We’ve been having fun going through some of the hundreds of pictures we took of C.C. over the years. She was beautiful and she was a character and she brought a lot of joy to the Courier office staff and to Courier customers. 

Our beloved C.C., Courier Cat, went over the rainbow bridge sometime during the last week in September. She’d been hiding that last week, so when we found her body, we didn’t know how long she’d been dead.

She was 13, but we thought she would live many more years. She’d rarely been sick, though she’d recently had a respiratory infection that required a couple of antibiotics to clear up. That was a while before she died. 

An autopsy showed spots on her kidneys that had shriveled, but the cause of her death was unclear. 

Her behavior had become odd — she often seemed frightened, so she stayed away from us except to go into the ladies’ room for some petting and cuddling. 

We all have favorite pictures of her: C.C. looking out of the cat house door upside down; C.C. in the center of a Christmas wreath surrounded by greenery and big red bows; C.C. wearing a cowboy hat and a look that could kill if she’d had the chance; C.C. buried on her back in the recycle box and reaching out to grab whoever got too close.

Marsha Wesseler, then advertising director, thought a cat would be good for Courier morale, so she got permission and she, Stella Lankton and I went to the humane society in search of a pet. It was the summer of 2006.

C.C. was about eight weeks old. She’d been brought into the society by herself; they knew nothing about her. She was about two handfuls big, a gray tabby with beautiful green eyes. We thought she’d fit in at the Courier. 

At her new home, she would run and hide as soon as she could get away from Lael Porter, who’d been petting her. She hid in the back, coming out to eat at night when Kevin Brice put out tuna fish for her.

Several of us cornered her finally and put her in a cage so she couldn’t get away. She wasn’t long in the cage — then she had the run of the place. 

Early on she starred in an advertising campaign so the public could become familiar with her. In August 2006, a month after she arrived, she wrote her first column with the help of a ghost writer. 

Over the next several years, she wrote several more columns that were well-received by the readers. Lots of people, including many kids, stopped by the office to meet her. Some became regular visitors even up to the past few weeks.

The paper asked readers to send in pictures of their pets who might have become C.C.’s friends. We also published pictures of C.C. so people could keep up with her. 

That first December, the Courier invested in a grey, human-sized cat costume. The costumed C.C. stood outside the office and invited parents and kids to go inside, visit with Santa and get a picture with him. 

That was the first year of many that the paper hosted the fundraiser for the Cowley County Humane Society. 

Derrel Pearce, Marsha Wesseler’s father, built a wonderful cat house for C.C. about eight or nine months after she moved in at the Courier. The structure has three levels including the house itself that is lined with carpeting inside and out. When C.C. was in it, you could stick your hand in and feel the heat. The roof, also carpeted, was always a great place to sit and spy on everyone. 

C.C. liked to go out of an evening and wander around in front of the office, sniffing everything and getting to know the block better. She never ran away, though one day she wandered too far and ended up spending the night in the outside stairwell. 

The scariest moment for me came the night she decided to run across the street and came back as a van was going by. The driver couldn’t avoid her but grazed her and sent her head over heels. She wasn’t hurt, but I aged that night.

As she matured, we discovered she had long hair. Over the winter, her hair got matted, so she began getting shaved in the spring. She was really cute with her hair so short, but she’d be embarrassed and avoid us for a while, though this last year, she seemed unfazed by it.

She was very playful as a kitten, chasing balls across the floor. I’d say, “Get ready! Get ready!” She’d hunker down and when I tossed the ball, she was quickly on it. 

She wasn’t happy when Queso, who became our second Courier Cat, showed up. They had a truce for several years, usually broken by him because he loved to jump her, though they were both fixed.

In the past few months, they spent a lot of time together, sleeping on the windowsill and just being in one another’s company.

Among the staff, C.C. had her favorites: Lael and Kevin from the beginning, and Amanda Jones toward the end. She couldn’t wait for Amanda to arrive and was aways wanting to snuggle with her. 

She knew the sound of my car. When she heard it, she went to the front door and started scolding me to get inside and give her and Queso some chicken.

For some reason, she started a game with former employee Tyler Gaskill that she never stopped. Whenever he’d drop by, he’d coax her, but she’d look at him and run away. She had been friendly with him before he moved to the police department, but she never seemed to get over his leaving.

Rebecca McCutcheon spoke about what a loving cat C.C. was. She never scratched or bit anyone, and she was almost always ready to take some time with people who wanted to hold her or play with her. She’d sit on the corner of Rebecca’s desk and purr. In the last month or so, she started sleeping on my desk while I worked. 

After she died, Queso, who is 9, mourned her, looking for her and needing extra affection himself.

We are still mourning her and missing C.C. When I go in the back of the building, I sometimes call her name and wish she’d come out and visit with me for a while. 

We miss her.

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