Preview of Coming Attractions
Over the next several months, I will be traveling across the country in search of cat stories, visiting innovative cat rescues and shelters, interviewing eccentric cat lovers, leading vets and behaviorists and so much more. To view my travel schedule and learn more about my Cat Behaviorist business, please visit http://www.thecatbehaviorist.com/ . If I will be in your area and you feel you have some interesting cat stories to share, please don't hesistate to contact me via my website.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Court House Cat: Judge Muriel Robinson & I.C.
“If I grant you visitation, are you prepared to pay cat support?” Judge Muriel Robinson has been known to ask divorcing couples feuding over custody of their cat. “It’s a legitimate question, there are expenses associated with caring for a cat. I love cats, I always have. And I always look after the interests of cats that come through my courtroom.” The quintessence of a genteel southern lady, Judge Robinson comes from a well-established Tennessee family. Her father was a long-time Sheriff of Davidson County. Her current husband is the retired newspaper mogul, Irby Simpkins (of The Nashville Banner.)
Six years ago, a tiny ginger tabby crawled up a long driveway and clung to the brick façade of a Tennessee home in the midst of a torrential rain storm. His faint mews were just audible enough to facilitate his rescue. Little did this stray kitten know that he had chosen the home of Judge Muriel Robinson’s sister, a decision that would catapult him into Tennessee High Society. Irby and Muriel adopted the adorable orange waif and named him after Irby’s father, affectionately referring to him as I.C.
During his first two years, I.C. accompanied the Judge to the Nashville Court House regularly. He set up camp in her chambers and spent his days micromanaging the file clerks and protecting important documents (by sleeping on them.) Unfortunately, his legal career ended when he crossed paths with an unsuspecting (and rather biased) Jury that somehow confused his lithe beauty with an over-sized rat. The verdict was in—and I.C. was out…
As ever, this cat landed nimbly on his toes (according to the Judge, who has adorned her apartment with expensive crystal and antiques, “He weaves his way around the crystal, you see how lightly he walks? He doesn’t breaks anything. The maid and I have broken more things than he has. He is really a very good cat.”) I.C. has retired to a life of cosseting and travel between the exclusive domain of his luxury Penthouse apartment in Belle Meade, his rambling country estate modestly referred to as ‘The Farm’ where he enjoys the company of the local barn cats (I.C. is far too refined for snobbery), and the occasional jaunt to his mountain hunting lodge in North Carolina. On those occasions when his doting mother and father travel further a field, I.C. vacations in his private cat quarters (reserved exclusively for his use) at the Farm at Natchez Trace, perhaps Tennessee’s finest feline boarding facility.
“Of course, he’s too macho to purr much,” the Judge confides. “But at night, he likes to curl up on my chest for his ear rub. Then he forgets all that and he purrs. Yes, he purrs for his ear rubs. Mostly, he just takes me for granted. But he loves his Irby. I don’t know what it is between those two. Of course, I’m the one who cleans up after him, men just don’t do that sort of thing—and I.C. likes a pristine litter box.”
In a world where so many stray cats meet with unkind fates, I loved learning about one ginger darling who became a Society Cat.