In many ways, this Rotten Cat deserved her name SOUTHEAST/Sykesville Eldersburg Gamber

NEIGHBORS

June 01, 1993|By MAUREEN RICE

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That's Shakespeare. I know. I looked it up.

But what is in a name? Sometimes names amaze me. How about Rotten Cat? This is just one of many I could describe (I'm not telling what I named the hamsters).

Rotten really did deserve her name in many ways. She was one of those sneaky cats who always managed to be exactly where you did not want her to be.

It is, however, the story of how she got her name that comes to mind when I think of strange names.

Rotten started her life under a different name. What it was is lost in the annals of history.

By the time she arrived in our home, she was a bedraggled young cat, past the age of cuteness, already adept at chewing your ear when she decided it was time for you to get up.

The debate on what to call the latest stray went on for an interminable time.

I will not mention the names up for a vote. None won more than one vote, and the cat went on, unnamed, known only as the "new cat" or, if you listened to my dad, "that rotten cat."

My dad finally took her to the vet for shots and other necessary treatment.

"What's this one's name?" the receptionist asked sweetly. Dad stood for some moments, deep in thought. A grin split his face. "I call her Rotten Cat," he said.

$ And so she remained.

Eight hundred pounds of strawberries. Luscious, sweet, not-quite-summer delicious, all available at the Strawberry Festival on Saturday.

Don't miss the red juice, the "real shortcake" or the chance to delight the family with games, rides, a white elephant sale, crafts and other "can't miss" attractions.

This Strawberry Festival is sponsored by Messiah Lutheran Church, and it will be held at the Sykesville/Freedom fire hall grounds at Route 32 and Freedom Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

"I'm told the weather this year has been perfect for strawberries," said Leigh Johnston, a church member who initiated the festival three years ago and still organizes it. "Even if it does rain, you can come and get strawberries."

Rain or shine, there will be a great deal more than strawberries. Fifty craftspeople of all varieties will show you their wares.

Games, face painting, button making, pony rides and even the remarkable "rope bridge" that Boy Scout Troop 883 will erect await you and your family.

"There are no losers," Ms. Johnston said. "Everyone gets a prize."

There will be three different entertainment areas.

For children, there will be the "kids' corner." Here you will find face painting, button making, twirl paint and fantasy photos. At 9 a.m. the Maryland State Police will do a puppet show; at 10 a.m., "Cookie the Clown" will perform a comedy magic show; at 11:30 a.m. Deanna Hoffman (Piney Run Park naturalist) will talk about marvelous mammals; at noon the state police return with a demonstration; at 1 p.m. Eldersburg pediatrician Dr. Jose Gonzalez will do a bike safety and helmet presentation.

All day the state police will fingerprint children, and McGruff, a popular children's police safety character, will be on hand.

Do you like the "Achy Breaky"? You've never done it, but want to learn? Go to the pavilion from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dean and Sandy Garrish will give free lessons in country dance.

International Karate Academy of Eldersburg will follow with a demonstration at 11:30 a.m., then it's Mid-Atlantic Gymnastics at 12:30 p.m., and the Westminster Municipal Band will round out the afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On the stage you'll find Talent Express, an Eldersburg variety show, at 9 a.m., Reflections at 10 a.m., magician Joseph Hackett at 11 a.m., Imperial Dance Twirl Team at noon, and the Carroll County Dance Center at 1 p.m.

You may not find a pale pachyderm at the white elephant sale, but you won't have to get there early to find a bargain.

"There are so many items in the white elephant sale, that it will take selling a lot to even unpack it all," Ms. Johnston said.

Anyone wishing to arrange a booth should call Ms. Johnston at 795-0494 immediately for one of the few spaces left. For other information about the festival, call her or the church office at 795-9174.

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