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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” Maya Angelou

Mind Triggers

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. — Photo by Pat Bean

            I was just completing yesterday’s blog about Willie Nelson, when I looked up from the computer and saw my canine companion, Pepper, grinning from ear-to-ear as she sat in the middle of a devastated stuffed cat.

The dead cat. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The dead cat. — Photo by Pat Bean

I couldn’t do anything but smile. The toy had been on sale at PetSmart, and I had bought it for her, knowing full-well I would pay the clean-up consequences.            And then Willie’s quote about bigoted people not being his friend popped into my wondering-wandering mind, and I laughed, and continued laughing as I picked up the stuffing from every room in my small apartment.

Pepper is not prejudiced against cats. She’s also destroyed a big stuffed dog, a bear, a raccoon, and several ducks. She even took a bite out of my daughter’s Great Dane’s indestructible dinosaur.

Indestructible was the word my daughter used, even after I warned her that Pepper didn’t know the meaning of the word.

They look so innocent when they're asleep. -- Photo by Pat Bean

They look so innocent when they’re asleep. — Photo by Pat Bean

During Pepper and my first month together, she destroyed three pillows and their pillow cases, two pens (the stain of one which can still be seen on the rug in my RV) a computer cord, half a dozen pairs of socks, two of my daughter-in-law’s flip-flops and just about anything else she could get her teeth into.            Fortunately, she finally learned the difference between things that were hers and things that were mine, well except for socks and these days I blame myself for leaving any within her reach.

In the meantime I, or since I moved to Tucson, also my daughter, keep her supplied with plenty of chew bones, chew toys and occasionally a stuffed animal which can give her days of fun, and me days of picking up stuffing.

But as I said, she’s not prejudiced. She’ll chew up any stuffed animal.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Alastair’s Blog http://tinyurl.com/b4ggr4t How to Wash a Cat. I got great belly laughs from this one. I hope you laugh at it as much as I did. Laughter’s good for the soul. And I’m not prejudiced against cats, just for the record.

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 “In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.” — Dereke Bruce

Pippin atop my daughter-in-law's Escape -- Photo by Pat Bean

This week’s photo challenge to demonstrate contrast naturally had me thinking of color. So this morning when I saw golden-haired Pippin sitting on top of my daughter-in-law’s black Escape, my mind went “AHA!”

I grabbed my camera and went out to take his picture, knowing that this was a cat who would pose for me. He’s that kind of cat.

Rocky sizing up what's under the Christmas tree. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I got his picture, but in the process I stepped on a bed of ants and they retaliated. Thankfully, they weren’t fire ants, but the leg that they crawled up and the hand that brushed them away stung for about half an hour.

And the pain was all for naught. When I looked at the photos, I realized they really didn’t show the contrast I wanted. .

Then I thought of Rocky, a fat, black and white, cat that belongs to my youngest daughter, and the contrasts between the two felines. .

Pippin is an outdoor cat that gets pleasure out of tormenting the neighborhood raccoons. He simply showed up one day at my son’s place and decided it was home.

He got neutered, is fed daily, and has a warm garage in which to sleep at night. But he remains an outdoor cat. Of all the cats in my large family’s menagerie, Pippin is my favorite. While very independent, he’s always ready for human contact and loving from any human who enters his territory.

He considers himself an animal guard cat, however, and any trespassing dogs should beware..

Rocky, on the other hand, was rescued during a Guam typhoon by my daughter and is not allowed outside. He’s picky about whom he cozies up to, preferring my son-in-law’s lap to any other.

His primary playmate is a great Dane, whom he bosses around.

So, for contrast, I offer up Pippin and Rocky.

Bean’s Pat: where’s my toothbrush: Camel Riding in Jaisalmer http://tinyurl.com/7phjrsn A delightful travel blog about a camel adventure in India.

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Remember
This December,
That love weighs more than gold!
~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Travels With Maggie

 

Rocky considers himself a family member, too, and wonders what's beneath the tree for him. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I didn’t post a blog yesterday. And I didn’t add a 1,000 words to the travel book that I’m rewriting.

So what, you may be asking, did I do?

I walked Maggie, of course, and cleaned her ears, a daily chore because of her proneness to chronic cocker spaniel ear infection – and I went Christmas shopping.

It is that time of year you know. And because of that I’m not beating myself up too badly for what I didn’t do. You see, I’m a traitor to my gender. I HATE SHOPPING!

But on the opposite end of the spectrum, I LOVE CHRISTMAS, and giving gifts to my loved ones. The challenge for me is finding something I think each person in my growing family will like within my limited budget of $20 or less per person.

