Column: Barack, the cat, comes to the rescue


Louise Swartzwalder Galion Inquirer Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Barack, the cat, does a little indoor landscaping in McZena.

Louise Swartzwalder Galion Inquirer Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Barack, the cat, does a little indoor landscaping in McZena.


McZENA – When spring weather starts to arrive, you get itchy to be outside, take care of plants, nourish things you might have brought inside.

I have fantastic lime green coleus plants in my kitchen.

I love coleus, because the colors you can get are amazing. You can take a slip from an old coleus plant, put it in water, and then it will root.

You pot it up.

And then? aAnother whole plant.

I was concerned about these two coleus plants, because one was getting a little leggy.

The other, I had cut back and would diligently try to start new plants.

I have a wonderful cat, who sometimes helps me when I have worries.

She is like all cats, who sometimes have needs for greens.

Her name is Barack.

My sisters laughed at me when I told them how I choose pet names. Husband John and I had always chosen names of people we admire: musicians, politicians (good and bad in both cases).

When my Barack arrived on my front porch, she was a kitten. I helpfully put out milk, but insisted she stay outside. Maybe she’d go away.

She, smarter than I, stayed.

To the vet she went, to be checked. The vet asked her name and I said: No clue.

Then, I conferred with my sisters. I told them I liked Ray (for Ray Charles). Sister Jane said oh, no, he’s not a good guy.

I said I thought he was a great musician

I said if you don’t like that we can go the political route. I said “Clinton.”

Jane again sighed. I told her husband John’s middle name was Clinton. She backed down a bit but said “just don’t name it Obama.”

Done, I responded.

At home, I tried names. Aretha, (for Aretha Franklin). Ray, Clinton.

No response.

Then I looked at her and said Barack.

She looked right back.

From the beginning, my very best friend.

This morning I got up, and fretted about my coleus plants. I could be the observant grower and go cut back that big, leggy coleus.

So much work.

Mornings are always the times I worry. You have so many things to do, and the start of days sometimes don’t do much to help you with your intentions.

I entertained a small hope.

I had seen beautiful Barack sometimes nourish herself by going around and nibbling on my indoor plants.

The coleus sits on my kitchen table.

She did her duty.

And I didn’t even ask.

The coleus plant was helpfully trimmed (and devoured) by Barack.

I’m sure her tummy feels better.

Louise Swartzwalder Galion Inquirer Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Barack, the cat, does a little indoor landscaping in McZena.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2019/05/web1_Louise-Swartzwalder-1.jpgLouise Swartzwalder Galion Inquirer Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Barack, the cat, does a little indoor landscaping in McZena.

https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2019/05/web1_Barack-the-Cat.jpg