Gordon Cotton’s life in ‘cat house’ highlighted in book at flea market|Author usually writes about history, people

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2008

Gordon Cotton, Vicksburg author and retired museum curator associated with all things historical, has penned his way into the cat world.

Cotton is releasing, “I Live in a Cat House,” Saturday, when he will operate — for the first time — his own booth at the Old Court House Flea Market, outside the museum where he was director for 30 years.

The book is full of photos of cats and cat figurines, many at the author’s home, and cat stories, specifically about the felines that have shared Cotton’s Warren County home. He has 12 cats now, but has had dozens more through the years.

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He shares stories about the cats’ habits and their unusual monikers — many named after people in Vicksburg, dead or alive.

Others, such as “Judge Judy” — named after a straight-talking judge on television — and “Ron Paul” — named for the senator from Texas who made an attempt to win the Republican nomination for president this year — represent people who interest Cotton.

One of the stories in the book tells that “Judge Judy” actually became “Ron Paul” after the kitten matured enough for its gender to be determined.

“Ronald Reagan was one of the prettiest cats I’ve ever had,” he said. “And my cat named Zerelda, well, the name intrigued me and it was Jesse James’ mother’s name.”

Cotton, also a former high school teacher and newspaper reporter is the author of 14 books, most of them local histories. Included are “Asbury, Of Primitive Faith and Order,” “Old Hopewell Cemetery,” “Anitoch,” “Vicksburg and the War,” “Vicksburg Town and Country,” “Vicksburg, From the Pen of She-Rebel,” “Carrie Lee Cotton, her Kith and her Kin,” “Some of Eva’s People,” “15 China and other Tales,” “A History of the Old Court House,” “Jefferson County Stories and News from Rodney.”

“I Live in a Cat House” sells for $20. The book will also be at Lorelei Books, the Cinnamon Tree, the Attic Gallery and Peterson’s Antiques and Gifts.

The flea market, around the Old Court House, will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.