This round, very orange “card” from Sadie’s scrapbook looks and feels more like a coaster from a bar than a traditional card. It is one of the few in the scrapbook not related to either birthdays or Christmas. It’s also one that doesn’t fit the normally rectangular/square concept of a greeting card. A black cat sits, looking up, singing to the moon.
Speaking of black cats, I have a couple of photos of me holding a black cat. One is a medium close up shot of me cradling the cat in my arms. Another is in front of one of Grandpa Westra‘s hand-made windmills. The windmill was on the lawn in front of Grandpa’s wood shop, waiting to be purchased by someone looking to decorate their yard. In both, I have the Dutch Girl haircut, I’m wearing a red dress, and I have a huge smile on my face.
The cat showed up on Etta‘s one day while we (Mom and my sisters Jill and Jenni) were visiting, most likely for tea time. We gave him milk out on the porch, surrounded by sunshine and wisteria. No animals were allowed in Grandma Westra’s house. Thems were the rules. “Can we keep him?”, I asked innocently enough, not knowing that the glossy black cat most certainly had a home somewhere nearby in the neighborhood. He was just catting around. I named him Blackie and got my photo taken with him. A few days later, Blackie went home and my life went on without him.
I moved around a bit: Pennsylvania, New York, Alabama, and Tennessee, before finally settling down in Arizona. Now, I’m a dog person, and always have been. At any given time in my house there are at least three dogs. There have been as many as six. Imagine my surprise when a cat joined, by happenstance, our furry household pack.
It was an early morning, late in May of 2008, when I went for my morning walk. It was still pretty dark when I set out; the sun was just short of rising. One of the neighborhood dogs, a Doberman that I had dubbed Dobie (I’m not very imaginative with names…Blackie, Dobie…), decided that he was going to walk with me. I didn’t object. Who’s going to mess with someone walking with a Doberman?
As I started up the street, I heard, coming from the vicinity of Dobie, a pathetic, tiny mewling. “Meow, meow, meow.” I looked down at the dog but I couldn’t quite make out what was in his mouth. I tried to take it out but he did the let’s-stay-away-20-feet trick that dogs do.
Giving up for now, I continued my walk all the while keeping an eye on Dobie. About halfway up the street, he dropped whatever was in his mouth on the side of the road. I walked over to see what it was and picked it up. It was a kitten!
It was still not light enough to see and the kitten’s leg was really wet. I figured the dog must have bitten the kitten and he was bleeding. That must be the wet stuff. The kitten was really small and I just cradled him in my hands against my chest figuring I would just comfort him until he passed away. I finished my whole 3-mile walk like that, him cradled against my chest.
I got back to the house and found out it wasn’t blood, just a lot of dog slobber. Yikes, now Bruce and I had a kitten! His eyes were blue and his tail was stumpy. He was barely able to walk. We put him in a box and started to feed him milk and half-and-half, not knowing that cats are lactose intolerant.
After a few days, when we realized this cat wasn’t going anywhere, I hopped online to see about orphaned kitten care. I learned that I needed to be feeding him formula. I made the switch to real kitten food and the rest is history. He was eventually named TIMMAYY!!! after the South Park character. I love my dogs, but I would give you every one of them before you got my cat!