Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sister Alice (or Catholic School stories Pt 2)

Sister Alice was a nun at my High School (one of 4 or so). She had had a pace maker put in her heart shortly before I started school there. She had some other health issues which affected her mobility and forced her to wear orthopedic shoes.

Sister Alice is one of the deepest ladies I know. She was 100% dedicated to her labor as Vice-Principal and teacher all the same. She grew up in Massachussetts and I remember she had an interesting story about how she decided to become a nun. Actually, I never heard the full story. I kind of wish I had dared ask the nuns at school more questions about their travels to clergy, but I didn't.

Anyway, our school always had animals in it. They were not school pets, they were just stray animals: roosters, hens, chickens, dogs, dogs mating, cats. Sometimes, actually a lot of times, the kids at school abused these animals to some extent. One such instance being this black cat.

To the surprise of many, Sister Alice took to this cat very dearly. This cat would hide from everyone but come straight to her. Surprisingly, for a cat anyway, the cat followed her EVERYWHERE. As it turns out, the cat was a pregnant female and shortly after this love began, she had 4 little kittens.

There are a good number of stories relating to the kittens and the cat. A lot of people in the administration office did not really appreciate sharing their space with them. The end of the 5 cats living at school was a bout of stinky diarrhea in the Administration office. They were quickly given away then, all but the original mother of course.

My favorite story:
Sister Alice taught what you guys would call Honors English. One section each for 10th, 11th and 12th grades. I believe this was during my 12th grade. The kittens and cat had contracted the cat version of pink eye. Now, because the mother was afraid of the students, she taught this habit to the kittens and unless they were all "chilaxing" at the Sister's office, you would not see them.

Our English class was right before lunch. The kitties needed eyedrops to cure the pink eye infection, but as I explained the Sister's mobility was not such as to pursue cats throughout school. So, our duty for a week was to leave class and find the cats throughout the yard, catch them and hold them still while she adoringly put the eye drops in their eyes.

That is how a number of people from my class ended up wearing scratches all over our arms. The Sister was very strict and tough. Most people would say they "deaded" her, but if you dig deeper and consider this story, you can easily see that we all were fond enough of her and her labors to get scratched out to lend her a hand.

Next time, I will tell you how 6-10 people from my class ended up with strange moles all over our arms for a couple of weeks.

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