Our daughter with husband and their daughter are visiting Florida State University in preparation for our grand-daughter’s first year of college. Gone for nearly three days, they have charged the grandparents—us—with the care of their cats, a menagerie of four felines, ranging in age from young whipper-snapper to the elderly.
Black-and-white-furred Daisy at age 15 is old and slow, content to cuddle in her soft “nest.”
Smoky is late middle-aged and accustomed to the spacious household, padding around the house and looking wary when we approach. Cleo and Juniper both from the same litter, are nearly 1 ½ years old—Cleo larger and more pushy than Juniper, her “sister.”
Crista has laid out labeled feeding dishes and food along with strict instructions of what to do when while they are gone. “Watch out! The greedy ones will push out the slower ones,” she warns. Almost an empty nester, the cats are her “babies” now.
How two of the cats fared with Grandpa Cliff
Cats amused English poet, T. S. Eliot’s too. In fact, he wrote poetry about his pets.
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a collection of whimsical, light poems by T. S. Eliot about feline psychology and sociology. These poems, published by Faber and Faber, were originally intended to amuse Eliot’s friends.
Eliot’s collection served as the basis for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 musical Cats.
T. S. Eliot, gave comical names to the cats who prowled his study and his imagination: Jellorum, Pettipaws, Wiscus, and George Pushdragon. Eliot’s cats were mysterious, secretive, and somewhat selfish, with personalities perhaps like your cats, or the one(s) you know about.
My Aunt Ruthie was a “dog” person. Although she once owned a lamb or two, she enjoyed a series of dogs, usually Schnauzers, a lively breed. Ruthie was (mostly) up for the challenge of all of her dogs named Fritzie, including the fourth one, Fritzie IV–until she got older and lived in a retirement home.
My sister Jean orchestrated finding a new owner for Fritzie IV, one with the energy to keep up with an excitable, over-active canine. The Kauffman family with a 14-year-old son turned out to be the perfect fit.
Now Fritzie would have regular “runs” to release his energy outdoors and even get treated to the glamor of spa days.
To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the time Sirius appears to rise alongside the sun, in late July in the Northern Hemisphere. They believed the heat from the two stars combined to make these days the hottest of the year, a period that could bring on fever or even catastrophe.
The Romans referred to this period as “dies caniculares” or “days of the dog star,” which was eventually translated as just “dog days.” Actually, the expression dog days is not about panting dogs lazing around in the heat as it refers to Sirius, the dog star, appearing in the night sky, prominent in its constellation, