R.S. Williams

All I want is to get the words right.

Tag: Caturday (page 2 of 2)

Caturday: 10/22/16


“Caturday Gray”
LaGrange, Georgia – 15 August 2016
Model: Zora

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)


Caturday: 10/15/16


“The Eastern Gray-Striped Possum-Tailed Butterball, in Its Natural Laundry Basket Habitat”
Model: Buddy
LaGrange, Georgia – June 2015

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Caturday: 10/8/16


“Orange You Glad It’s Caturday?”
Model: Fly (full name Anthony Francis Xavier Superfly Knoppe)
Denver, Colorado – 3 August 2014

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Three Ears in the Window


LaGrange, Georgia – 17 May 2015

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From Nooz, Our HR Director


Happy Caturday, Remote Staff:

Tennessee “Nooz” Williams, here.

If you follow R.S. Williams’ social media feed, you’ve seen my photo in many Caturday features. Why, yes: I am part-Siamese, thank you. And yes, I am beautiful.

What you may not know, however, is that I’m also Human Resources Director here at the Happy Kitten Cottage. As HR Director, my duties include informing employees when they’re not meeting expectations, and working with them to improve their performance through a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). And boy, have I got a doozie of an employee for you today.

This employee is so awful that I’m breaking confidentiality rules and making this HR complaint public. Pep talks, sabbaticals, extra time on projects, second and third and 47th chances, dire PIPs—nothing I’ve done has helped. I’m hoping that my broadcasting this complaint to the world will at least shame her into improving. Bastet knows nothing else has.

My hope is that she’s not irredeemable. When she’s on point, her contributions to the team are invaluable. When she’s skewing off course, well, that’s when things get complicated.


Date of filing the HR complaint form: 20 September 2016
HR Complaint Form Number: 2016-073-10-00
Full name of the person filing the complaint: Tennessee “Nooz” Williams
Signature of the person filing the complaint: see scanned form
Proof of Identification: on file
Date of birth: on file

Employee status of the person in the organization/institute: Human Resources Director
Nature of the complaint made: Professional
Name of the person against whom the complaint is made: R.S. Williams, VP Creative Operations

The main points of the allegation:

  1. Lack of work production noticed over the past three months. Employee’s time appears to be spent mostly with dogs (!), surfing Pinterest, or playing guitar. When questioned about these actions, employee states that this is the only way she can “get to the Ryman.”
  2. Employee behavior has become more eccentric. Empty bottles of Belle Meade bourbon have been found scattered around employee’s work space, and employee appears to be impaired during work hours. When questioned about wearing a tank top with a chintz robe and diamonds, employee replied, “I woke up like this.”

The effect on the person filing the complaint:

  • Staff is awakened at all hours of the day and night with employee’s behavior. Lack of creative work produced directly decreases revenue and increases catnip use among staff.

Any other relevant information:

  • Employee has received paints and canvases from sister company in Colorado and has not yet experimented with them.

Signature of the authority with official seal: see scanned form

At this point, I can’t say whether I’m going to fire R.S. Williams. Yeah, she’s doing a crappy job of writing and taking photos these days, but she’s also my, uh, Mama. She took me in four years ago, when some neighborhood kids brought me to her door. I was just eight weeks old, bony, and surviving on squished birds I found in the middle of Clark Street.

And even if she’s not making as much art as I think she should be—and she should be—she’s still the one who scoops my litter box and puts food in my bowl. I tell ya, it’s hell being the head of HR in this place. You get to know your employees, and you grow to love them, and then you feel awful for thinking about firing them when they might really, really need it.

Anyhow, if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to contribute to Happy Kitten Cottage upkeep, please visit R.S.’s PayPal link. Be sure to include a note telling her to sober up, put down that guitar, coordinate her damn outfit for once, and get to churning out the good stuff.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Hope your Caturday is a great one.

Tennessee “Nooz” Williams

P.S. If you go to the PayPal link and include a note with your contribution, DO NOT tell her I sent you. She’ll know something’s up, for sure, and then I’ll have to put her on another PIP.

