Cats and History, Not Necessarily In That Order


I promised in my last blog I’d write more about the book, Lie Across America. Well, I had to return the book and like most people, I forget half of what I read about 2 seconds later. However, I can tell you this. We treated Native Americans and African Americans horribly. Much more so than I was led to believe in school. Historic sites purposely spare us from some of the ugliness of these things. Not always out of concern for our fragile minds. Instead, the omissions made and the re-writing of history is a reflection of the site’s sponsors shortcomings and agenda.

For example, if you go to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, CO, you won’t learn much about mining. If the sponsors  didn’t like something that happened or weren’t part of it, it simply didn’t happen. The examples of the people in the museum’s hall of fame in comparison to who should be in it, would be comical if it wasn’t so insulting. Reformers that saved lived and disasters that occurred in the industry are ignored, so we can read more about the wonderful people at Mobile.

What you see when visiting historical sites is really a reflection of who put it there and the societal views when the site/plaque was established. Sure, there are places that get it right, but there are still monuments all over the U.S. where African & Native Americans are placed below the white, literally standing underneath him!  Native Americans are often depicted wearing hardly anything at all. What we see is so heavily influenced by people’s ignorance and discriminatory views, we are often presented with a story that simply is not true.

The United Daughters of Confederacy should truly hide their heads in shame. Not only are they an organization in love with  fighting for slavery- let’s face it, that’s what it was – they’ve convinced entire towns they were confederate supporters, when in fact most of these areas were pro-union. The Daughters have literally put up monuments throughout the United States, celebrating confederate activities that didn’t even happen! One of the most intriguing stories was how this organization helped promote the idea General Sherman literally burned down the south. In reality, it was the Confederate generals who did so when the towns were falling into Union hands. They didn’t want to leave anything that could have been of use to the Union Army. Even that farce isn’t even entirely true. Sometimes they burned down the town “just because”. There wasn’t even anything the Union really needed to use.

I cannot possibly do the book justice. You should read it yourself.

Change of Topic Alert

I was talking to my friend of over 25 years, Rob R. in Chesterfield, MO yesterday. The subject of my blog came up and how little I am writing lately. Hi Rob and Nancy!  I explained that I find myself feeling tired every time I sit down to write and what little energy I have, I use writing my book about Client Service. Of course, I haven’t been doing much of that either. I am pretty much a 1950’s housewife at the moment.

As usual, our conversation led to a discussion about our cats. I told him how my youngest, Cookie, woke me up snoring in my bed the other night. Rob said I can never go wrong blogging about cats, since someone will always read it. He also joked that 50% of the internet is porn, 40% is cats, and the remaining 10% is everything else.  Well Rob, as it turns out, it is estimated that cats represent 15% of web traffic. Here is an interesting article on the subject:

One of the things I do, that drive my kids crazy, is talk to them as if I am their cats. I tell them that the cats speak to me telepathically. In truth, this is more a reflection of my desire to talk to cats than proof I’ve finally lost my mind. I bet you are guilty of doing the same, if you have a cat. If you don’t have a cat, then it’s time to talk to someone about the voices you are hearing.

Wouldn’t it be so cool?

I am working on a list of questions for them, on the off chance a cat translator becomes available on I think I’ll upgrade to prime if that happens. Here’s what I have so far.

  • Why do you put every ribbon, piece of yarn, and shiny cat toy you find in your water bowl?
  • Why do you knock on my closed bedroom door until I wake up and open it, only to walk out 5 seconds later?
  • Cookie, when you were a kitten you’d dig a hole in your litter box, sit with your back turned to me, and look over your shoulder to make sure I wasn’t watching you. What made you stop caring?
  • Who peed all over my carpet when I took in that adult stray cat I found, which I promptly had to find a new home for? Was there a meeting of cats in the dining room, where you planned how you were going to get rid of him?
  • Blackie, why are you the only cat who likes licking water off our just used shower and bath?
  • JJ, what’s the deal with the constant pushing you do on our bodies, when all we want to do is nap on the couch? Do you really think you are going to get milk to come out somehow? Or, are you secretly getting me back for all the times I petted you when you were half asleep?

Well, I probably exhausted your tolerance for cat stories about 3 bullet points ago. Until next time, I’ll leave you with a picture of my boys.


Our cats go crazy when we buy Meow Mix for them. Here they are, sharing their bounty together. The orange one (J.J.) is a little slow intellectually, but he’s the sweetest cat you’ll ever meet.

While we are shouting out people, I can’t forget my #1 fan and BFF Molly S. in Northville. Gurl, you know how to compliment someone and make them feel like they really aren’t the most boring person in the world. I may not have known you 25 years (it’s more like 10) but you are truly a blessing in my life. I will go back to ignoring you shortly, don’t worry!










Over 150 Years Ago, We Had Our First Gay President

Buchanan-lrgJames Buchanan, our 15th President, Served from 1857-1861

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. Have you noticed? Well, a couple friends did and wondered why. The truth is, I haven’t felt much like writing lately. That is, until I checked out Lies Across America, What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, by James W. Loewen.  Published in 1999, I kept noticing the book referenced in other books I was reading, during my “dead president” fetish this spring. Granted, fetish may not be the right word to use here, but anything tying me to a TLC show is worth its weight in gold.

Once I read we already had our first gay president in 1857, I was mesmerized. It was known by many in Washington DC but without TMZ, word failed to spread. James Buchanan was quite open about his relationship with a male U.S. Senator from Alabama, who was later appointed minister of France. When his partner, William King, left for his post, the president wrote, “I am now ‘solitary and alone,’ having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with one of them”.  Other references to Buchanan’s relationship with King were burned following his death.

Back then, gay partners were referred to as Siamese twins, Miss Nancy, and other non-PC terms. Quite simply, homosexuality was viewed as deviant behavior that should be punished and shamed. This is hardly news to anyone reading this blog.  In fact, decades after Buchanan, the man who greatly sped the Allies ability to decipher Germany’s enigma codes (Alan Turing), was criminally charged for his sexuality. When given the choice of prison time or chemical castration, Turing chose the latter, which led to his suicide in 1954. Regardless of what Turing accomplished, he was a homosexual first and foremost in the eyes of Great Britain. Instead of being viewed as a man who saved countless lives and served his country, he was viewed as someone who made a dangerous and immoral “choice”. At least Buchanan was spared this sentence.

This is precisely why it’s important that history tells the story of people like Buchanan and Turing. When we don’t share the accomplishments of the LGBT community, we give the impression only “straight” members of society have contributed. If you visit James Buchanan’s former house in Lancaster, PA you will hear nothing about his relationship with King. In fact, when Loewen asked the docent specifically about Buchanan’s sexuality, he denied he was anything other than your regular straight guy watching ESPN. Well, there wasn’t ESPN yet, but I am pretty sure there was some guy thing Buchanan wasn’t into.

I am thankful I’ve had the opportunity to read Lies Across America. I’ve learned more about history in 2 weeks than I did throughout high school and college. I had no idea that so many places I’ve visited y, like Magnolia Plantation, Mount Vernon, Independence Hall, etc. had an agenda. Many of these places, along with sites and plaques throughout the U.S. tell us more about who sponsored them than what really happened. I will be talking more about this in future blogs because it’s important that the story is told. It’s time our historic sites tell us more about history and less about wallpaper and dishes.

Like my post? Let me know because I have self confidence issues. It started when my mother told me I am a really good cook, now.