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From the Desk of MKR

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings loved three things above all else in her life:


The natural beauty of Florida, the groves and hammocks, fauna and flora;

Her husband Norton S. Baskin and…

Her beloved cats Smoky and Uki, and bird-dogs Pat and Moe. 

Not necessarily in that order!


In her letters to Norton she regaled him with tales of their canine and feline adventures…

Hawthorne. Florida


Dear honey:-

I made the trip without undue fatigue. The potato fields were fascinating with sacks of potatoes and with the harvesters.  I stopped and bought a sack.  Moe went wild with joy when I drove in. Idella said that every day he had sat for hours in the middle of the road, watching toward Island Grove. Smoky of course didn’t give a damn.  He had killed and eaten one of my biddies yesterday.  Idella overheard a conversation between Moe and Smoky. They were agreeing on the chickens. Moe said, “I’ll chase the big ones and you chase the little ones.”  Smoky said, “What are we waiting for? Let’s go.”

Cross Creek, Fla.

Nov. 10, 1943

“Writer’s Block”



I made a fresh pot of coffee myself and it was delicious, and Now I feel all right again, only it is so cold I can’t get this big living room heated with the open fire,

and Smoky and his full stomach insist on lying in my lap and I have to lean way over to reach the typewriter.  He picks the most inconvenient times to be affectionate.

Cross Creek, Fla. 

Dec. 10, 1943


“A Death in the Family” 



Poor little Smoky died today.  In spite of my vow not to, of course I have cried bitterly.  The death of a cat, these days, almost comes under the head of humor, in relation to the pretty fix the human race is in—but I had made the mistake of becoming fatuously fond of  him, and he could no longer hide it that he loved me, too.  He was daily more interesting and adorable.  Love of all sorts is such a trap. You pour your affection into fragile vessels, and they slip and crash, and there is your heart’s blood on the ground—and it is possible to lose quite a little from even a little cat-vessel…

All my love,


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