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A4 | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2016

THE GROVE SUN

grandlakenews.com

OPINION

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BITS & PIECES

BatCat
W

e own a cat.
It seems
weird
to type that. But the
Lawman and I are the
new parents (do I say
proud) of a young, black
male cat.
Its not that we were
looking for a cat. Lets
just say it found us and
moved in.
Heres how it went.
During the Nov. 8,
election, I spent much of
the day driving around
in the not-so-pleasant
weather, visiting election
polls.
I finished my day
parked in front of the
election office in Jay. By
the time the sheriff s race
was called, it was late.
So off to home and bed
I went.
The next day, I drove to
the office, went to lunch,
and drove home. I spent
little, if any time in my
car.
Sitting in my living
room that night
(Wednesday, Nov. 9),
I noticed the distinct,
pitiful howls of a cat. It
wasnt on the back porch,
and it wasnt on the front
porch. It was nowhere to
be found.
The Lawman thought
Id flown over the cuckoos nest. He was ready to
call the authorities I
was hearing things.
Then I went into the
garage.
My car was howling
or to be exact this
small bundle of black fur,
no bigger than a tuff of
fluff, was crying from the
front passenger wheel
well.
After conducting a
Facebook poll as the
Lawman calls it, we
placed a pie pan of tuna
and milk under the car.
The thought was, the cat
would emerge, eat and
we could rescue it.
Well, lets just say, this
cat had other plans. It did
emerge and eat then it
went back inside the car.
Needless to say, I
didnt drive to work the
next morning. Thanks
to a good friend I was
delivered to and from the
office.
In the meantime, the
Lawman procured a live
trap and placed it, with
fresh tuna, with my car.
That meant, by the
time I got home there
was this snarling, angry
kitten waiting to be let
out of the trap.
With friends (yes
another Facebook poll)
cautioning me from
opening the cage, I
placed the trap inside the
house so I could talk
to it and it could, well,
calm down.
Two hours later, the
Lawman found it in my
arms. As one friend put
it, once we opened the
cage, we were stuck.
I knew the cat had

KAYLEA M.
HUTSON-MILLER
found a home when the
next day, the Lawman
purchased a cat bed, food
dish and carrier and
took the cat to the vet for
a checkup.
I wanted to name the
cat something related to
the election since he
is the official #electioncat
of 2016. However, the
Lawman had other ideas.
Youve heard of husbands who fill out the
birth certificate of a child,
while the wife is passed
out? Well, the Lawman
filled out the cats birth
certificate aka forms
at the vet, passing over
my idea of Ballot for,
drumroll please....BatCat.
Thats right, my
Batman-loving husband
has a sidekick. BatCat has
come to stay.
So weve learned a lot
about cats, especially
young kittens, in the last
month. Weve learned
which cat foods hell eat,
and which ones he turns
up his nose.
Weve also learned
that it likes baloney, the
breading off of a corn
dog, and well, anything
else the Lawman feeds it.
And speaking of feeding, weve also learned
that it has the personality similar to a mogwai.
Sweet gentle and fun
loving that can turn into
a gremlin if fed, well, late
at night.
Weve discovered the
sweet, cuddly kitten
turns into a bundle of
unbridled energy after
being cooped up in the
cat room while we are
at work. It runs in giant
circles from the bedroom to the living room
non-stop.
It likes to pounce on
feet, and while were
working to teach it manners, has used my hands
as a scratching post. He
also likes to sit on my
shoulder and groom my
ponytail.
Life with BatCat is
certainly not boring.
Our family has grown to
include Opie (his dog);
Muzzy (his tarantula)
and now BatCat.
So, we own a cat. For
those who have asked,
no RobinCat is not in the
future, in any shape or
form. One superhero cat
is plenty for this editor.
Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller
is the managing editor of
The Grove Sun. Have an
idea for a column or story?
She can be reached at
khutson@grovesun.com or
918-786-2228.

SHES GOOD TO GO

Where did they go?


I

had a black lab once,


her name was Ebony.
(I know, clever.) This
was back in my poor college student days, and we
could hardly afford to feed
ourselves, we had no business owning a dog.
Labradors are big dogs
with big appetites, especially when they arent
eating their fill every meal.
(I know, this is going to
make my pet friends sad
to hear this, but we were
young, and broke, and
thats all Ive got to offer as
far as an excuse.)
Ebony would meet us at
the car and look to see if
we had a sack of dog food.
If we didnt she would sulk
a bit. I got where I hated to
make eye-contact with the
pooch.
One day, I met a neighbor that lived a few doors
down. She asked me if I
had any idea that they had
been feeding my dog. I was
confused; I looked over in
the dogs pen and back at
the neighbor and asked for
clarification.
She went on to explain
that when our cars left the
driveway, Ebony would
leap the fence and call on

