Local author’s love for animals inspires Senator Bollweevil cat extraordinaire


By reading this enjoyable memoir, one will pick up tidbits on the “dos and don’t” of raising a feline. Are you aware of the dangers of antifreeze, toilet bowl cleaners, and numerous plants to your pets? Declawing should not be an option, according to the Senator. Did you know that there were two kinds of rabies, furious and dumb, and that some healthy-looking animals may be carrying the virus without showing obvious signs? All ages will learn subtly through the narrative how to provide a safe environment for their cat. The book has just been nominated for the Pushcart Award XLIII. The Pushcart Prize is an American literary prize awarded by Pushcart Press to honor the “best poetry, short fiction, essays, or literary whatnot” published in the small presses over the previous year. It is quite an honor to be nominated for this.

Anita grew up in Western North Carolina in a family, who helped manage and taught riding for years at the Bridle and Saddle Club in Biltmore Forest (now torn down and a part of the Carolina Day campus). To many of us, Anita was known as Nitjse Humphries, and her parents were Francis Coxe and Tom H. Humphries Amongst many accomplishments in life, she became an accomplished equestrian, having started showing horses when as young as three. She achieved an A rating with the United States Pony Club, received a #1 rating with the US Equestrian Division of Girls and Women’s Sports before she turned 20 yrs. old, and was a candidate for the US Olympic Team. She earned a BA degree in Speech and Theatre from Stetson University, DeLand, Florida, and later in life she graduated from AB Tech in Culinary Technology and became an accomplished chef. Her restaurant, Specialties Cafe, was located in Doctor’s Park and provided food for the Second and Third Annual Blue Jean Balls for Manna Food Bank in 2001 & 2002. They were awarded the Full Plate Award for their efforts. However, Anita’s heart and passion seem to be in protecting and caring for all animals. She herself takes care of multiple cats at her home.

Anita has been president of the North Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the last 20 years. The NCSPCA was incorporated in 1887 by prominent citizens of Asheville, NC: H. H. Lyons, W. H. Inloes, Thomas W. Patton, W.T. Penniman, H.B. King, J. P. Sawyer, J.E. Rankin, C.M. McLeod, James Courtland Jr., J. L. Carroll, J. G, Martin, and two of Anita’s ancestors, Richmond Pearson, and Frank Coxe. The non-profit, wholly volunteer, organization works, through a number of WNC veterinarians who donate a portion of their services, by helping defray the cost of the supply expenses for animals who have no other means of support. The organization is regulated by the NC Secretary of State. A great deal of Anita’s time is devoted to the SPCA, which concentrates its efforts on the compassionate treatment of animals, saving sick, injured and older animals. Anita often answers calls in the middle of the night, on a holiday, and somehow takes care of the problem at hand. She also often works in conjunction with other organizations such as Furever Friends, Mary Paws, the Buncombe County Animal Control, and the Asheville Humane Society, etc. in an effort to ensure that each animal has the quality of life it deserves. She once helped fund the setting of a quail’s leg; the beloved pet of a 10 year old boy.

Anita has dedicated this heartwarming book to the veterinarians all around the world, who “keep us safe.” She did the illustrations herself and hopes that the Senator Bollweevil’s adventures will be a primer with information for someone considering their first cat or teach others more about animal abuse. The book can be purchased for $14.99 plus tax at the Fletcher Animal Hospital across from Smiley’s Flea Market, at the Happy Hill Restaurant on Patton Avenue, or by emailing Anita directly at:

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