"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
July 13, 2015
Attack of the Disembodied Cat Heads
by Kathryn H. Kidd

I ordered a little carrying case the other day from Amazon. It came in an assortment of six styles, but there was a catch. I could not choose which of the assortment I was going to receive.

Because the item was so inexpensive, they could not bother with allowing me to specify which style I would prefer. So in exchange for a great price, I would concede the ability to choose my style and throw that open to chance (or to the whims of the person packing my order).

The designs were all pictures of cats. I am not particularly a cat fan. I am not particularly a non-cat fan either, mind you. Under some circumstances, Fluffy and I might even own a cat.

But we entertain far too many people to bring a cat into our house whose dander might keep allergic people away. That and — well, Fluffy has enough work to do cleaning up after two people without adding a furry poop machine to the mix.

But all this is neither here nor there. I like cats fine, but I do not like cats enough that cats would be my first, second, or even five hundredth choice of design selection for a carrying case. But I needed a carrying case for the bedroom, and the price was right if I ordered one with cats on it and was willing to take a chance on which cat picture would be sent to me randomly.

I inspected the designs. The designer is one of my favorites — or “was,” seeing as how she is as dead as a mackerel. And I absolutely loved five of the six cat designs (or loved them as much as I would love any designs that featured cats, anyway). The sixth cat design featured three disembodied cat heads and was ug-ug-ugly.

The odds were five out of six that I was going to get a design that I liked. I liked those odds, so I quick-like-a-bunny clicked the buy-it-now option and bought a carrying case.

Then the little voice o’ doom said to me, “You know you are going to get that sixth case.” And my practical voice answered with a little sigh, “Yes. I know I am.”

Normally, I do not wait with bated breath for packages from Amazon, but this was one time I have to admit I was more than a little anxious. I really wanted to know which case I was going to get. No. Scratch that. I was certain which case I was going to get. I was just waiting for the confirmation.

The case was waiting for us in the mailbox on the morning when Fluffy and I were driving off to the temple. As soon as he came back from the mailbox, he handed me the oversized envelope and I ripped it open. Sure enough, the three disembodied cats of the design I hated stared up at me. I laughed long and loud.

The disembodied cat monstrosities behind door #6.

Perhaps this should be an extension of Murphy’s law — “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” I would call it the Murphy-Kathy law of style selection — “When you order an item with multiple styles and have no influence on the choice, you will receive the one in the style that you find the most repulsive.”

You know, I’m going to hate that cat carrying case every time I look at it. Boy, is it ugly! But every time I look at it, it’s going to remind me of just how blessed I am.

If the biggest problem I have is that I get the ugliest cat in a random cat selection of cat carrying cases, I’m one lucky human being. In fact, you could say I’m rolling in catnip.

I had a similar experience recently with an orthopedic surgeon. I just couldn’t stand the pain in my knees anymore, so when a friend told me he had a pretty good joint doctor, off I went.

This doctor (or rather an assistant) took a series of x-rays, and they told me something I didn’t think was possible. I have zero cartilage in my knees. There isn’t a speck of it anywhere.

I would have thought there was some of it left in places that were a little less used. Indeed, I thought I saw some on the x-ray and pointed it out, but the x-ray technician told me I was mistaken. No, there was zip. Zero. Nada. Anywhere. If I still had any cartilage in my knees, it had chosen that week to be attending a cartilage convention in central Cleveland.

To my surprise, all was not lost. There was a series of hyaluronic acid injections I could take in my knees every six months to alleviate the pain. The shots wouldn’t even hurt, and they would be using a chemical that occurs naturally in the body anyway.

“Bring ‘em on,” I said.

I walked out of the doctor’s office (or rather rolled, seeing as how I was in a wheelchair) a new person.

It was as though I had brand new knees. I could not believe the miracle. Every time I flexed or extended my knees I thanked God for the change in my life. And this series of shots was supposed to last for up to eight months.

I couldn’t believe how blessed how I was.

I took the shots in April and May. The effects had worn off by the Fourth of July. I can’t take them again until October.

Oh well. At least, for two months out of the year, I am going to be pain-free. What a joy that is! I will be rolling in the clover. Halloween will be a happy time for me. Maybe I will even dress up in a disembodied cat head costume.

Until then, I have the cat carrying case to remind me that there is always something in life to make me smile. Things like that used to annoy me. But as I have grown older (and hopefully wiser), I find that God has a pretty delightful sense of humor, and it’s just easier to laugh right along with Him.

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About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

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