Kitty is one of the more tragic and interesting of my reactualized
incarnations so far.
Born in New Castle, PA in 1818, she was the daughter of Charles
postmaster, and Lettie Boyton Fleddoes, a former millinery model. She
had one younger sister,
Penelope. Penelope was considered the great beauty of the family
and was her parents' undisputed favorite, a fact that
caused Kitty no end of grief throughout her life.
A prolific diarist, Kitty wrote with great passion about the daily
events of her life, particularly her secret romantic yearnings. "Today I saw Phillip Reilly at the
wrote in her diary in 1833, when she was fifteen years old. "He has recently cut his hair, and I find
him not quite so attractive as a result.
At age sixteen she fell passionately in love with her second cousin Amos, who
served in the 4th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry.
was later killed at The Battle of Turnip Hill, one of the early
tragedies of Kitty's life.
The following year, at her father's insistence, she married a man named
Ezrah Barr. Ezrah was a huge man, weighing nearly 300 pounds at
the time of their marriage, and was profoundly hard of hearing. The
marriage was never consummated; she and her
husband never once slept in the same bed together. Kitty enjoyed
muttering colorful obscenities at him at the dinner table, knowing that
he couldn't hear her.
As the war neared its conclusion, Kitty began to engage in
correspondence with a lieutenant in the 63rd Regiment. How they
initially began writing to each other is unclear -- in
sessions, under hypnosis, I get the impression that a letter he'd
written to his wife had mistakenly ended up in Kitty's mailbox -- but
the friendship flourished, thanks to a near-daily
exchange of letters that continued throughout most of 1864 and 1865.
The lieutenant was married, but he soon began to profess his love
for Kitty, as did she in exchange for him. At one point she reluctantly
photograph in one of her letters; it was actually a picture of
her sister Penelope, which she passed off as her own. "You are even more beautiful than I'd ever
dreamed, Dear Heart,
" he wrote to her in response, when he saw
the photo. Terrified that he would show up at her doorstep, once
the war was over, and discover that she wasn't a buxom, blue-eyed
beauty with blonde curls ... that she was, instead, a
short, somewhat plain brunette who bit her nails ... she
broke things off with the lieutenant by writing him a 'Dear Horace'
letter. She never heard from him again.
Heartbroken, Kitty retreated into a nightly bottle of Geoffrey's
Cordial. She spent her days walking the banks of the Neshannock
River, and her evenings writing gothic horror novels for gentlewomen.
When Ezrah dropped dead of a heart attack at the breakfast table,
sixteen years into their marriage, she buried him in the backyard,
along with a hatbox filled with the lieutenant's love
She died at age 63, choking on a chicken bone during a church
social. Her last conscious thought before deactualizing was "I should
have had the brisket.
Kitty was survived by two nephews and fourteen cats.