Gerrrtrude Stein

Nathan was driving from Baltimore to Indiana in late spring of 2010. It had been raining as he drove through southern Ohio. Some distance east of Cincinnati he stopped for a cup of coffee at a small café outside Sardinia. Dodging puddles in the rain-soaked parking lot, he heard a plaintive “meeowww!” coming from behind him. Turning around, Nathan discovered a matted and drenched piece of black fur addressing him most directly. “You will take me home with you meow-NOW!” There was no negotiating—this diminutive kitten demanded a response. Looking around in all directions—no houses, not a farm in sight—“Where did you come from?!” There was no calling home for “permission” — in the middle of nowhere with no cell-phone service. So the cook at the café found a tiny box for the tiny black ball of fur, and this strong-willed, five-week-old feline headed down the highway, leaving the gypsy life behind in exchange for a literary life in Madison, Indiana. With such a stubborn, bossy nature, Gerrrtrude Stein was the only moniker for her. But she deigns to respond to “Trudy.”

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