Edited by Henry H. Mitchell.

(June 4, 2000 – July 16, 2001)

Always a lady


"My mother taught me to always be feminine."

Miss Hollywood


"Hello, dahling!"

Miss Match


"This bowl must have shrunk!"

My first Christmas


"I love ribbons and baskets!"

Window treatment

Dandy and Sassy

Sassy mirrors her brother Dandy in a sunny window.

Try sleeping this way…

Sassy and Dandy

"Sleeping upside down is SO comfortable!"

…And this way

Sassy, Dandy, and Marsh

"Packaging is very important to the product."



Looking out on the wonderful world (of birds!).

A lesson

Marsh and Sassy

"Uncle Marsh, you are such a good teacher!"

Another lesson

Marsh and Sassy

"Uncle Marsh, you have so many good ideas!"

Media influence

Sassy, Dandy, and Garfield

A famous face supervises sleep classes.

A new life together

Dandy and Sassy

Little Dandy and big Sassy stick together in their adopted home.

Sassy's sisters

Sassy's sisters

Sassy's two calico sisters, held by Sarah Mitchell.

A Baby picture

Sassy and Dee Gochenour

Sassy with her first people-mommy, Dee Gochenour.

Sassy's mother

David Mitchell and Minnie

Sassy's mother, Minnie, is greeted by David Mitchell.

Sassy came to live at the Mitchell house after we searched long and hard to find a replacement for our 20-year-old Honeysucker, who died at Easter 2000. We knew we wanted a healthy, furry, friendly, and communicative kitten, but we looked at many purebred and mixed longhair kittens over a several-week period without choosing one.

Ned Richardson

Finally we called Ned Richardson, veteran host of "The Trading Post" on WBTM 1330 radio in Danville, Virginia. Ned is a well-known cat-lover, whose winter weather prognostications are typically, "It's going to be cold tonight, so we'll have to throw on another cat!" Ned took Henry's kitten specs on the air, and within five minutes Patricia received a call from Dee Gochenour of Danville, who reported having taken in a stray longhair, "Minnie," who was apparently going to deliver kittens soon.

The blessed arrival occurred on June 4, 2000. Six weeks later, the babies were ready to go, so we went for a look. There were two tiny red tabby boys, and three large calico girls. The biggest of the girls, called "Cleopatra" by the Gochenours, was ranging off and under the deck where the other kittens were staying, and wandering around the back yard. She was very quick and alert, and had big round eyes and a raccoon mask. We selected her, and renamed her "Sassyfras," as a hint of her attitude! One of her little brothers also won our hearts, and so we took him, too, calling him "Dandylion."

Our heartfelt thanks go to Dee and Eddie Gochenour for raising such responsive little cats!

Sadly, on July 9, 2001, just short of a year after we adopted her, Sassyfras began drooling, dry-heaving, and crying just a little, every hour or two, but otherwise bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as usual. Thinking she had a hairball, we tried dosing her with mineral oil, but with no apparent change in her condition. On July 12 we took her to the vet. X-rays seemed to show an object that looked like a beaded earring or brooch in her slightly distended stomach, so the vets and we agreed that it should come out immediately. But when they operated, there was nothing there but an ulcer. They also noted that the liver was white. They took several biopsies. Within two days, she lapsed into uncontrollable seizures. They determined that apparently she had liver failure due a congenital condition which prevents circulation of blood through the liver.

So we all did what we could, but it wasn't enough. She left us on July 16, 2001. We are thankful to have enjoyed Sassy's remarkable beauty, charm, affection, irrepressible energy, and sunny personality for the years she was with us.

Photo of Ned Richardson provided by WBTM Radio.

This webpage is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.