Out of stories? I think not! You could write about the weather in your part of the world and I think all of us would agree that it was the most interesting weather report we had ever had the good opportunity and fortune to read
Out of stories? I think not! You could write about the weather in your part of the world and I think all of us would agree that it was the most interesting weather report we had ever had the good opportunity and fortune to read
Ironically, there were back-to-back Hilda and Betsy hurricanes in the mid 50's. Hilda, in 1955, crossed the Yucatan peninsula, making landfall in Central Mexico. Hurricane Betsy of 1956 did not make landfall in North America.
In addition to the two I've mentioned I was In Baton Rouge when Andrew made landfall in 1992. I spent more than a week completely alone in my neighborhood. For more than a week I had no electricity, no running water, no human contact, and no garbage can (it was blown away in the wind).
Beginning more than a year ago I undertook the gargantuan task of commuting one and a half hours each way to and from work. When I lived in Chicago that was no big deal, but here in rural Northeast Mississippi, that would be considered excessive. Nonetheless, one must do what one must to earn a living.
One of the liabilities of such a drive is that I must witness many wandering animals along the route. I see a lot of deer and possums and armadillos and coyotes and, of course, dogs and cats. I found Roy (missing) and Cathy driving either to or from work. I have captured other animals, which I subsequently delivered to our local humane shelter.
One such waif I acquired, however, at the very place where I work. I work in an 8-story building on the edge of Memphis and Germantown, Tennessee. As I was entering the building one morning I saw a lady with a crowd surrounding her. I could tell something was up, so out of curiosity I decided to check out the situation. She was holding a kitten. The little tyke had simply wandered up to her as she was entering the building, and did anyone know to whom the kitty belonged?
Of course, everyone was sympathetic, but all had to get to their respective offices to begin work. The lady was visibly exasperated, her eyes begging for someone to relieve her of her burden. So here I was again. I knew what was going to happen, but I was not excessibely thrilled. I volunteered to help out, and took the poor waif into my hands. He was a cute thing, very tiny, lost or abandoned, but he was definitely alone in this world.
Delaying my own ascent to my office, which is on the fifth floor, I asked to borrow the phone at the front desk. I called local shelters, animal control, and even a local vet or two. Nope. No one was in a position to help in any way, so I asked for and received a box from building security and secured the kitty. The local maintenance man allowed me to store my prisoner in a sealed room, and off I went to work.
This is how I came into possession of Pete ..., or should I say that this is how Pete came into possession of me. I had not intended to keep him -- I had too many kitties anyway -- but as I should have learned by then, my intentions to deliver don't always work out. So after Pete had come to stay with me for a few days, his stay became a permanent situation. No problem. He is a very low maintenance kitty.
Pete not long after coming to live with me:
Pete hit it off with Thumper:
Pete is such a showoff:
Pete and Thumper share a secret:
Ah ..., Pete:
This is Pete:
Last edited by Willow Oak; 09-01-2008 at 10:27 AM. Reason: I can't sbell
That picture of Pete in the feeder is adorable! I knew you hadn't ran out of stories.
Forever in my heart...
LOL! I don't think Taz takes you seriously.
I was just remembering that I once drove from Pennsylvania to Mississippi. It had to be about 12 years ago. I met a guy who was visiting a friend of mine up here, and he was getting out of the Navy and moving back home. Home being Jackson, Mississippi. I decided to take a long weekend and drive there. That was fun, lol. 19hrs straight I drove! I stopped a few times to get something to eat/snack on, but that was it.
I don't remember too much about the visit. I was so exhausted! I left PA on a Friday at noon time, and got back home on a Sunday night/Monday morning.
I do remember being welcomed by his family, and the brother saying "Welcome to God's country, honey!" Jackson seemed to be so expansive, and just broad and flat. That's what I remember most, lol. I was used to Pennsylvania with all the mountains and valleys and things like that. I never pictured Mississippi being broad and even.
Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History
-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Pete has such a sweet face, and yes, he certainly hit it off with Thumber.
Love the picture of him in the bird feeder, and the one where he and Thumper are sharing secrets. LOL! Thumber looks like he's in heaven, there on the blanket. It's great they get along so well!
"I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.
So far among the cats you've met are Cougar, who had all his teeth extracted; Pete, who I found at work; Buddy, the "wild" cat that took me four years to catch and tame; Cleopatra, the beautiful Himalayan who no one seemed to want; her babies: Pinky, Lightly, and Darkly; Thumper, the "Killer Kat;" And Smokey, the lone survivor of Sheba's babies.
There are others. First there is Boots. Boots came to me from somewere. He wasn't there, then suddenly there he was. Boots has been with me for about seven years. Boots is a Tuxedo, and he is a very smart and loving kitty. Boots is a "wanderer." But he almost always shows up at bedtime. And he talks a lot. I can go outside and call "Boots!" And if he is nearby he will answer and come running. What a smart kitty Boots is!
Tiger's story is a sad one. He was found alive from among a litter of kittens that had been dumped on one of our country roads. All had lost their little lives except for Tiger. Tiger is the quietest animal on the premises. I never hear a peep out of him. He is sweet and calm, and he loves to snuggle with the dogs. He sleeps in my bed -- especially if Oscar is there. He loves to sleep with Oscar.
BKI and BKII (Black Kat I and Black Kat II) were born to a stray that lived with my neighbor relative. They were born there and lived there for the first few months of their lives. One day I was outside with the other kitties and suddenly BKI and BKII were there where I was. And they have been with me since. Somehow they figured that life with me would be better than life with my neighbor relative. They are both so much alike that I cannot tell them apart. Both love to talk and both are very affectionate. They are sweet and very untroublesome.
BKI or BKII?
BKI or BKII?
(Actually both pictures above could be the same cat!)
I have so many cats, that I can positively say that I have a lot of cats! Please tell me: what is there in this world that beats having a whole bunch of cats? And the best part is, I can pick any one up and love on it and it will purr and love me back.
Eat your heart out!
My very first pet was a dog. Oh, how I loved that dog and she loved me.
Tragically she was taken from me at far too young an age - one year.
I grieved for her for a long time.
My second pet was a cat - Sugar - the love of my life - he left me for the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 18.
I have had two kitties since Sugar and lost them both to serious illnesses which made me search for Pet Talk and answers.
Now I have three - and today a dear friend lost her kitty. It made me come home after helping her and bury my face into my love, Rascal, and tell him that I love him, and he will always have the best care I can afford to provide for him.
Through all of life's joys and tribulations I am grateful that I have always had a kitty on hand to share my life and allow me to shower them with love and care. There just isn't anything like a kitty, even one who likes to chew on my hair and scalp at 4 am!!!
His sisters Annie and Emma round out my tribe and make life wonderful and happy! God knew what He was doing when he created cats.
I have lost a few friends through the years. The grief is always with me. When I contemplate the pain that accompanies the unexplained disappearance of a furry friend I turn my thoughts to those parents who have lost a child through some nefarious means. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for them.
Pookie was found wandering the roads by a neighbor when she was a pup. I was asked to look after her, and she remained with me until just before I had the fence constructed, then she suddenly vanished. She escaped the back yard fence and I've not seen her since. I have grieved for her lately especially. She was the smartest of all my dogs.
There have been others. There was Roy. Row, a beagle, looked very much like Cathy. He is another one that I rescued, and when he arrived he was skin and bones and all-over mange. As beagles do, however, he dug his way out of the backyard fence, and I've not seen him since.
I miss Charcoal, a beautiful Persian kitty -- black with a silver mane. He came to me from "out of the woods." He too, was very smart and affectionate. He has been missing for a couple of years.
