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Friday, May 31, 2013

Critters anyone??

Are you an animal person? I guess you could say I am.

We always had some form of critter hanging around when I was growing up.

Dogs, cats, a goat, a pony, several turtles, fish... just about anything except snakes and birds. Some of the critters were memorable, others...not so much.

We had a cat when I was small. Actually, he was my sister's cat. Isn't that how it usually goes? It “was my Mom's cat”, “my sister's cat”....hardly anyone admits to saying “my cat”. But I digress. This cat's name was Goofy, which was quite apt. He would take off racing in a straight line, then do about 3 somersaults in a row! Just because he could. Maybe he got a real rush from it. He never said why he did it , he just did.

Primarily an outdoor cat, he would upon occasion slip indoors. This was back in the 1950's when it was still politically correct to have an outdoor cat. While we children were delighted to have a semi-feral intact male cat roaming the house; our parents were somewhat less than enamored when discovering the spray on the walls, and the “surprises” under the beds. Goofy would be unceremoniously relegated outdoors to keeping our property devoid of rodents once again.

Another quaint game he played was called “Lure the Dog into Chasing Me”.

Living in a semi-rural area, dogs wandering about was a fact of life. Once again, this was in the dark ages of the 1950's before a dog wandering about was considered a threat to society.

When Goofy spied a dog in the area, he would purposefully parade back and forth at a reasonable distance. Nine times out of ten, the dog would play along and take off after the cat. Goofy would lead the canine on a merry chase; across the meadow, through the orchard, around the yard. All the while, the dog would be gaining on him. When it appeared as if ol' Goofy had underestimated his opponent, he would flip onto his back, hold all four paws up in the air, all his claws unsheathed. One could hear the dog howling for a mile as it's underside was raked by razor sharp claws. Goofy would get to his feet, cast a glance that said “Sucker!” to the yelping dog, and saunter off.

Another memorable critter was Max, the Scottie dog. Max was a cute little brindle terrier. A very sweet dog, she loved to play outdoors. Summer, snow, she didn't care, so long as she was outside. Oh yeah, Max was short for Maxine. One of her favorite games was chasing a large kid's play-ball (you may recall the type, about 18” around, bright colors, used to be sold by the five-and-dime stores) around the back yard pushing it with her nose. She would make about half a dozen laps of the place, racing as fast as her stubby little legs could carry her, trying for all the world to bite the thing. Finally, she would concede defeat, leave the ball wherever it lay, and amble back for a long drink of water. Usually from the garden hose. But, hey, this was back in the 1960's before everything you touched could kill you.

Forty-one years ago today, I met the beautiful young lady who would become my Lovely Bride. While seemingly a disconnected statement, it has relevance to my narrative. We have been married more than forty years. The other evening, I was mentioning to her the fact we have had some form of non-human life under our roof for the vast majority of that time. It is odd how the things you talk about in the still of the night are some what different than they were thirty-five or forty years ago. Recounting the dogs, cats, gerbils, birds, etc. would probably not have been a thought in our minds back then.
Some time, we will take a look at some of the more noteworthy pets, but not today.

What started me on this path occurred early this morning. We have a dog, and we have a cat. The cat began her career as our daughter's cat. Our daughter was visiting our local Humane Society, and fell in love with the most adorable little white kitten. However, Cera (the cat's name) didn't really click with our daughter's young family. As so often happens, Mom and Dad become the default place of residence.

We have had Cera for quite some time, with a brief stint at my Lovely Brides' Mother's to keep her company in her waning days.

While I would not go so far as to say I am Gaga over cats, I do like them. They are cute, and cuddly, and can be charming. Cera is a good cat, she and I care for one another.
In fact, it was following my morning shower that I realized just how tolerant I am of Cera.

We had a couple of bath towels folded neatly in the laundry room. I had forgotten to bring them upstairs for a while. The other evening, I picked up these white towels, and took them upstairs. They languished on the cedar box in the hall way; not fully committed to the rack in the bathroom, not relegated to the “spare towel” spot in the linen closet.

This morning, I grabbed one of these towels to use, hanging it on the back of the door allowing easy access from the tub.

Upon completion in the shower, I take up the towel and begin using it.

I began to notice some fluffy stuff tickling my nose. I attributed it to dryer fuzz. Then, I began to notice a white film on my arms. As I didn't have my contacts in at this point, I was not quite sure what I was looking at.

Then, I see a wad of rolled up cat hair on the towel!

While the towels were in the laundry room, Cera had been utilizing them as her personal lounging spot. Being a white cat, the hair was not immediately visible to me.

No, I didn't get mad,  disgusted, or cuss. It was such a ludicrous thing to have happen; all I could do was shake my now cat-hair bedecked head, turn the shower back on, and start over.
I was combing cat hair out of my beard and hair for the next 2 hours.
You just gotta love critters..

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