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Published: March 28th 2012
On the wooly blanket, in the sun, watching the birds.
In life, I have found that people are usually either dog people or cat people. I am that rare breed – both.
I grew up with dogs. The first, a hound called Rover, we had to give away because he was too big and too strong for a house with three very small children. The second, a golden retriever called Skipper, died after we had him for about a week.
The third was Boatswain, or Bo, named after Lord Byron’s dog. The boatswain is the person on the ship who looks after the crew, so it was a very appropriate name for our nautical family. Bo was a great dog. A German Shepherd/Black Lab mix, he had the best qualities of both. He was as loving and docile as a lab, but as smart as a shepherd. He was also the best swimmer I have ever seen. He could ride waves better than some people I know. He was a member of our family from the time I was 10 or 11 until he died when I was 25. Fantastic dog!
The most recent was Bruiser, Mom and Lynn’s black lab. The
Playing Angry Birds.
first time she saw him as a puppy, Lynn said “What a bruiser!” The name stuck. He was the funniest, most loving dog I have ever come across. He liked nothing better than to ride in the car, go to the beach and bring his babies (a variety of stuffed animals) to show you. Wonderful with kids (my niece and nephew used to ride him like a horse), he was also very intuitive when it came to adults. Several years ago, I went to my mom’s for a long weekend when life had become too much. I spent four days asleep on her sofa and crying on her shoulder. Bruiser never let me out of his sight the entire time I was there. Bruiser died just before Christmas this year, and it’s still very sad to think about him.
I briefly had two cats when I was married – Bogart (my husband and I were fans) and Cordelia (she was one of three sisters born on Shakespeare’s birthday). My husband got custody of them in the divorce, but I assume that they have long since gone to kitty heaven.
For the past couple of
Helping me work on the computer.
months, my very good friends Mike and Sabi have been undergoing a house renovation. I’m not talking about one or two rooms. Their entire house has been gutted and is (too slowly for them) being rebuilt. They have a cat called Billy who, poor thing, had been stuck in one room for days. I had watched him before, so I agreed to take him in while the house is being done. I had no idea how much I would enjoy having an animal around the house again.
Yes, there are parts that are annoying. Cleaning the litter tray is a daily chore I could do without. Billy has a habit of waking me up at all hours when he is either hungry or in need of attention. He loves nothing better than to find things and then bat them around until they disappear. I have lost countless pens and erasers since he moved in. Sometimes my cleaners find them; more often, not. I genuinely do not know where he puts them.
But, overall, he is a joy. He makes me laugh on a daily basis. He loves to play Angry Birds; he loves to
Asleep on my lap. He gets very irritated if he is comfortable and I try to move.
watch while I work on the computer; something coming out of the printer sends into a level of joy that is laugh out loud funny.
He loves food – not necessarily his own, mind you. Eating dinner has become something of a game. I’m all right with a salad or veggies, but if meat or fish is on the plate, watch out. His personal favourites are sushi (no rice, thank you very much) and Peking duck (no plum sauce, thank you very much). He also loves tuna melts as they combine two of his passions – tuna and melted cheese. If there is something on my plate that he fancies, he will not take no for an answer. He will, literally, stand on the plate and push his nose into the food until he gets what he wants.
He has completely taken over the flat. His favourite places are the top of the big chair, where he can lie on the woolly blanket and bask in the sun while still being able to watch the birds. He loves the kitchen floor in the afternoon when the sun is streaming in. He loves the big
I came back from the shops one day to discover that he had created his own little nest.
box on the floor, hiding in it so that I can’t see him. But most of all, he loves my bed. He likes it best when I don’t make it so that he can snuggle into the pile of bedclothes and sleep.
My favourite thing he does? He curls himself into a little ball and snores. I don’t know what it is about that sound, but it soothes me like nothing else. I like it better than his purrs.
Eventually, he will go back to Mike and Sabi’s new home. I will miss him terribly when he is gone, but I don’t see getting a cat of my own. Mostly because, I refuse to be one of those spinster old ladies with a cat!
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