Biscuit came up missing shortly after I bought Willow Oak. She was a long haired, brindle-colored pup, very smart, and very affectionate.
Socks, I have already talked about. I lost him through sheer stupidity.
I had to learn the hard way with beagles. When I rescued Sally she was nothing but skin and bones. She has been missing for a couple of years. With beagles you must keep them on a leash or in a kennel.
I miss them. They are gone. It hurts.
It must be a continual heart break for you, to invest so much time and love in a dog or cat and then have it up and leave you. I think some pets just have that "wandering gene" and cannot stay in any one place for a long time period. I know some breeds are known for "moving on" or "wandering" much more often than others.
I suppose you could consider them boarders rather than residents? It would be nice if they could leave a note or something. If they could leave notes, I bet the notes would give you some comfort. ...... Dear Dad, thanks so much for the grub and warm beds and of course, for all the love and attention. I must continue on my journey even though I know what a cushy life I would have if I decided to stay here. Wish me luck.........
I don't know how you do it. You are an animal's best friend, for sure.
Last edited by sasvermont; 09-07-2008 at 10:06 AM.
I could call the local animal shelter and offer them $1000. They would gladly stop, drop, and roll. They would come to my house, load up all my animals, clean up the mess they leave behind, mow my grass, wash my dishes, and fill up the tank in my car, and I would be done with the whole mess. Then maybe I could go out and buy a steak; chase women; buy a boat; drive fast in a sports car; maybe even run for vice-president! [Sorry! I couldn't resist!]
I could do that except for the fact that I can't do that.
So it is, and so it was that evening as I neared my house. I have a three hour round-trip to and from work each day, and was within three minutes of arriving home from work. All would be well. Feed and water the dogs and cats that I already have; give Bonnie her evening medicine; take my evening medicine; fix my dinner; sit down to watch TV or play on the computer -- just relax.
The last little community through which I pass on my way home is the obsolete town of Winnesoga. Winnesoga is within a couple of miles of my house. Basically, all that remains is a railroad crossing and a couple of weed-infested, overgrown and crumbled foundations of what had once been a country store and a post office. There are also a handful of mostly dilapidated old dwellings. People actually live in those structures. As I pass through the area I occasionally see small children playing in one of the yards; a cat or two cleaning itself on the front porch of one of the houses; or a dog or two milling about the wooded area.
On this particular day I saw something more than that. Just as I drew up to the railroad crossing I slowed down, as I a wont to do, and right in the middle of the road was a very tiny, almost too small to see bundle of chocolate brown fur. I immediately recognized it as a pup -- probably way too young to even be weaned. I stopped my car and got out. The little tyke ran to the side of the road and underneath some trash that was piled on the road's shoulder. Looking about I could see no one, but I did see the pup's mother, a black and tan, standing near one of the buildings and looking not very concerned.
I walked over to investigate the pup, and upon lifting a piece of plywood found two more pups. Well, I already knew within my soul what was coming. I pulled my car into the house nearest to where I had stopped and honked my horn. I inquired of the gentleman about the dog and the pups, and he assured me that the dog wasn't his. The dog was a stray and had been in the area for a few weeks. I should check with the lady next door.
When I honked my horn at the house next door, a lady and her two little girls exited. Yes, she had been throwing table scraps to the dog, yes it was a stray, and, oh by the way, there were three more pups under the house. The little girls retrieved the other pups. “Does anyone have a box I could borrow?”
With the help of the little girls and their mother and the gentleman next door, I managed to corral the puppies into a cardboard box, and ensconce the momma dog into my car, and then it was off to my house. The much anticipated evening of relaxation was not to be.
Four males and two females. Two black and tans; four solid blacks; one chocolate brown. And a momma dog. Plus the nine I already had ..., the next week was to be one of mostly sleep-deprivation, cleaning ..., well, you know what I was cleaning; mopping floors; extra mouths to feed; waking up through the night to sounds of crying and barking. In the meantime I called the animal shelter and they agreed to take the pups ..., would I keep them until they were weaned? I agreed, so another couple of weeks of sleep deprivation to look toward.
