Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pets

Friday deadline is here if I wish to participate in the Spin Cycle theme.   I decided I wanted to fondly remember a few of my hairy BFFs.  The first of the hairy friends came from my mom's brothers when I was just a baby.  They were just pups themselves and part greyhound blood.  Uncle Clay gave me the yellow one, Uncle Bud gave me the black one.

They were named Yella and Blackie.  Real original, right?  Blackie died when he was about four.  I do not remember much about him.  Yella as most farm dogs had some table scraps.  Mostly he chased and caught his own food.  Rabbits were one of his favorite and his greyhound bloodline made them easily caught.  Yella would follow the bus to the country school we girls attended.  This was probably because my folks drove the bus.  Yella was a favorite with the kids.  We used his back as a slide.  Yella lived till he was 9 or 10 years old.  I cried for days after finding his stiff body next to the dirt driveway at our house.

As with all country homes we had cats that lived outside.  There was one cat, Mildred, that was allowed in the house as she was a great mouser.  Old farm houses were prone to mice in the winter.  Mildred was such a good mouser she would be loaned to other farmers to mouse their homes.  That probably makes some of you just shutter and go "Eeewwwww".  That is just how is was down on the farm.  Cats are still needed in barns, etc where there are grains and hay.  Two favorite places for mice.

There were several years between the Yella years and the arrival a Priscilla the blue point Siamese in our life.  We had moved into our new home and a coworker had a cat she wanted to give away due to a new grandbaby in the house.  Priscilla very shortly went into heat and literally climbed the aluminum frame windows in our home.  A too slowly closed door led to the great escape.  We thought we had lost Priscilla.  But no, we had not lost her, we had gained a family of kittens.  Once the kittens were weaned and given to a farmer, Miss Priss visited the vet for a little snip work

Lots of Priscilla stories could be told.  She did get lost again after we moved to Missouri.  We had jumped in the car and took off only to notice Priscilla holding on for dear life.  Those same nails that climbed the windows in Texas had a death grip on the edge of the car trunk lid up next to the back window.  I came to a screeching stop.  John Roger & I catapulted from the car to get her.  We were no match for for a four legged terrified cat.  

About 6 months later I saw her walking down the sidewalk next to my husband's family's TV shop.  I called her name and she came right up to me.  A person who had watch the as I called and Priscilla had responded came to me.  Priscilla had turned up at their house.  As Priscilla did not like a collar, there were no tags.  The lady said she knew the cat belonged to someone as she looked cared for.  They had named her Princess.  They let us have her back.  Priscilla was over 17 years old when she just wandered away one day.

Sara was a mongrel/sheep dog that showed up at our home in Texas.  Gene liked her and vise versa.  So we began feeding her.  Took her to the vet, got shots, meds for worms and dip for the mange she had.  Cleaned her up real good.  She was looking good, a little too good.  I glanced out the window and she was hooked up with an ambitious beagle.  Some of the puppies looked like Sara, some the ambitious beagle.  I only remember where one of the beagle look likes went, to my non-hairy BFF from high school, Dona.  The dispersal of this litter led to another trip to the vet.

Our son brought several cats into our life via our friend Donna.  Donna is one of those folks with a flashing sign visible only to the stray animal's eye.  I am certain the sign flashes alternating messages "Animal lover" and "she is a real sucker for strays".  And we were suckers for her animal redistribution system.  She is better than any shelter I ever seen.  Yellow Lantern, Priss, Charlie and Bert are the names of cats I remember.  I will need to commit at least a couple of blogs apiece to the antics of Charlie and Bert.  Our last dog was 11 year old Cookie.  Cookie was Gene's dog that Donna set up for him for his retirement companion. 

Cookie did not like baths.  One night I spelled "b a t h" to Gene and Cookie ran behind the chair.  We did not believe what we saw so spelled it again.  She ran under the bed.  One smart Cookie.  Cookie became gravely ill while we were in Texas to move my mom.  The vet that had snipped an animal or two for us put Cookie out of her misery.  Gene decided we did not need more ashes so Cookie is somewhere near Allen, Texas.

The aforementioned Charlie lived through being run over by a car.  His lower jaw was broken just to the right of the point of his chin.  The vet wired the broken chin together till it healed then removed the wire.  Charlie died at around 15+ from cancer that developed around the chin injury.  That is what cats will do, develop cancer is areas of injury.  Our last cat came quickly after that as our son and his then wife knew we needed the small, one eyed female that wandered up to them at a McDonald's parking lot.  They drove to Missouri one weekend to deliver the Tejas Gato named Cinders.  Cinders died from cancer caused by the loss of her eye.  An injury before we ever even had her.  Cinders was our cat but she liked to sleep on me as did Charlie.  Cinders is buried under the cedar slice by the dogwood in our back yard.  Shhh, that's illegal in this county.

Only minutes before reading the Spin Cycle challenge for this week, I had informed Gene that the ashes of Samantha, our Golden retriever, would make the move to Texas.  Sam was received from a coworker that was "dog poor".  Anyone not from the South might need to know that means she had too many dogs.  As usual, I digress.

Sam started out as our then teenage son's dog.  She ended up being my dog, the last of the dogs that claimed me as the special member.  Of course she was a golden retriever so that means anyone will to pet her was her new favorite person of the minute.  On thunderous, stormy nights, Sam sought solace by coming to my side of the bed.  Her body would press against the side of the mattress.  Her shaking was so intense you would have sworn someone just put a quarter in the bed at the cheap motel.  If we were at work when a storm would blow up, our kind neighbor would come over to set with Sam.  More than once she became so frightened she soil in the house.  Sam would then be so embarrassed after that.

Sam was beside me as I dug tons of rocks out or my yard.  In the early spring we would spend Saturday mornings on the patio.  Sometimes I could blow an hour combing out the winter under growth she shed.  I would let part of the hair blow around the yard for the birds to use building their nests.  Always the lady, Sam would gently place her teeth on my combing hand when she had endured as much combing as she wanted that day.  

Following a combing session I would dig more rocks, that is what they call gardening in southwest Missouri.  Then us girls would go in for a shower.  Doggie shampoo for Sam and even a special toothbrush for her.  I would dry her off with special Sam towels.  I even has a pink shortie robe I would put on Sam after her bath.  She tolerated that good enough but the pink head band left her with a disgusted face.  I have a picture somewhere of her looking disgusted.  Of course a little combing and telling her how pretty she was had her smiling in no time.

Sam was suffered from cancer in her last few months of life.  One morning Sam was especially ill.  I prepared to literally carry her to the car for what was the final vet visit. But I stopped and sat in the floor next to her for a little Sam time.  I was stroking her head and telling how how much I love and enjoyed her even though she did occasionally dig up flower beds.  She lifted her paw and placed it across my other hand.  She looked at me with one of  those deep brown eyed looks telling me it would okay.   Sam was 14 years old.  I am bawling just remembering that day.

And that is why Sam's ashes will be moved with us to a different state.  And the ashes will not be spread or buried outside cause it might just blow us one of those loud, thunderous storms.  Sam needs to be inside and close to us not out in the storm.

You'll find less sappy, funnier and just plain good reads over at Gretchen's

Second Blooming

My Sam being happy one Saturday as I dug rocks/gardened.
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