The “cat people” in the Thursday column who mentioned cats falling in the bathtub reminded me of this tale:

Years ago, at another Spanish Town home, I installed a hot tub on my deck and invited Katherine, my neighbor (later Lady Katherine, my wife), to come over for a dip.

Her cat Sylvester followed her, and watched us enter the tub with interest. Suddenly he jumped up on the edge of the tub, where his claws couldn’t get a hold on the plastic, and went into the water head first.

Before we could react, a black-and-white rocket shot up from the bottom of the tub, and Sylvester hit the deck and took off running, leaving a wet trail behind him.

Evidently humiliated, he didn’t show up for a couple of days, and was a very subdued cat for some time after that.

Budding lawyer?

Jerry Leggio, of Baton Rouge, feels his great-grandson Jace, 3, has a career as a negotiator ahead of him:

“A few weeks back Jace and I strolled down to the Webb Park kiddie playground. After about two hours Jace needed to use the restroom, so we went to the pro shop men’s room. As we headed outside, next to the exit door was an ice cream freezer.

“Jace looked in, saying, ‘I want a Popsicle.’ I said, ‘Jace, Paw Paw didn’t bring any money.’

“When he insisted. I said, ‘Next time we come I will have some money and we’ll get a Popsicle.’ To my surprise, he said ‘OK.’

“We went outside, and he said, ‘Can we sit down here? I’m tired.’ After small-talking for a few moments, he said he needed to use the restroom again, so we went back in the men’s room.

“Once again at the exit he stopped at the ice cream cooler and said, ‘I want a Popsicle.’

“I reminded him, ‘Jace, I told you when we come back again I will get you one.’

“He said, ‘We just came back again.’”

The naked truth

Billy Berger, of Belle Chasse, answers the inquiry about the phrase “Naked as a jaybird.”

“If you have ever seen a blue jay or mockingbird newborn in the nest, you’d know the meaning of that expression.”

Raw facts

Karl Denino tells of his encounter with scrapple:

“About that ‘Northern hog head cheese:’ A few years ago we went to a wedding in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Before the wedding we went on a tour of Amish country, and found a large flea market. They had anything and everything, including a meat market. And there it was: scrapple.

“I got a big piece, and ate it back at the hotel room. It was horrible.

“At the wedding reception I told them what happened, and they all started laughing. They asked how long did I fry it. I said I didn’t. They laughed more.

“I thought you ate it like our hog head cheese. Never did get to try it fried.”

Angel sighting

Terri Karam Willett, of Baton Rouge, says, “Our neighborhood angel is Mary May, an avid walker who carries a grocery bag with her and picks up every scrap of trash, no matter how large or small.

“On her early morning stroll down our street, Mary kindly places The Advocate up against the door of half the neighborhood. She picks up mail and papers when we’re away and rolls trash bins up to the gates if she sees them empty.

“Plus, she’s the best front porch visitor ever! All we have to do is sit in a rocker and she will stop for a visit. I have never heard her utter an unkind word in all the years I’ve known her.

“Did I mention she bakes the most awesome loaf of bread ever? What an angel we have amongst us. We are very lucky indeed.”

Nostalgia Corner

Audrey F. Schilling, of Baton Rouge, says those Bull Durham tobacco cotton sacks, mentioned earlier, were prized as filters “for our two-piece ‘blue granite’ drip coffee pot. It was a perfect fit, and made the second dripping almost as strong as the first dripping (waste not, want not).

“Waking to the aroma of dripped coffee and the crackling of the wood stove are not forgotten. Thanks for the memory.”

Special People Dept.

John DeLatin celebrates his 100th birthday on Monday, March 21.

Big trouble!

Gail Stephenson asks me to get her out of trouble. In her Thursday story about her granddaughter Zelda, she said Zelda’s “PopPop Mike” McDonald, father of Zelda’s mom Bonnie, played football at McNeese. But it was UL-Lafayette.

OK, Gail, I’ll make the correction. But in return you owe me another story.

Fish story

Here’s above-mentioned Gail Stephenson’s story, provided in exchange for a correction:

“In addition to being a sports fan, Mike is a big fisherman. Zelda’s favorite excursion with him is to Bass Pro Shop, where she loves to watch the giant catfish in the aquarium.

“That catfish must be really big, because I showed Zelda a picture of a blue whale and asked her to identify it.

“‘Catfish!’ she immediately replied.”

Contacting Smiley

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.