There is one thing though. Grace has been a real help so far. You can imagine that cleaning up after six pooping puppies is quite a chore. They tend to get in the way, so when it comes time to clean up I call Grace: “Here, Gracie! I need your help.” She already knows her name, so she comes running. She will lead the pups into another room and keep them occupied while I clean up the room they've messed up. When I am finished, she will then usher them back into the room I just cleaned. She really is a good helper!
To be continued ...
In case you were interested ...
You've all seen the movie "Walking Tall," about sheriff Buford Pusser. Well, the story takes place in Selmer, Tennessee. The row of cat houses that Sheriff Pusser busted was located on the Tennessee-Mississippi state line, which is about a quarter of a mile from Willow Oak. The area of the cat houses is within three miles of where I live.
Mary Winkler lived (and murdered) her husband in Selmer, Tennessee, which is 12 miles distance form here.
I received the following story from a friend. You'll need to have your Kleenex handy.
My parents’ attitude towards animals was that its usefulness was only fulfilled if it provided sustenance for the body or labor for the farm. Both of my parents grew up during the Great Depression, during which time neither of them had much in the way of pets. Poor farm folk simply could not afford idle mouths to feed, so there would be no such silliness in their household. My mother’s father was a very strict, ultra-religious man who countenanced no frills. She would inherit his traits. My Father had much the same upbringing and offered Mother no argument when it came to household pets: they would simply not be allowed in their house.
I am older than my sister by a few years, and she and I grew up in a home mostly devoid of household pets. So it remained until just after my sister’s high school graduation when my sister received a kitten for Christmas, courtesy of a friend. My sister was at the time a freshman in college, living in a dormitory, so returning to college with the kitty was out of the question. I was already married with children, and had my own set of responsibilities, so I could not take on the added burden of caring for an animal, so would Mom and Dad be willing to let the kitten live with them while sister went back to college?
Mom let her objections be known, and Dad agreed with Mom, of course. In the meantime, we had our Christmas that year, and most of our family was there, all enjoying each other’s presence and the many presents! Among the presents the kids received was a race-car set my husband and I gave our son. He and my husband set it up, and we adults all sat around and watched him race his cars about the track. And so did the kitty. She was such a gorgeous little kitty – a beautiful calico with large areas of white. It was funny to watch that energetic little bundle of fur bouncing around the track after the little car. I don’t know about my sister, but as I watched the little kitty running around, chasing the car I thought about what it might have been like for us if we had been allowed to have pets while we were growing up.
Nowadays I have cats. As a matter of fact, cat reclamation is sort of a hobby of mine. Unlike the experience I had growing up I saw to it that my children had pets. Today I have a daughter who “claims” she speaks “kitten,” and …, well, that story is separate and will stand on its own. But looking back on that Christmas morning more than 40 years ago, I can still see that little ball of white calico racing around the track, chasing the little cars, wondering what was to become of her.
It turns out that I wasn’t the only one amused by the antics of the little kitty. Evidently my dad had been observing and was much amused. My dad sat there giggling like a school child as the kitty ran and jumped and entertained us all. “I don’t see what harm it would do,” he said blithely. So too, it turned out, had my mother been observing the kitty, and it came as a great relief to my sister and big surprise to me when Mom spoke up and said that the kitty could stay while my sister was away in college, but …, the kitten had to go as soon as my sister graduated. “In the meantime,” said my mother who turned and looked sternly at my father: “She’s your responsibility until then.”
