Barbara Johnson, AKA Rat Barbara, AKA the Mad Cat Lady of Lower Clay Street, had her final wish granted as she passed away quietly at home on March 20, 2010, with her husband, Terry, at her side.
Barbara Franklin was born in Glen Cove, Long Island, to James Willard Franklin and Ruth Retallack. She used to kid, “1929 was a bad year all around.” Actually, anyone who met her would disagree. Strongly. She was unfailingly kind, pleasant, considerate and industrious, even as she endured almost three years of cancer and its side effects.
For as long as Barbara could remember, she loved nature. Her father took her for walks in the woods on Long Island, teaching her about the wildlife. It was a dream of hers to be able to live in the woods and provide a wildlife refuge. She always had at least one dog and cat and was fiercely protective of them. Barbara told of a time when her mother was angrily beating on Barbara’s dog, who had committed some mischief. Barbara turned the garden hose on her mother, putting an end to that! Her father’s only comment was how much he would have liked to see it!