What I didn’t talk about in my last post about pets was my feelings about my cats. What they meant to me. I loved those little guys. They each had their own personalities and they seemed to love me back in the way cats love you back.
Remember, they did come home every day. In Wenonah in 1961 you just let your cat out the back door in the morning and it ran around all day long and came home when it wanted. Pretty much that was true of dogs as well. My friend Terry’s dog Susie wandered the neighborhood for years. Half blind with what looked like five tails she meandered around from kid to kid, yard to yard, always coming back to Terry’s garage.
Same with Surprise and Timmy. Each night they came to our room and laid down on the beds with Mick and I. I can remember with utter clarity sitting on the edge of the bed watching one particularly terrible thunderstorm with Surprise. She lay next to me purring contentedly while lightning and thunder shook the sky and rain poured down in thick sheets.
My mother would go to the Tony Sacca’s butcher shop once a week and buy them liver. They ate canned food and drank milk. No water. No dry food. No feline leukemia. They were fierce animals that craved our companionship and we honored them.
My Nonny Glading hated cats. When she came to visit she’d shoo them out of the house with a broom or pour water on them. She swore they’d smother Mary Lou in her bed by trying to drink the milk off her lips.
There was one other animal in my life that meant the world to me. My father’s mother and father had an Irish Setter named Happy. He was in their family when I was born and lived well into my youth. He let me tug his ears and flop on his side while he lay on the floor. He was a great and handsome animal in the way dogs are great and handsome.
This love of pets led me to get a dog in my twenties. A lab retriever. Named Boo. Actually Boobs a Lot after the Fugs song “You’ve got to like boobs a lot”. My ex-wife Kathy named her but she was my dog to the bottom of both of our hearts. Just before Boo died my girl friend at the time bought me another lab, Lucy. When we split up I got a beautiful Rottweiler, Lulu. Now I have two wild dogs running through my apartment…Cookie and Milo. Cookie’s a lab and Milo is a shelter dog and they both enrich my life in ways I can’t understand. Linda has two dogs, Ike, a Newfie, and Tina a runt lab and I love them too. God, dogs and cats are wonderful. Too bad for the toad.