(the following is a chapter from Aggie's Book)
I heard a knock on my front door and my heart raced a little.
They were here! A film crew from Vancouver, Canada, had traveled
to the rural area of Laceyville, Pennsylvania just to film a
segment about my cat.
My calico cat, Aggie, had bravely attacked an intruder,
causing him to flee in terror. Aggie had already made the
headlines in various newspapers and had been written about in
several books. Now she was going to make TV history as a feline
heroine. The fact that Aggie is totally, completely blind made
her brave deed all the more astounding!
The star they had come to film was dozing in her comfortable
wicker basket until the strange commotion of voices and thuds of
equipment woke her. Any new goings-on that she could investigate
always appealed to her, Aggie was never one to miss an
opportunity to be the center of attention.
The film crew gathered quietly around Aggie's basket, looking
as if they were paying homage to a great monarch. They were
concerned that their presence might upset or frighten her, but
they need not have worried. "Oh, Aggie" one of the crew
whispered deferentially, "you are such a brave little kitty! How
courageous of you to attack a robber and save your family! And
you are such a pretty kitty, too." The others murmured in
Aggie's response to this heart-felt reverence was to yawn
widely—though, of course, she
totally agreed with them. They all bent down, drawing closer so
they could see her better. To Aggie, they were appropriately
bowing in tribute while in the presence of Her-Regal-Royal-Self.
Everything was as it should be.
Aggie reached out one dainty white paw. Her diminutive wave
seemed to bestow her permission for them to begin petting her
royal personage. She purred loudly as they did so. I idly
wondered if Aggie expected me to curtsy before
Her-Regal-Royal-Self prior to her film debut. But no, she was
ready for another nap. (Being regal must be somewhat tiring,)
Aggie withdrew her paw and her purr, as well as her interest
in the newcomers. Then she proceeded to drift contentedly back
to sleep. Her admirers would just have to wait. Right now she
had dreams to dream.
An hour later the crew had the camera and lighting equipment
set up. The interview regarding the night of the event began. I
went first, then my husband was interviewed. I listened as he
related the incident on that fateful night. "Yes, we were
startled awake," he said, "and it was later, when we saw the
blood on Aggie's paws, that we realized she had attacked the
intruder and driven him away! The policeman agreed and was
astounded by her bravery," My husband then added, "Aggie's fame
is growing all the time. Why she even has her own website up
now. The city of Laceyville put one up for her. And she gets
dozens of e-mails each week at
It was all true. Aggie was indeed a famous kitty and she had
been invited to many places, though I always firmly refused as
she did not take kindly to car trips. But if her fans wanted to
come right to her home, as this film crew had done, then that
was just fine as far as she was concerned.
As the day went on, Aggie was right in the middle of it all.
The crew had electrical cables and lighting stands everywhere,
and most of the living-room furniture had been moved. One of the
film crew asked earnestly, "How can a blind cat possibly
maneuver around this stuff? Doesn't all this chaos distress her
and confuse her?" Just as I was about to explain that, no, Aggie
is not bothered by things being moved around, and in fact enjoys
chaos, she came gleefully charging through the room, making
turns and avoiding collision with the different pieces of
equipment. The crew stood there, mouths open in amazement at
what they had just witnessed: a blind cat running full-speed
through an obstacle course.
Finally, the interviews were complete and the crew turned
their attention to the star of the segment: Aggie. I mentioned
that Aggie had several games she enjoyed. One was to
rug-wrestle. At their puzzled expression, I explained: "Aggie
happily wrestles with a rug. It is in my kitchen." The producer
asked if I would be able to entice Aggie to rug-wrestle so they
could observe this activity before they tried to film it.
"Sure I can," I answered confidently. After all, Aggie was
always ready to play. "Here, Aggie." I placed a favorite toy of
hers, a large gray mouse with a bell inside it, under the small
woven rug. I then moved the rug about slightly so Aggie could
hear the mouse jingle.
Sure enough, Aggie came dashing into the kitchen, paused just
inches from the rug, wiggled her backside in the air and then
pounced upon the rug. She wrestled it, she clawed it and she
playfully bit it. Yes, Aggie was indeed rug-wrestling! She
paused every few moments to be sure her audience was fully
appreciating her awesome skills, then she repeated her
performance. Gripping with her front claws, she happily clawed
with her back claws. Each time she did it the toy would jiggle
and the crew would chuckle.
"Okay, that's great!" the producer enthused. "Now let's get
some film on that." The camera operator hoisted the heavy camera
up to his shoulder. Aggie continued playing. The camera man
turned on the camera light and adjusted the focus. Aggie pounced
again and played with the rug. The camera man started to film.
Aggie suddenly stopped playing. She sat up, cocked her head to
one side and stayed motionless.
After a few minutes of this the camera man stopped filming.
After all, they were on the last roll of film and he needed to
be careful to get the shots they needed. "What happened to
Aggie?" the puzzled producer asked me. "Gosh, I don't know." I
was as surprised as they were.
Suddenly Aggie focused on the rug and began playing again.
The camera man hoisted the camera up. Everyone was very quiet so
as to not distract Aggie. But as soon as the filming started,
Aggie stopped playing. I tried to encourage her by using her pet
name, Aggie-Waggie. Nothing worked. However, the moment the
camera man put the camera down, Aggie seemed energized and
attacked the rug. It was strange.
Finally they asked if we could get her to climb down her
massive cat-tree-jungle-gym. It was on this very cat-tree that
she had attacked the robber. "Sure," I told them, confidently.
"She will absolutely climb down the tree if we place her on it."
Well, you know what happened? The same thing that happened
before. Camera on - Aggie off. She seemed to know the moment the
camera went on. Finally I realized that I had forgotten one
important thing that would be sure to mobilize Aggie—no matter
if the camera was on or not.
Aggie was sitting in the cat-tree when I took the camera man
to the side and said, "Start filming right away and you will get
your shot of her climbing down the tree. I guarantee it!" I
could tell he didn't believe me, but I was certain they would
get this piece filmed. After all, I had a magic word to use.
He started the film rolling one last time. I then spoke the
magic word softly; "Dinner." Suddenly Aggie bolted into
animation! I smiled as I watched her navigate the complex levels
of the seven-foot-high jungle-gym-cat-tree at the speed of
light! Down she came, the camera finally capturing her action.
Success! Everyone cheered! They got their footage and Aggie
got her reward—food! When the film crew was ready to leave, they
came over, one by one, and bowed down to give Aggie a goodbye
pat on the head. "By the way," the producer said just before she
closed the front door, "Someone should make a full-length movie
about her. The thing is, it would be impossible to find another
cat like Aggie to play the part."
Aggie waved her fluffy tail in complete agreement, before
curling up on the sofa for a nap. It had been an
interesting day for her, to be sure. A few minutes later I
noticed her whiskers twitching. She was dreaming. Images of
rug-wrestling were dancing across her mind.
Or perhaps, as she lay dreaming, she was once again defending
her home from a very dangerous menace—and once again saving the
family she so dearly loved.