Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, tells a tale of two storms:

“In 2002, my wife and I were touring Europe, and were in Zurich, Switzerland, high in the Alps.

“After a day of sightseeing, we came back to our hotel and turned on the TV. The first thing we saw was a reporter for CNN International standing in about a foot of water in Lake Pontchartrain at the south end of the U.S. 11 bridge.

“He pointed toward the ‘little fishing village’ of Slidell, said a storm was headed that way and that residents were being advised to head to high ground.

“We couldn’t help but laugh — we certainly were on high ground.”

Gordon says unfortunately, three years later when Hurricane Katrina hit Slidell, they weren’t in the Alps.

Of cats and gifts

Rene Torregrossa, of Baton Rouge, reminds us of one of the many joys of being a cat person:

“Many are the mornings we wake up to critters and/or critter parts on our doorstep — little presents from our adoring cats.

“However, one evening my husband, David, and I were sitting out on our back porch. Our yellow tabby Tiger jogs up carrying a mouse in his mouth.

“He begins playing with it, batting it around, tossing it up against our back door.

“Dave said, ‘No wonder we have blood on the door and on the porch steps.’

“He proceeded to fuss at Tiger, trying to run him off with his prize.

“I said, ‘Oh, leave him alone. He’s gifting us.’

“As if to prove my point, Tiger then tossed the mouse up in the chair with David. I’ve never seen Dave jump from his chair like that.”

Which reminds me

After years of being pet-less, I had to adjust to having cats in the house when Lady Katherine brought them into our marriage.

I quickly discovered that if you have an outdoor cat, you’re going to find presents on the doorstep — mice, birds, lizards, squirrels, etc.

Sometimes these gifts are still alive, meaning they get into the house and have to be chased out.

All this is just part of sharing your home with our feline friends.

But one of our cats went too far, and gifted us with a huge cockroach. Very much alive. In our bed. At 2 a.m.

Even after that, I failed to convince my spouse that goldfish would make much better pets...

Where there’s smoke...

“People are always quick to report the first sighting of a robin or a purple martin,” says Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson. “I want to be the first to report the sighting of smoke coming out of a chimney this fall.

“It was on Highway 10 in Clinton. I just knew you would want to know.”

(Thanks, Faye: this means that any day now we’ll be walking in a winter wonderland!)

Country memory

Thanks to T. Med Hogg for reminding me of my childhood — visiting my Grandma Anders’ house on a gravel road in the Homochitto National Forest outside Gloster, Mississippi.

I’d sit on the front porch on a Saturday night with the grown-ups, listening to a battery radio. When it got later, I was put to bed in the front room. Snuggling down in that soft feather mattress, I’d continue to listen to the radio through the open window.

Med says, “I wonder how many people remember this: ‘And now, folks, it’s time for the paw paws to paw and the tall trees to pine while the bumble bee bumbles all around. The grasshopper hops while the eaves dropper drops, and gently the old cow slips away. This is the Solemn Old Judge saying good night and God bless.’

“It’s from the ending of the Grand Ole Opry, which used to be heard every Saturday night on radio, starring Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl, and others.”

Special People Dept.

Ned C. Goldston, of Convent, celebrated his 91st birthday on Sunday, Nov. 15. He is a World War II Navy veteran, having served in the Pacific.

C.C. Smith celebrates his 90th birthday on Monday, Nov. 16.

Vernon and Shirley Ginn Strickland, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Off on holiday

It’s time for my Well-Deserved Vacation, when Lady Katherine and I pack up and head off for our traditional vacation destination, Bubba’s Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly.

Bubba is pretty excited; he just got a color TV in his bar, The Nutria Nook, and hopes to have them in the rooms by this time next year.

His chef, Large Marge, has worked up a new fall menu for the All You Dare To Eat buffet, featuring an array of canned processed meat products, including her ever-popular “Spam and Velveeta Surprise.” She also joins the trendy veggie movement with her “Kale Yes!” salad, in which she uses cracklings instead of croutons.

It’s sure to be a relaxing time for us, and we hope to return in a week or so, rested and ready to hunker down and make it through another south Louisiana winter. Bye now...

Contacting Smiley

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