Pooh was not originally my cat. When the Marine and I moved to Texas, Pooh (the owners called him Oliver) lived three doors away. He was very friendly and walked the sidewalks like a person. The story we got from the owner was, he was purchased as a kitten for her son. Her son developed allergies to the cat so, she put him outside. He could get in and out of the garage and, had a sleeping pad on a bench on the front porch.
He didn’t visit our house too much because we had Buddy. When we lost Buddy, he got closer and closer to the front door, unsure because he wasn’t allowed in his own home. One day, we opened the door and he walked in. We fed him some tuna and…he stayed. We taught him how to use the cat doors we already had and he returned to us every day. His previous owner, at this point, had re-married, had two more kids (plus the husband’s kid) and three dogs. I’m not sure they ever noticed.
He didn’t look like an Oliver to us. My Marine made the remark that he looked like a little bear walking up the sidewalk. I immediately went to my childhood days and thought “Pooh!” He got a new name with his new home.
Poor Pooh had spine problems related to his stumpy tail. The entire time he was with us, he had spells…twice a day. Something in his spine would move or catch and he would howl in pain. Then, he would chase the pain…until he was dizzy. It was something bizarre to watch and you couldn’t miss the sound. Think Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil. When he regained his faculties, he would begin to groom as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately for me, some of those spells occurred in my lap. I still have scars…bless his heart.
He was our baby for three and a half years. He developed pancreatic cancer and had to be put down February 17, 2011. He was a character. When he wanted your attention and you weren’t fast enough, he made this sound of frustration that always reminded me of Number 5/Johnny Five from Short Circuit.
Buddy came to me (and an ex) as a little thing. He had been born under a home 75 miles east and his mother had to leave him behind. The guy living there heard the crying mews and went to investigate. He found tiny Buddy in an upright cinder block, pulled him out and realized he was a newborn with his eyes still closed. He sought help from a veterinarian and began to feed him. Fast forward five weeks and the guy contacts my ex. “You want a kitten? I can’t handle him, anymore.” He shows up with this gi-normous litter box with a cover, that little Buddy could barely jump in and out of, a box of various toys and a gallon container of kitten food. The guy lived alone and traveled a lot so, he felt Buddy would be better off with us. I had lost my very first cat six months prior so, Buddy’s arrival was cause for celebration. He was my baby for nine years. (1997-2006). All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic
February 20 has two celebrations. National Love Your Pet Day is, clearly, a national day to love your pet(s)…as if we need a reason or an excuse to shower our fur-babies with adoration or smother them with kisses and hugs. Still, it’s a sweet sentiment to proclaim a national day of rejoicing for our companions or, best friends or, children or, partners. They fulfill so many needs on so many levels that volumes of literature exist that could occupy a very large library.
The statistics on pets in the U.S. is interesting and on the rise. As of March 2017, 68% of all households have a pet(s), up from 56% in 1988. Topping the list, believe it or not, is freshwater fish. All of a sudden, I am seeing Nemo in the aquarium of the dentist’s office. Yeah. I know. Nemo was a saltwater fish but, that is the first thing that popped into my head.
The National Day Calendar folks couldn’t find the creator of this day but, thank you, whomever you are. So, give your pet(s) an extra hug or, a scratch or, a new toy or, treats (they really, really like treats) in celebration. They won’t mind.
The photos, below, are my personal collection. © ~Vic
Also celebrated today:
National Cherry Pie Day
Cheers and enjoy!