Caddy cat: stray tabby is the purrfect golf course companion
'She never criticizes, she lets you score whatever you want, and she's not giving you lousy advice'
Agile reflexes, a love of the game, and an extensive knowledge of the course. And she can't really give you any guff if you bungle your shot.
She may be the perfect caddy. Her name is Hello Kitty.
The grey-and-white tabby has become a permanent resident of Bent Stick Golf Course in New Sarepta, southeast of Edmonton.
She's a stray with a keen nose for the game. She follows golfers around the country course for an entire round.
When she's not basking in the soft, warm grass of the greens, she's watching players swing and putt, even hitching a ride in the cart.
"If you were going too slow on the cart, she didn't like that, she'd get out and run. She knows the course," said Don Lucas, a regular player at the course.
"Even the guys who have the pull carts, the cat will jump on the pull cart and ride the clubs. She likes golfing with everybody."
Lucas says he was lining up his first tee of the day on a chilly afternoon a few weeks ago when he had his first encounter with Hello Kitty. She hopped into his moving cart, perching beside him on the seat.
"While I'm driving, this cat jumps onto the golf cart. It's a pretty agile little pussycat," Lucas said in an interview on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM Tuesday.
"I get up to the first tee and I get off and I'm pulling my drivers out and she gets off too," Lucas said.
"And I'm thinking, 'Boy, I hope she doesn't try to get too close when I'm swinging the clubs because they're pretty dangerous when you start swinging that thing around.'
"It liked the greens. When you get on the green, it lays down.
"Otherwise, it's following you or on the cart. Sometimes, it jumps on the fender and I thought it was going to fall off, but it never fell off ... and we're bouncing along, I mean it's a country course."
Lucas says the stray feline, which appeared at the course three months ago, is the perfect golfing companion, and could bring any player back from a bad round.
"She gets off every time and watches you shoot and then gets back on," Lucas said.
"She's really good, because she never criticizes, she lets you score whatever you want, and she's not giving you lousy advice. She's just supportive.
A grand slam stray
But like any seasoned golfer knows too well, winter is coming. And as the greens turn frosty, Lucas wants to make sure Hello Kitty enjoys the off-season.
He's working with Cathy Marfleet, a staff member at the club, to find the stray feline winter accommodations. Hello Kitty is spending her nights inside the clubhouse, and Lucas will be bringing her to his shop for the winter.
But both agree, Hello Kitty will be returning to the course in the spring as soon as the snow melts and the golfers return to the fairways.
In the meantime, this furry caddy's services are still available upon request. Just knock on the door of the clubhouse if you want to bring her along for your game.
Lucas recommends it.
"I like this cat. She's the perfect catty."
With files from Tanara McLean