Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why Life Would Be Boring Without Pets

Any pet owner who's paying attention can tell you that each animal has his own personality and quirks.

From my youth:

Tammy - a golden cocker spaniel whose name was taken from the wildly popular movie
          of the time.
Mosby - a sweet but very dim cat whose name came from a TV show about Colonel   
          Mosby, a Confederate officer also known as the Grey Ghost.

Mosby and Tammy had a symbiotic relationship. He needed mothering and she was only too happy to oblige.  Tammy's maternal instincts kicked into high gear on his arrival and they would sit together blissfully while she licked him into a heap of grey sodden fur.
She would also carry him around the house in her mouth with more devotion than skill. When they came down the stairs we could hear Mosby's empty little head thumping against each wooden step on the way down, most likely exacerbating his already limited cognitive abilities.

In my adult years, we’ve now had a series of cats:

Ivy - the orange Tom who would walk with us like a well-trained dog on our evening stroll around the block.

Imogene – A long-haired puff of white and grey fur whose most prized possession was a pink plastic flower.

Coolidge - a black long-hair who would settle in behind the blazing wood stove until she had to be dragged out, dazed from the heat.

Calvin – Our second orange Tom and Coolidge's brother, double pawed like his sister, who would sit by the open basement door waiting for someone to put him downstairs for the night because that was the schedule. During the day he liked to race through the house, ears flattened and tail flying, prompting the family expression, “fast like Calvin.”

Sidney – Another orange Tom and our current cat, Satchel’s, bunk mate at the shelter. While Satchel hunted anything with fur or feathers, Sidney’s specialty was reptiles. He would proudly leave snakes and toads on our front sidewalk for me to admire. 

Howard - a grey Tom, was probably one of the smartest cats we ever had.  
One day, alone at home, I was upstairs changing beds. As I passed by the bathroom on my way to the next bedroom I thought I heard something - the sound of water.

 I looked in to see Howard perched on the edge of the toilet, staring into space and peeing away.

               We probably would have had a more upbeat view of this new development if we'd had another bathroom. Now we had not only four people, but also a cat using the one bathroom in the house.  

You know your universe is a bit skewed if you’re in line behind the cat. 


  1. That is so funny. I love the names you chose for the cats. People who never had pet have missed so much.

    1. It's a little embarrassing the number of conversations we've had about possible cat names.
      Millard and Fillmore, for example. Surprising how presidential names lend themselves to this.

  2. Hahahaha.

    We had Heidi the yellow Lab. Not the brightest dog on the planet, but when you woke her from a dead sleep, she would smile at you. Sweetest dog.

    1. Is there such a thing as a bad-tempered Lab? I doubt it. Sweet, sweet dogs.

  3. You have no idea how long I worked on tying to toilet training my cats. I had two bathrooms and thought that would be perfect. They learned to pee but the splash of solid waste spoiled the program.
    You have had a wonderful and colorful collection. You are so right, they each have distinct personalities.

    1. I have no idea how you'd train a cat to do this - mine was just dumb luck.
      We only achieved "number one." And he never flushed.


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