Posts Tagged ‘cats’


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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