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

NOTE: HR report template from Sample Forms


This May Not End Well


Featured: Smokey (in chair) and Martha Ann
LaGrange, Georgia – 2 June 2009

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Joy, to the World


NOTE: This is a slightly edited re-post from 12 May 2015.

On a hard-freezing December night nearly seventeen years ago, Paw-Paw, Grandmommy, and I rescued you from a drug dealer’s porch. Barely eight weeks old, flea-bitten, and bony, you still had a meow we could hear a hundred yards away. That’s how we figured out where you were, and how badly those people had been treating you. I stuffed you into my winter coat as we ran to the car—whew. A clean getaway. The entire drive home, we enjoyed the 20-pound purr coming from your two-pound body.

You never did get much bigger than that. At your tubbiest, you weighed eight pounds. What you lacked in size, though, you made up for in attitude. For years, I thought the older cats were beating you up. Then, one summer afternoon, I walked into the den just in time to see you wa-babababababababa-BOWWWW!!! light up poor elderly Graya’s head, then fall over with a finesse that not even the 1989 Detroit Pistons—those masters of floppy Game 7 double-overtime fouls—could ever have imagined.

I know, I know: she was bogarting your ‘nip. Whatever, cat. I couldn’t help laughing as Graya finished what you had started. After that, though, you settled down and became everyone’s sweetheart.

When people came to visit us, you ended up their favorite cat. If someone made a lap, you were in it, purring and head-butting their hands, your huge green eyes convincing them to pet you non-stop for the next three hours. As Aunt Val says, “Joy sets the bar pretty high for lap kitties.” She’s right.

For most of your life, you slept right next to my head. The only time you’d leave your spot was around 3:42 a.m. That’s when you paced from kitchen to bedroom and back, again and again, all meow-meow-meow-Mama-look-what-I-hunted-and-killed-for-you. In your mouth, you’d have a toy mouse. Or a jingle ball. Or a Beanie Baby. Or a dirty sock. I was so sleepy, but you were so proud.

Today, I lay your rumpled, frail body on the exam table and thought of all this. Somehow, even as sick as you were, you turned your wobbly head in the direction of my sobs—though your eyes no longer worked, you could hear my sorrow. I wept anew thinking of all the times when, crying and out of options, I looked over and saw you next to me, one paw tapping my arm as if to ask, “What’s wrong? Can I help?” And, climbing into my lap and purring yourself into a tight gray-striped ball, you did help. Always, and without fail.

Thank you, sweet Joy, for being my companion for the last 15½ years. I miss you already. But, Bastet willing, one day I will see you again—on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.


© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)


Lusee, Our Fluffy Girl


Lusee had the sweetest little face to match her fluffy five-pound body. Her personality, however, was not so sweet. Mom was the only person she liked. Everyone else could take a flying leap.

“Lusee’s a one-person kitty, that’s all,” Mom would say. “And she’s my kitty.”
No disagreement there.

This shot turned out unexpectedly well. Lusee had been snoozing away Easter Sunday afternoon in the top compartment of the outdoor kitty condo when the click of the shutter awakened her. She stared at me for a little while, acted as if she wanted me to pet her, and then lay back down in her cabana after calling for the pool boy to fetch her another daiquiri.

Lusee showed up at Mom’s house around Thanksgiving  12 years ago, half-starved and dirty. Mom brought her indoors and cleaned her up. Steve, my stepdad, fell in love with the sassy, tiny, full-grown cat. Strangely, none of the other cats took exception to the interloper. Lusee blended perfectly into the family. Well, just as long as nobody gave her any trouble. She was small, yet also the enforcer among all my mother’s pets.

We think coyotes killed her late one night in 2013. All my stepfather found was a pile of white and calico fur in the middle of the front yard. He still can’t talk about it.

We miss Lusee every day.

Photo: “Lusee, Our Fluffy Girl” (Heard County, Georgia – 8 April 2012)

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Little Lola Comes Home


Heard County, Georgia – 26 September 2015

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Fly, with Cat Tree and Painting


My sister’s huge orange cat is named Superfly. We call him Fly. Behind him stands part of Fire & Rain II, Val’s 2001 painting.