the neighbors. I guess it


was a bit like trick or treating, because they came
up with treats and Ebony
caught on quick to this
trick.
If that wasnt humiliating enough, neighbor said,
Oh, it gets better! This
week she came to our door
with her dog dish in her
mouth. Dropped it right
there on the porch and
barked for us to come out.
Eek.
I had neglected something and it had gone
elsewhere.
I was reminded of this
story this week as I played
hometown tourist and took
in some local attractions. I
went to Har-Ber Village for
the lights on Main Street.
I was surprised there
werent many people when
I was there. There werent
as many decorations as I
remember from the past
couple of years. I learned
that this would be the last
year for this event.
I stood on the side of the
street to cheer on the local
Christmas Parade. Theres
nothing like a hometown,
small town parade with all
the kids piled on the flat

bed trailers!
This years parade
was well represented by
churches and fire trucks.
Nothing wrong with that,
but it seemed that there
were business floats missing from the regular lineup,
organizations that were
that absent, and we were
a half a dozen marching
bands short.
Maybe it was the wintery,
Christmas-like temperatures that kept some folks
from participating in these
local hometown activities.
It could be that there were
too many celebrations
going on for people to support everything.
It might even be that
locals dont support hometown attractions. And Ive
learned from experience, if
you dont take care of what
is in your backyard, there
may be a day when we discovered our pet has taken
its dish to the neighbor to
get fed.
We dont want to lose
these small town opportunities! We cant starve them
out and expect them to be
there when WE want them
to be available.
Our little community has

PATTI BETH
ANDERSON
seen attractions and events
come and go through the
years, the going often
times can be blamed on
poor attendance, lack of
participation, and perhaps
just plain ol apathy on the
part of us locals.
If we dont feed these
things, then we cant be
mad or sad when they
jump the fence and go
somewhere else.
Patti Beth Anderson has more
than 20 years of experience
in the group travel industry
taking people all over the
world. Her motto is I return
with the same number of
people I left with not necessarily the same people, but the
same number nevertheless. So
no crankpots allowed She
may be reached at 918-7863318 or pb@goodtogowithpb.
com.

MULLIN IT OVER

Bringing medicine into the


21st century for Oklahoma
A

cross Oklahoma
and the rest of the
country, medical
innovation has lagged over
the past few decades.
Last week, Congress
came together to pass legislation to reverse that trend.
With the passage of the
21st Century Cures Act, the
medical field will receive a
major shot in the arm.
First and foremost, this
bill will save lives. It speeds
up production of life-saving
drugs to fight diseases like
Alzheimers, cancer, and
a number of other rare
diseases.
It removes bureaucracy
within the Food and Drug
Administration to help
speed up the production of
medications that thousands
of Americans are waiting
for to survive.
It also boosts funds to
the National Institutes of
Health to ensure America
continues to lead the world
in medical innovation. All
of these funds are matches

with dollar-for-dollar cuts


and increases in revenue.
21st Century Cures
tackles another major
issue facing Oklahomans:
mental health. The package includes Rep. Tim
Murphys H.R. 2646, the
Helping Families in Mental
Health Crisis Act.
I was a co-sponsor of the
original version of this bill,
and I voted in support of
it in the House earlier this
year. It will improve the
availability of mental health
care and authorizes grants
to prevent adult suicide in
tribal communities across
the country.
These tribal communities often exist in very rural
communities and not only
lack resources because they
are rural, but lack resources
because of inequities in
the Indian Health Service.
Sadly, suicide rates are
disproportionately higher
among American Indians
and Alaska Natives.
Much needed assistance

is also included to fight the


growing opioid epidemic.
Our district contains two
of the top five counties in
the state for unintentional
painkiller overdoses.
This bill provides a funding path for everything
from treatment to criminal
justice reform, to overdose
reversal and recovery.
Another major win
for Oklahoma, this bill
provides a path for funding
for the opioid bills that we
passed earlier in the year,
like an amendment we
wrote that makes sure that
the Attorney General takes
into account the needs of
Native American and rural
communities when awarding grants to combat opioid
addiction.
Overall, this bill delivers
major wins for rural America. It will help make sure
that small town hospitals
and clinics can keep their
doors open for business.
It ensures that even
though someone lives

MARKWAYNE MULLIN
STATE REP.

outside of the city limits,


they can still get access to
the medical equipment
they need, like oxygen and
CPAP machines.
I am proud to have supported this bill, and I look
forward to working on
other ways to improve the
access to medical care for
eastern Oklahoma.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin
(R-Okla.) represents the second
district in the U.S. House
of Representatives. He can
be reached through http://
mullin.house.gov, and at 3109
Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee,
OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or
202-225-2701