My father is the best man I know. He’s the greatest father, and I can write pages and pages of testament to Dad. But there are 3 witnesses against him:
Tammy, Spooky, and Candy.
Tammy was my first kitten, and with her began my love affair with cats. She was a cute little black and white kitty, and the way the black on her face framed her eyes made her look like a little bandit. Tammy and her playful antics would have me, Mommy and Dad cracking up.
Now I don’t know exactly what happened that caused Dad to decide to get rid of Tammy. After all, that was decades ago. I thought it was because my mother was allergic. Dad once said years ago that it was because I wasn’t taking care of the kitten. C’mon I was EIGHT!!!! What did I know about pet care? But all I do know is Dad and I took cute little Tammy to a GROCERY STORE several miles away and LEFT HER THERE! I was so upset. Dad’s thinking was someone would feed her. Well, I hope that was the case. I’d like to think that Tammy lived out her life, fat and content, as the grocery store cat who kept the mice away and was rewarded with delicacies from the seafood department.
Then there was Spooky, an all black kitten with white tips on all four paws. Spooky lasted around the household long enough to grow into an adult cat. Spooky fell out of favor the day she had the runs and pooped all over the couch. Dad didn’t play poop. The black cat was brown when he got done with her, and then was banished to the backyard. He told me to find someone to take her because Spooky would not be allowed back in. So I started going house to house, asking if anyone wanted a cat. Luckily, kind Mrs. Dunbar took Spooky in. She said that I could visit the cat anytime, and I did. Spooky even had a litter of kittens!
Candy was a toy fox terrier that Dad got from a coworker. He brought her home unexpectantly one day. What a surprise! It was fun to have a dog. I would take Candy all over the neighborhood. She would follow me to the bus stop and wait with me. I would be outside at my best friend’s house, and someone would say “Donna, here comes your dog!” Candy knew where to go to find me. Candy was a white dog with black and brown spots, and a big black spot on her side. I wondered why the previous owners didn’t name her Spot.
One night, something strange was going on outside. Candy would not stop barking. I got out of bed and looked out the window, and I saw someone run through the yard. Terrified, I ran down the hall and woke up Dad and the stepmother. Then we heard someone at our back door! My father grabbed his gun and ran downstairs. The stepmother called the police. These people were trying to get in! Turns out the intruders had the wrong house, because they kept demanding to see “Rudy.” Guess my father’s gun scared them off, and they were gone. Who knows what Rudy did to them.
But what they did to Candy was cruel. They cut her, right on her big black spot. When I finally got up that morning, that’s what I discovered. Poor Candy! When I got home from school later, I didn’t see Candy. I asked Dad where was she. Instead of taking Candy to the vet, he took her TO THE POUND! I was so hurt and angry! Candy just SAVED OUR LIVES from the Rudy crooks, and this is how you repay her?!
A couple of years after that, we had intruders of the vermin sort. Mice had got into the house. Dad and the stepmother decided we needed a cat. I was happy when placed with the charge of finding one. Turns out the small drug and grocery store down the block had a litter of kittens, and I got one of those. Kittycat was white with black and brown spots and a big black spot on her side! She was Candy reincarnate! How ironic that I got her from a grocery store!
Dad really liked Kittycat. He used to loved how she would wait in the window for him to get home every morning. If it turns out she wasn’t in the window, Dad would ask, “Where’s the cat?” Kittycat would come running. When the stepmother nutted up and decided that Kittycat was tearing the house up and couldn’t come back inside until she got declawed, Dad actually paid for this. They say that when cats get declawed, their behavior changes. That must be true, because Kittycat had always hated going outside. After she got declawed, she started hanging out every night. She always came back.
By then I was on my first professional job, and I know Kittycat was home when I went to work one morning. But Dad called me at work later, saying he hadn’t seen her the whole day. He looked all over for her, even in the washing machine. Now I really don’t know what happened to Kittycat, but I have always blamed the stepmother for her mysterious disappearance. Dad is in the clear on this.
Hug your pets, people. Hug your pets.