I’m taking a break from my regular posts on child adoptions. I thought talking about my four-legged family members would be a break from being serious all the time.
My first memory of a pet goes waaaay back to when I was 4 years old. I was a bit of a loner as a child and hated to go outside. My mother thought if I had a kitten that I had to play with outdoors that would get me out of the house.
I had other ideas. When mom wasn’t looking, I hid the kitten in my shirt. I sneaked back into the house, curled up on the couch and began playing with the kitten.
Of course I was caught. Mom was angry. Boy was she mad! The kitten found a new home and I had to learn to sit on the porch all by myself. I really liked that cat. I’m still a cat person.
Growing up my sister and I begged mom and dad for pets. Mom was totally against any pet being in the house. Dad’s job took him all over the country, so mom was in charge. She was not having anything to do with critters.
I finally twisted my dad around my finger and he agreed to allow me to get a dog. A black, part Lab puppy came to live with us. Dad built a doghouse for him. Every night we had to make sure he was tied up to the doghouse. I called him “Lucky.”
Poor Lucky! He was a most unlucky dog. When we would let him run free during the day, he would cover the neighborhood. He would bring home boots that belonged to the kids, the little thief. He would hide the boots in his doghouse.
It became my job to return the boots to the rightful owners. I hated that job! Lucky never brought home a pair, just one. So I had to knock on everyone’s door to see if someone was missing a boot.
After many tears and sadness, Lucky had to have a new home. My dad had a friend who lived on a farm and Lucky went to live there. We hoped he wouldn’t steal any more boots,
My next pet was years in the future. I lived in apartments when I was first on my own that didn’t allow pets. When I finally moved into a triplex unit, the management allowed me to have a pet. His name was Dusty.
My friend Carleen’s cat had kittens. One of them was a little male who made a beeline for me every time I visited. He always looked like he had rolled around in the dirt, hence his name DUSTY.
That little dusty fur baby turned into a handsome 17 pound black cat. I adored that cat. He was the love of my life. There was one small issue. I was allergic to him! He has been the only cat I have ever been allergic to.
My sister, Myra who had one of Dusty’s siblings, Buffy, agreed to take him in. My nephew, Steve was a little 2 year old at the time. He and Dusty became inseparable.
My favorite story of Steve and Dusty occurred after Steve had had a little cold. Steve had sneezed a lot with the cold. One day Dusty sneezed and Steve (about 3 at the time) knew just what to do. He grabbed the bottle of Vicks Vapor Rub and covered Dusty in it.
Myra tried to catch Dusty to clean him up, but he was having none of that. It took about 2 days for the smell to go away. Steve and I still laugh over this incident. After all these years Steve still misses him. Me too. He was a great cat.
A couple of years after Dusty went to live with my sister, I bought a mobile home. Dusty and Buffy had a kitten together. I brought Buttons home because Myra didn’t want to have 3 cats running around her house.
Buffy and Dusty were siblings, so there were some strange things about Buttons. For one thing, he was a bit on the psycho side. You know, he was an original crazy cat. When he viciously attacked me, I had to have him put down. That made me so sad.
In 1972 I moved into a different mobile home park. A neighbor a few doors down from me had a beautiful pure bred blue point Siamese cat named Lacy. She was a show cat and the family bred her with a pure bred lilac point male. Her kittens were just gorgeous.
Lacy had a litter of 4 females and 2 males. I figured I’d get a pretty little girl kitty and decided to call her Ti Ling. So much for my plans. While I’m sitting visiting with my friend, the runt of the litter came over and climbed up my pant leg. This tiny cutie pie curled up in the crook of my neck and started the loudest purr ever.
Of course I was enchanted. It turned out that my new kitten was a boy. I had to think of a new name. I was still trying to come up with something when I started to sing “Sleep Kentucky Babe” and his name became Kentucky or Tucky for short.
Tucky was just 6 weeks old when I adopted him. He didn’t even know how to use a litter box; I had to show him how. He was my first one-person cat. He didn’t want anything to do with family or friends. I was his and that was that.
(I broke this essay into two posts because it was way too wordy for one post.)
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Adoption agencies in Utah that I support:
Wasatch International Adoptions
Children’s Service Society
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