We break into this blog for an Important Announcement: Believe it or not just as I was mentioning my large family, I got a text message saying one more has been added. My granddaughter in Orlando, Florida, just delivered a beautiful (I know he is even though I haven’t seen him yet), healthy 6-pound-9-ounce boy to it.

 

Maggie and I passed this tree on our morning walk in the park across from son's home. I thought it as festive as any Christmas tree. -- Photo by Pat Bean

We now take you back to our regular program:

Anyway, I try to pick up things in my travels that I think will appeal to one loved one or another, but this year I didn’t do much of that. It left me with a hard day of shopping, but with only two presents yet to buy.

That’s actually way ahead of schedule for me. I’ve been known to frantically be shopping the stores at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go shout the news of my new great-grandchild to the world.

And then hopefully tackle my travel book.

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Sunflowers are just beginning to bloom at Lake Walcott -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.” Corey Ford

Travels With Maggie

Thought I’d interrupt my past African Safari today to visit the present, which finds me at Lake Walcott State Park in southern Idaho.

I wanted to tell you that the Canada goose kids have all grown up now, sunflowers are finally blooming, and that I had a marvelous day on the lake with a couple of starving artists (so they said, but their fancy boat said otherwise), who were staying at the park between art shows, and finally to complain about my faithful companion.

Nuff said about everything but Maggie, a black cocker spaniel who thinks I’m her servant. I rescued her from a life of abuse when she was a year old and we’ve now been together for 12 years. She went from being afraid of her shadow to becoming Queen of my world.

 

And butterflies accompany Maggie and me on our walks. -- Photo by Pat Bean

For example: This past Wednesday, I went into town to do laundry, something that has to be done every two weeks if I want to wear clean underwear. Since I’m a volunteer at the park, I’m allowed to use a small park truck for the trip. And since I don’t get into town often, I treated myself to a Swiss cheese burger with grilled onions and a chocolate mile shake.

I drank the shake and ate half the burger on the drive back to the park, saving the other half of the big sandwich for dinner. Back at my RV I transported the leftover sandwich and a few other things into my RV, then went back out to bring in my clean laundry.

By the time I got back, Maggie had climbed up on my table, took the sandwich out of a paper sack, and then out of its cardboard container and was licking her chops. Not a crumb of the sanding was left.

I yelled, but she didn’t even blink. In fact the look that she gave me said: “Do you have any more.”

 

And Maggie is not the least bit repentant for eating my sandwich. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I gave her dirty looks for the rest of the day. She, simply, hopped up on to my bed, and gave me unrepentant stares. I mean take a look at that face. Does it look apologetic to you?

I think she’s more cat than dog.

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This is Rocky. He was rescued during a typhoon when my youngest daughter lived in Guam. He's never met a lap he didn't like. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

  

 
“Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.” Unknown.

 My dog, Maggie, must be a cat in disguise.

Travels With Maggie

We never had a cat when I was growing up, only dogs. I didn’t have anything against cats, but never really wanted one of my own. I thought them too unfriendly, a stereotype that was confirmed by the first one that came into my life.

It was a beautiful, silky black feline that adopted my then eight-year-old daughter, Deborah. She adored this creature and named it Mai Ling. The enchantment was lost on the rest of the family. Mai Ling was cleverly mean, with a heart as dark as her fur.

One of her favorite activities was to hide beneath the couch and claw the legs of unsuspecting passers-by. Even worse, were her frequent full-body tackles on innocent sleepers.

One day, just as Mai Ling had left her former home to follow my daughter home, it adopted a new family down the street. Deborah brought the cat back repeatedly, but at the first opportunity Mai Ling always escaped again.

Deborah greatly mourned the loss of her pet, but the rest of the family rejoiced.

The next cat to enter my life was an ugly, skinny, dirty-haired calico that one of my sons had rescued from some boys who were teasing her.

This is Maggie, a cat in disguise. She considers me her personal slave. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Well, we’re going to have to feed this one for a while before we can find it a new home,” I told him. At this point, not even Deborah, wanted to adopt another cat.

Two weeks later our ugly, rescued feline had turned into a beautiful princess that had stolen all our hearts. We named her Kitterick, after a sexy, albeit a kid’s show, mascot for Houston’s KTRK-TV.

Kitterick had a long and happy life with our family, including our dog. We would often find the two of them curled up together.

The moral of this story is as old as Methuselah. And it applies to a lot more in our lives than cats, including the journeys we make. As Aldous Huxley once said: “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

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