Pets have always been in my life, except a few years when we accidently discovered John, my husband, was allergic to cats,
When I was four or five years old, Daddy took us kids on a drive to visit Uncle Pete and Aunt Margaret. They were very poor, lived on a dirt road out in the country, but I loved Aunt Margaret, who looked like her sister who was my grandmother.
We were all sitting on the front porch. It was summer and very warm. In a lull in the conversation, which was rare because Aunt Margaret was a great talker just like her sister, Daddy heard a sound, like a wounded animal, coming from under the porch. He looked questioningly to Uncle Pete who said it was the neighbor's dog that was left out loose all day, and probably was hungry. He further explained to Daddy they could not afford to keep it and if he wanted it for us kids and could coax it from under the porch he could have it.
Daddy retrieved the dog out from under the porch where we kids dubbed it Muggsy,
he checked with the owner who didn't want it, and dirt and all we took her home. We
gave her a bath and she became a member of our home until she died of old age.
In a few years Mac and Susie's black Spaniel was having a litter. Realizing Muggsy was getting old, Daddy agreed to take one of the puppies. He picked the black runt of the litter which my brothers dubbed Rasty and the day Daddy took him home they had welcomed him home with chalk on the brick beside the entrance. Rasty became mother's dog. By the time he was a year old we discovered he was not a runt but the size of a pony, and I was scared of him because of his size.
Then there were the cats. Sandy, an orange cat, became a member of the family in the winter time so he was litter trained. When the weather turned warm mother put him out, but for the longest time he continued to come in the house to use the litter box, which fact annoyed mother no end. Daddy trained him to sit on a stool beside the dinner table while we ate, but he never touched the table. Another trick he taught himself was to tip the box of dog biscuits over and scoot the biscuits with his paw from the top pf the stove to the dogs who were eagerly waiting on the floor for them. That was the same cat who cried to be let in of an evening and daddy opened the door just in time to see a mouse's tail disappear down the cat's throat.
Clarence Hastings Daniel Lewis Jeep Itchy Jeepers Brooks (shortened to Louie) was the name of our second cat who was black and white. I could not have remembered his whole name but I called my brother in California who has a memory like an elephant to get it. The most vivid memory I have of Louie is he wouldn't move. My parents sold our big (9 room) house when I was the only sibling at home. Louie climbed the ladder leading to the neighbor's loft over their garage the day we moved. We would find him and take him to our new home. When he got out back to the loft he would go. After the third attempt to move him home Daddy said to let him go, and none of us ever saw him again.
After I moved away my folks had a Rat Terrier, a Boston Bull Terrier and a Basenji. Stay tuned to hear about my pets I had and have in my adult life.
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Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on Amazon.com, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9