Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Not Just About the Poms

My faithful reader, Vanessa, expressed surprise one day when I mentioned our cats. She didn't realize we had others pets besides the pomeranians. It was a natural conclusion, considering Peppy, Wickham, and Lollia get all the good press.

But actually, we do have other pets and today I'm going to introduce them to you.

First of all, we have Fat Boy:

 Actually, Fat Boy is anything but fat, but he was a roly-poly kitten and we wanted to name him for a favorite cat from the famed "Maple Hill Farm" book, An Owl and Three Pussycats, one of a most delightful series written and illustrated by Martin and Alice Provensen in the 1980s. I sometimes joke we should rename him "Fat Free Boy" or "Lo Phat".

Like his namesake, Fat Boy is a dedicated and intrepid hunter, even despite the lack of one eye. (He got into a fight with a neighbor cat when he was a younger fellow.) He's an independent cuss, though, and a bit on the touchy side. When he wants affection, well and good, but if he prefers to be left alone, watch it! He's quick with those claws. He's also scruffy-looking. No matter what you do to try and groom him (and it's a perilous procedure) he looks sort of greasy and "tuft-y".  Because he's a manx and likes to lurk about in the brush, he is sometimes mistaken for a bobcat by credulous neighbors. During the summer months, he appears only to eat, but when the weather turns, he starts coming into the house to nap, just as he is doing here.

Fat Boy's half sister (same sire, different moms) is also named after one of the Maple Hill Farm cats. Her name is Crook and, she, too, is a manx. She lacks her brother's personality, though. She has never done much but eat and sleep, and she prefers to do that sleeping upstairs where no one will disturb her. To borrow one of the Provensen's quotes from another of their wonderful books, she is "beautiful, but not interesting."
If memory serves, we got the cats during the summer of 1998, so they're getting up there in years, though they seem hale and hearty enough.
  
 Finally, let me introduce you to our outdoor dog, Dexter. Here he's keeping company with our grandchild Benita and Benita's Aunt Kattie.
Dex is a sweetheart. He was a stray that moved onto our place in 1997 or thereabouts, so he's getting pretty old. He was a young dog, probably 6 months old or so, when he wandered in. My husband attempted to run him off, but fortunately Dexter is a master at passive resistance and he continually hid under the porch whenever "Dad" appeared. Eventually he was accepted as one of the "fam". Everybody loves Dexter! He is mellow and friendly. It's hard to think he's getting old and we won't have him much longer.

If you haven't yet run across any of the Maple Hill Farm books, I urge you to hunt for them. They're probably out of print by now, but they are wonderful books, and there were several, all about the different animals and the different seasons on the farm.

How can you resist illustrations like these?

  
I always checked these books out of the library when my kids were young, but I need to amass a collection of my own before they become impossible to find. I highly recommend them!
  

1 comment :

  1. Love love love hearing about your cats!
    They are so pretty!
    I just want to kiss them

    Ive heard of the owl and the pussy cat but not this one..Ill have to look into it I love childrens books!

    And your dog Dexter looks a lot like Skipper my airdale german shepherd that died a few monthes ago.

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