Letters to my Granddaughter: No. 14

By | July 24, 2023

[July 24, 2023]   From the earliest days of my young life!  My Granddaddy Smith owned a large, mangy, ugly, tough, mean-as-heck tomcat.  His name?  “Tom.”  More kittens were born because of his virility than any cat in that town.  His harem of female cats was huge, but they all served a valuable function on Granddaddy’s property by keeping the rat population down.  Never since have I seen so many kittens, and I learned how to help a female cat keep track of her newborns.

Tom was a cat you did not mess around with.  Granddaddy told us kids to steer clear of him, or we might regret our encounter.  I know I was afraid of that cat.  “Holy cow, that’s one mean cat,” my father said one day while we played in the yard.  If we played outside, look out for “Tom.”  And never, ever, ever try to pick him up, or you would be wearing your claw marks for a long time.  We would watch “Tom” walk slowly and confidently across the yard because his reputation was unmistakable and widely known.  If he looked at us, we would run away screaming.

I wondered what happened to Tom.  Years later, I asked Granddaddy where he had gone.  “To cat heaven, of course,” Granddaddy said without hesitation, being a religious man himself.  That ugly, mean male cat was gone one day, but his legacy remained.  He must have sired hundreds of healthy little kittens, but none could replace Tom, and that was not unexpected.  Only once in a hundred years does a cat or man come along that makes such an impact on those around him.

One day before Bigmama passed away, I asked her about Tom.  She told me that he was Granddaddy’s cat, and no one even fed him or took him to a veterinary clinic for a checkup or shots.  Maybe he died of rabies, a common ailment among small animals in those days.  My cousin, who lived nearby my grandparents, said he was happy that the “stupid cat was dead.”  On several occasions, my cousin got crosswise with Tom and has the scars to show for it.  Everyone, it seemed, hated Tom.

I respected that big cat.  Tom did what he wanted, and that was that.  Looking back on those years, it’s easy to laugh off this ugly cat’s temper and strength.  Sometimes size matters.  Tom was massive; to me, he looked almost half the size of a human kid but was meaner than a half-starved hound dog.  My mother asked Bigmama (her mother) what fascinated Granddaddy’s infatuation with that crazy cat.  She did not know.

Granddaddy told a secret of his.  He said he kept Tom around, not because that male cat was good at chasing mama cats or catching rats, but because he enjoyed having that ugly cat.  He told me how important it is to enjoy the good things in life because one day, bad things will come knocking on your door, and the more good things you have in your life, the better you can withstand the bad times.  Tom helped Granddaddy be the good man he was.


NOTE: For all Letters to My Granddaughter, go to this link here.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “Letters to my Granddaughter: No. 14

  1. Pooch T.

    Gen. Satterfield, just a quick note to tell you that this series means a lot to me. I hope you continue it. I’m impressed and hope that your young granddaughter reads these letters.

    1. Eye Cat

      If she does read them, she will be that much better off. Understand successful people is important to help you be successful in your life. In this case, we are talking a close family relative. That is one of the best gifts you can give a child or grandchild. They all can learn from these letters to “my granddaughter.” ❤

  2. Eddie Gilliam

    Awesome life lesson article for your granddaughter. This life lesson on enjoying life what you have is valuable to us as adults. I am not much a cat person. Stay safe and focus my friend.

    1. Peigin

      Hi Eddie, I’m not a cat person either (and so I understand Gen. Satterfield has a dog), but the lesson here is clear …. walk like you have a pair of big balls and people (or other cats) will move out of your way. And you will be remembered forever.

      1. Bryan Z. Lee

        Dogs are good too. But that old tomcat “Tom” surely made dogs move out of his way.

  3. American Girl

    Another great letter to your granddaughter, Gen. Satterfield. I’m sure she will enjoy them.

  4. Greek Senator

    Just gotta love this leadership — thinking — website.

    1. Max Foster

      Yep, that is why we keep coming back. BTW, please read Commie’s remarks below. We’ve not heard from him in a long while but he is making a point that we are fat shaming (being fat phobic) because Gen. Satterfield writes this old tomcat was fat and ugly. Somehow Commie is conflating these two and accusing us and Gen. S. of some kind of sin. That is the typical argument socialist, progressive, Marxist, bed-wetting snowflakes make all the time. Oops, sorry for the name calling.

  5. Ursala J. Simpson

    When “Tom” didn’t show up one day, EVERYBODY noticed. Why? Because he was a force to be reckoned with. That is how we all should be. Now that is a real man …. I mean a real mean tomcat.

  6. rjsmithers

    Sir, keep these letters to your granddaughter coming. I’m enjoying them all. There is nothing better than to pass along your wisdom to your children and grandchildren. Thank you!

    1. Purse

      Right, rjsmithers. That is the way of the world and I think, IMHO, that we have forgotten to do this moral act. Mostly, we forgot because big government constantly devalues families, and artificially constructs and supports dysfunctional ‘families.’

      1. mainer

        Purse, correct and your observation is correct. Here is a test to show this is true. Go to any public school and ask if they have a pride month (yes! a whole month). They will say ‘yes’ 9 times out of 10. Ask if they have a ‘honor your family month’ or ‘day’ and they will say “NO”. Then request a family month and will not do it. Ask why. You will be shocked at the answers you get.

      2. Doc Blackshear

        Excellent point, Purse. Thank you for getting me to remember that families are not valued, esp. in a socialist cutlure.

  7. osmodsann

    Great article, Gen. Satterfield.
    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 …. funny!

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Ha, yeah, thought the same thing. Good to see Gen. Satterfield working on his humor side.

  8. Fred Weber

    Amazing last paragraph and a lesson we should all pay close attention to.
    “Granddaddy told a secret of his. He said he kept Tom around, not because that male cat was good at chasing mama cats or catching rats, but because he enjoyed having that ugly cat. He told me how important it is to enjoy the good things in life because one day, bad things will come knocking on your door, and the more good things you have in your life, the better you can withstand the bad times. Tom helped Granddaddy be the good man he was.”

  9. Ice Man

    “…a large, mangy, ugly, tough, mean-as-heck tomcat. ” Very very very funny!

    1. Commie Red

      Hey conservatives, being mean to an ugly cat is a no-go. Ugly is fat phobic, so get off your high horse. You likely are fat yourself, so be proud of fat. Don’t fat shame me or others. That is not the American way. You preach the American way, then live it too.

      1. Emma Archambeau

        Hi Commie, have not heard from you in a long time. If you really want to get a feel for what a real “conservative” person is like then read Gen. Satterfield’s books. The one that exposes the best parts of his thinking is “55 Rules for a Good Life” and you will find it very helpful. Maybe it might even cure your marxist (small m) ideology and you will begin living again.

      2. DaveV

        Fat phobia is not a concept except in the minds of fat folks who are ashamed of themselves but want to project that onto others.

        1. Frankie Boy

          ❤ Commie Red has a point. I can’t see that point, nor understand it, but I’m sure he has a point.


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