Denver, Colorado – 10 November 2015

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A Tail for a Halloween Caturday


My house was built in 1915 as one of many in the Hillside “mill village.” While I’ve called this house home since 1999, many other people have lived here over the last century. Some have never left.

In 2013, my family and I began remodeling what is now my den/home office. We removed the faux Queen Anne-style “wood beams” from the ceiling, gave the smoke-stained paneling half a dozen coats of fresh paint, and pulled up the mildewed 1970s carpet and the 1950s particleboard beneath it. We were sad to discover that, probably in the 1930s, the original red oak floor had been covered with 9” linoleum squares (a common size for that time). But at least we were making that room more pleasant to be in. I’d wanted to return the Happy Kitten Cottage to as close to its original layout and function as possible, and it was getting there a little at a time.

That’s when the smell showed up.

A week or so after we’d finished, I noticed the strong smell of butter in the den—and only in there. It smelled as if someone were melting three or four sticks of butter for a day of baking, or even for a huge batch of popcorn. A very comforting scent, for sure. It would linger for several hours, then go away, and then return a day or two later. The problem: I was not cooking anything.

It occurred to me that my neighbor makes her legendary cornbread with a whole stick of butter, rather than oil or shortening. But the delicious smell happened while Ernestine (not her real name) was at work, or at church, or out fishing on Saturday morning. Add to this the fact that her kitchen, on the north side of her house, is at least 80 feet from my den, which is on the south side of my house, and—well. That’s just creepy.

I mentioned the butter smell to Mom. She and my stepfather had spent several days tearing out the den floor while I was out of town. “Haven’t smelled any butter,” she said, “but the whole time we were working in the den, I felt like somebody was watching us. Someone was there with us. Not the cats—that’s different. A person.”

She added that the presence didn’t feel hostile. “It felt happy, like it was excited to see us taking out the nasty carpet and particleboard and cleaning up the linoleum floor.” Mom also reminded me that, in the house’s original four-room layout, the room next to the den was the kitchen. “Maybe it’s happy that the house is back like it remembers. Maybe it’s glad to see us—you know, welcoming us with something good to eat. Old-school Southern hospitality.”

Since then, I’ve smelled the strong butter smell every few months for a few days in a row. It doesn’t bother me. I look forward to it, and smile when I catch a whiff of it now and then. But there are other strange happenings. Tools too heavy and bulky for the cats to pick up somehow migrate from the toolbox in the old kitchen to other parts of the house. A box of drywall screws on an end table in the living room. A 22-ounce framing hammer set next to the bathroom sink. A 100-foot metal tape measure by the front door. A plastic case full of drill bits in the middle of the cooktop.

Last Friday, I had a doctor’s appointment and several errands to run. I left Hank, my sweet, sickly new kitten, out to roam the house while I was away. At that point, he had been here only three days. But the bigger cats already enjoyed playing with him, and were amazingly gentle with this little fellow who’s not even one-eighth their size.

When I left home, Hank was in the den, purring and snuggled in a sunbeam by the hearth. When I returned a couple hours later, he was sitting in almost the same place—but inside this wire basket. Funny, because when I departed, that wire basket sat eight feet away. On the other side of the room.

So the ghosts in my house are happy to see these familiar, sensible changes in my (our?) home. They encourage remodeling. And they love little Hank. You can’t get much more Halloween Caturday than that.

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)


Saint Clark of the Kitchen Floor


LaGrange, Georgia – 29 June 2015

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Not Another Dog in the Floor!


LaGrange, Georgia – 8 August 2015

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Orange You Glad It’s Caturday?


Denver, Colorado – 3 August 2014

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Three Ears in the Window


LaGrange, Georgia – 17 May 2015

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What Was THAT?


LaGrange, Georgia – 18 April 2015

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Honest Oliver

2014-12-12 14.54.27

Heard County, Georgia – 27 November 2014

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Ella at Sunset

2014-11-28 18.33.41

LaGrange, Georgia – 25 November 2014

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Wednesday Photo: 8/6/14

2014-07-05 15.21.43 HDR

Davy, Snoozing
LaGrange, Georgia – July 2014


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