She lives in a ramshackle house the color of moldy cheese behind the court house. Her yard is surrounded by a chain-mesh fence covered in signs reading "Keep Out" and "No Trespassing", but I have a difficult time believing anyone would want to invade her patchy little plot of hell on earth.

She resembles old Mary Brown from The Blair Witch Project in both appearance and mannerisms, shuffling along her porch and glaring at people coming and going from the court house. Indeed, her first name does happen to be Mary. Stooped and slightly leathery, she frightens small children with unkind snaggletoothed sneers and skeletal hands outstretched (in supplication?) Her yard is always filled with cats of all colors. They yowl, stare impassionately at passersby, and occasionally pause in their cosmic musings to give their own asses a good solid licking. Rumors abound that Mary keeps them as a self-replenishing larder in case civilization ends.

I worked at the local grocery store my sophomore year of high school, and experienced the Cat Lady on a weekly basis as she haunted the catfood aisle, meticulously scrutinizing the labels on cans (and occasionally switching pricing labels). The grocery had its own menagerie of felines behind the store, and old Mary would occasionally work her way behind the dumpsters and fetch one or two of the wretched beasts. Bringing them inside to my register, she would ask if she could buy the varnmints. The first time it happened, I remembered the stories and almost asked if she would like paper or plastic with her food, but my employer was on hand to gently rebuff her and send her away.

Whither the Old lady with the Cats, I do not know.

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