And so began the saga of Piewacket and her time with the family. Sis would go off to college, and my parents would become parents all over again – albeit foster parents. I didn’t know for sure, but I figured that neither of my parents had ever owned a pet, or if they had their experience was limited, so it would be a curious thing to see how this experiment would develop. As it turned out, it went pretty well. My sister did her stint in college, and my parents fulfilled their responsibility of “foster” parenting while she was away. Of course, sister would return home from time to time during that four year period, and she and Piewacket would make their visits together. Sis would always return to college, and Mom and Dad would continue to look after the kitty, feeding her and changing her litter box.
As in this world time moves and on, and so it did for Mom and Dad. Mom was diagnosed with ALS at a relatively young age. As the years passed the disease progressed, and Mom came to be confined to her home. In the meantime Sis had graduated from college, and per the agreement she had with my parents, promptly showed up at home to get the cat and move her into my her new apartment. There was a glitch in that arrangement, however, when Sis discovered that one of her roommates was allergic to cats. Her plans were to live there temporarily and move on so she could reclaim her kitty, so my parents agreed that the cat could stay on with them a while longer. Dad had assumed the domestic duties of the household, among which included the personal care of my mother, who had gradually lost her ability to care for herself, and most of the care for Piewacket. Another few years passed, and sister made an attempt to retrieve the kitty only to find another glitch: she had gotten married, but she had forgotten to ask if he liked cats. He was adamantly opposed to having one in the house, so Piewacket continued to stay on with Mom and Dad.
Time went on, and Sis decided that the marriage wasn’t working, so she separated from her husband and got her an apartment by herself, whereupon she presented herself at my parents’ house to retrieve Piewacket, who by then was past 10 years of age, having lived her whole life at my parents’ home.
“Perhaps you ought to leave her here,” said my dad. Sis had Piewacket in her arms and was exiting my parents’ house when my dad confronted her at the door. “Reaching out and taking Piewacket from my sister, he continued, “She’s been here for these years …, she’s too old and accustomed to this place …, why not get yourself another kitten …? You would like that.”
“Well, I promised I would come back and get her …”
“No. I think she should stay. Your mother and I have decided. You’re starting over – why not just get another kitty and start over with that one?” In the end my dad insisted that Piewacket stay with him and Mom, and that was the end of that. Piewacket, would not be leaving the only home she had ever known.
As I sit here I am reminded of those days of not so long ago. Mom had begun a regular routine of hospital visits for testing. Dad would go and stay there with her, and much to our relief and parents’, Piewacket was allowed to go too. I can recall going to the hospital to see Mom. Dad would be there, sitting beside her bed, holding her hand, and in his lap there would be Piewacket. With one hand Dad would be holding onto Mother, and with the other he would be stroking Piewacket. Mother would have a need, and Dad would slowly rise from his chair and gently place Piewacket on the seat. Dad would get Mother a glass of water or see to some other personal need. Then he would return to the chair, and once again gently pick up Piewacket and sit down. Then he would reach over and place his hand on mother, while resuming his other attentions to Piewacket.
At that time, Piewacket was up in years, and she had her own personal needs that needed tending. Once during one of my visits I observed as Dad carried Piewacket into the bathroom where he had placed her litter box, so that she could tend to her “business.” On another visit I saw my dad rise up and lean over so he could hear something mother was saying to him. He then held Piewacket close to Mom where she could see and assure herself that the cat was okay. Mother reached a feeble hand to touch Piewacket’s fur, and from where I stood in the room I observed the relief that crossed my mother’s face. Dad, too, held Piewacket close as he tenderly stroked the beautiful calico fur.
Yes, I recall those days. My parents are gone now, my mother having preceeded my dad in death by five years. Piewacket died several years before my mother. My parents never had another animal in the house after Piewacket. As I said before, my parents’ attitude towards animals was that its usefulness was only fulfilled if it provided sustenance for the body or labor for the farm. That described my parents’ attitude toward pets for the most part, and for the most part they never had a pet, and they would never have one. There simply was no room in their lives for such frivolity.
That is except for those few years when Piewacket came to live in their home. A period of time that was to last for 22 years!
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