Friday, July 10, 2009

Beginning of legend

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Forty-Five Years of Learning

This piece was inspired by a trip down memory lane after going with a friend when she took her horse to the vet Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Me and my Dalmatians

A link to a story or two about me and my Dalmatians.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cats Then and Now

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend who had a suggestion for me. It is a variation of the “write what you know” theme, but she had a slightly different take on it.

I use stories to help people understand what I’m trying to teach them about their animal(s). According to her these stories are entertaining as well as instructive. She suggested that I write these stories down and use them as a basis for my next book.

I thought about this for several days and decided to at least give it a try. I spent some time trying to create an outline. The problem is I have so many stories I couldn’t decide where to begin or where to go. I had a choice; I could give up on the idea or I could do something different. I decided to go for different.

I sat down at my computer and wrote the first story that came into my head. Then I wrote the next one. As I wrote a story it would remind me of another one which, in turn, would remind me of still another story. I have no idea where this project will end up, but it is interesting enough that I am going to keep pursuing it.

Here is an offering of one of my stories.

I currently have six half grown kittens wrecking havoc on my house. It seems that this has been a common theme throughout my life from the first litter of kittens I remember from when I was three or four years old to when I raised Siamese to now.

The Siamese cats were all Doreen Tovey’s fault. I read her book Cats in the Belfry and fell in love with the idea of Siamese cats. This of course reminds me of why I got hooked on Dalmatians; which is yet another story (or three).

I prowled through the classified ads and found several ads with Siamese for sale. I saved my money until I had enough to buy a kitten.

I have to say now that according to the breed standards he had nearly every fault in the book. He was cross eyed, had a kink in his tail and was blocky in build. I named him Jing.

As promised in Cats in the Belfry and Cats in Cahoots he was demanding and loud. He talked constantly. I adored him. So much so, that I decided to get a girlfriend for him.

For those of you out there howling at my mistakes, do keep in mind I was only fourteen at the time. I found a lovely little blue-point that I named CiCi. I found a job working for a Siamese breeder and this led to me getting another Siamese queen, SoSlo.

SoSlo was everything a Siamese was supposed to be. She had safire blue eyes and slender elegant conformation. What she didn’t have were kittens. Or rather she had kittens, but would immediately eat them. I took her anyway.

I didn’t keep her in a cage and I fed her Purina Cat Chow free choice. In the cage she’d been a nervous cat inclined to attack any time the door was opened, which was why she’d been declawed. She could still bite though and I still have the scars where she nailed me.

Free to roam a large house though with other cats for company proved to be just what she needed. She calmed down and stopped attacking people. Dogs were another story. She didn’t have claws, but she had a slap that would make their ears ring.

She had a litter of kittens at the same time CiCi did and I quickly learned that any time they had kittens I needed to mark who belonged to whom, because the two queens would put both litters in the same nest.

Jing by this time was a big burly tom. Not what was wanted in a Siamese, but handsome nonetheless. When the kittens where about ten days old CiCi and SoSlo decided they needed a break from motherhood.

The two queens carted the kittens to the basket where Jing was stretched out in sultan-like splendor. Then they left. At first Jing was alarmed and jumped every time one of the little white worms wiggled near. Eventually though he started to take care of them. Rather than looking like a sultan anymore he looked more like a harassed father with his ten kittens surrounding him.

This remained the pattern until I decided to quit raising Siamese cats and had them all spayed and neutered.