, when our daughter moved back home from New York City where she went to school, she brought Ursula with her.

CM: Did you always have cats?

DEU: We’d never had cats, never liked cats, never wanted an inside animal, but here we are, perfectly content with this little creature who rules our home. We’ve become smitten.

CM: What’s this about some crazy noises in your house?

DEU: Ursula — who is a dainty, girlie cat — sometimes for no apparent reason races at top speed through the house and then stops on a dime. The sound is loud, more like stampeding cattle than a tiny cat running.

CM: Do your cats interfere with your writing time as much as mine do?

DEU: Ursula is usually happy to sit in a chair beside me while I type. Of course, she’s almost always ready for an extra snooze. Perhaps she likes the clickety-clack of the keyboard, but it seems she’s happy to be wherever I am. She doesn’t like me to read though. If I have a book in my hands, she’s always trying to sit on the pages so I have to pay attention to her.

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