We’re dog sitting tonight. Our grandson and his wife brought their black lab, Evee, here with them and took her to the Chain Of Lakes for hikes and fun all day long with some friends and their dog. They came back to visit for a while, then were going back to their friend’s house to catch up and play gameboards they like. Their friends have a cat, though, and Evee is not good with small animals like cats, squirrels, and our chihuahua, so my sister’s babysitting OUR dog so that we can babysit THEIRS. She’s a tired girl, so she’s easy to care for right now. And she’s a sweetie. We really like her.
I grew up with dogs, a few cats, chickens, and pigeons. I like almost all animals. That’s why we took in the stray chihuahua and the stray gray kitten. They came to our door, and I couldn’t turn them away. It’s one reason pets end up in so many of my books. It’s hard for me to imagine not having a pet in a house. I suppose eventually the day will come when we don’t replace ours , but it’s not yet.
My friend swears I’m a masochist, but I have a tendency to like cats with horrible attitudes. Our very first cat, when HH and I were newlyweds, was a long-haired, gray tiger cat named Sesame. She and HH had a running feud and loved to irritate each other. Whenever she got too aggravated with him, she took his socks out of the laundry basket and buried them in her kitty litter. I tried to explain to her that I did the laundry, so she was punishing the wrong person, but that never computed. When she wouldn’t come in when I called for her at bedtime, I swore she’d stay out all night. But she learned that if she lifted the mail slot and let it drop over and over again, we couldn’t sleep through it and let her in. A smart cat.
In the Jazzi Zanders series, Jazzi has a sweet, orange tabby that’s always agreeable. Then she has a black cat named Inky who knocks over flower arrangements when he thinks Jazzi’s left him too many times. My black cat that did that was Pywackett, and he was happy to let me know when he was unhappy. And he was one of my favorites. Who can resist lots of personality?
In the Karnie Cleaver series, Matt has a border collie that helps him on his cattle farm. And the minute Jolly meets Karnie, he falls in love with her. So do Matt’s kids. My dad always said that a dog can tell a person’s true personality the minute he sniffs them. Karnie passed Jolly’s sniff test.
All I know is that a pet adds a lot to HH and my lives. And they add quite a bit to my novels. Kids and pets enrich stories. If you have a beast of some kind in your house, I hope it brings you much happiness, too.