From a May, 1954 Vineyard Gazette article by Charles Waldron Clowe:

Memory takes me back to the glorious summer at the Vineyard. We had engaged a cottage at Menemsha for the season, and after some debate it was decided that Genevieve should go with us. Throughout her young life she had only known the city, and it seemed only fair that she should share with us the beauties of the Island of our dreams.

Genvieve was a slim and attractive little lady, glorious in her bright raiment, and if she had been of the opposite sex we would have named her Joseph, in honor of the young gentleman mentioned in the 37th chapter of Genesis, as she wore a coat of many colors.

Upon our arrival at the cottage, Genevieve appeared fascinated and charmed with the place, wandering about and exploring the garden contentedly, and at night she curled up and slept as soundly as at home.

And then one morning, soon after our coming, as I looked out of a window I saw eight feline Romeos grouped about our yard. One was a jet black, another a pure white, a third was what is commonly called a Maltese, the fourth was a dark gray with black stripes generally called a tiger, the fifth was a brownish brindle coloring, the sixth appeared to resemble a Siamese, the seventh was a mixture of black and white, or spotted as we say, and the eighth was a pure yellow.

These visitors appeared quite at home, and each had selected for himself a location in the garden and sat there quietly with eyes fixed upon our cottage. Each appeared to have chosen his particular spot freely and without objection from the others, and each had selected for himself a location in the garden and sat there quietly with eyes fixed upon our cottage.

When Genevieve saw this delegation of suitors in her yard she became obviously interested and indicated that she should go out and greet them. She was the perfect hostess and visited each in turn, showing no preference for any one. Each maintained his own particular location until she welcomed him, and there was no indication of envy nor jealousy.

And then, not so long afterward, Genevieve presented us with eight lovely kittens. But we did receive a slight jolt when we saw that each kitten was an exact duplicate of a swain in our yard, and that none resembled Genevieve.

At sundown each evening our feline visitors departed and returned the following morning apparently well fed and content to sleep through the day. We fed but one cat and she nourished her brood. There were no midnight yowls nor caterwaulings to disturb slumbers.

And then occurred an incident which I believe is without parallel. When the kittens had grown sufficiently so that we let them out into our yard, each one ran hurriedly and unerringly to the daddy it resembled and remained with him. And each night the parents and children left at sundown to hunt or forage until morning.

I have searched the complete category of cats and found no similar acts of felines. Change and coincidence must be eliminated, for when Genevieve obliged with an encore, to coin a new phrase, and presented us with a duplicate covey of kittens, each an exact counterpart of her first born, and they had grown to be active and frisky, they seized their first opportunity to leave us and run to the daddies they resembled and stayed there. Possibly some naturalist, philosopher, psychologist or perhaps a psychiatrist has the answer to this but I have none.

The time was now approaching when we must return to the city, and there was that passel of cats, 24 of them. What was to be done?

Our feelings toward them had been of the friendliest nature, they had minded their own business and caused us no trouble. And yet they had come to us without invitation, and as I thought about it I began to consider they were imposing upon us, and I began to be resentful of their presence. And if we just left and went home some bright morning, if they followed us. I might walk out on my porch and there would be that chowder of cats. My resentment rose to anger.

In my rage, and going to the door, where I stood in full view of all, I elevated myself to my full height, drew in a deep breath, and with all the power at my command let out a raucous and horrendous “S-s-s-scat,” and they scattered, and contrary to what cats are expected to do, none of that stampeding herd came back.

Back in the city Genevieve was the same placid pet that she had always been. She exhibited no amorous activity and apparently completely disregarded the night yowls of the multitudinous alley cats in our neighborhood. Her limited acquaintance had been entirely with gentlemanly boy friends, and rowdies did not interest her. At a ripe old age the last of her nine lives quietly left her with a smile upon her face, like that of her legendary ancestor who had swallowed the canary, and apparently contented with her life accomplishments that in one short season at the Vineyard she had done her bit.

Compiled by Alison Mead