One cool cat

To jazz fans everywhere this week is one of the most important of the year. The 57th Monterey Jazz Festival starts on Friday the 19th and runs through the weekend. You can expect to see lots of cool cats or hep cats attending and performing.

So what exactly is a cool/hep cat? The saying became popular in the Roaring 20s. The phrase “cool cat” meant someone who kept up with all the latest fads and trends. It didn’t stop in the 20s but continued all the way into the 1950s. In the 50s “cool” was an indefinable quality that made something or someone extraordinary and “cat” was a hip or hep person. So a “cool cat” meant an extraordinary hip or hep person.

Recently I discovered that one of the coolest jazz artists happened to be a cat lover, musician, composer and inventor. Who exactly is this “hep cat”? His name is Charles Mingus and he invented what could be call his most ingenious work- “The Charles Mingus catalog for Toilet Training Your Cat”.

His secret to training your cat is to use a homemade cardboard litter box filled with shredded paper. Using this box you slowly inch it toward your bathroom and eventually place the box on the toilet.

He stated on his web site that “It took me about three or four weeks to toilet train my cat, Nightlife, I did it slowly so I didn’t confuse him.” If you are willing to patiently work with your cat you’ll be pleasantly rewarded with no cat box to clean.

Mingus also explains in his directions that a cat can learn to flush the toilet as cats instinctively try to cover. One warning he does stress is to turn the toilet paper around so that it won’t roll down if the cat paws it. You can check out Nightlife and the complete program at:

I would like to share with you my personal experience with potty training my kitty. I used a commercial kit which used kitty litter on a clear plastic insert that fit over the toilet and under the seat.

Well, to start with I’m a terrible butterfingers so cat litter was literally everywhere.

My darling kitty was terrified of the contraption but I worked with her faithfully until she was comfortably perched above the litter. OK so far so good, what happened next was unfortunate.

It’s hard to identify sounds in your sleep but I woke up immediately when I heard the crack of plastic and splash of kitty. Needless to say I’m sorry I didn’t have Charles Mingus’ method because instead of a cool cat I had a mad cat.

Upcoming events at CAPS

Friday and Saturday: The CAPS annual garage sale will be held at the corner of Whitaker and Rancho Drive, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. No early birds.

We have wonderful items to sell. Lots of furniture, sofas, electronics, antiques, and recliners. One of a kind items include a treadmill, bike, lap top computer, espresso machine, mini-refrigerator and much more.

Our sincere thanks to Spring Valley Rentals, who provided the storage unit (at 1105 Taylor Place) to hold donated items. The support from our community makes CAPS possible..

Wednesday: Anytime Fitness First Annual Walk Your Dog Event. This is a one mile walk which will be held at Liberty Park, 2323 Schurz Highway, starting at 6 p.m-7 p.m. There will be dog treats, fruit and water for everyone. CAPS, Fallon Animal Shelter, Lahontan Valley Vet Clinic and Churchill County Sheriff’s will also be attending with information about animal health.

Thursday: Coming soon...CAPS presents a Murder Mystery Dinner. Last year it was a smashing success so mark your calendar.

Larson Family Winery makers of “3 Lab Cab” is located at 23355 Millerick Road, Sonoma, Calif.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Please contact me at

This week’s article was contributed by Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer.


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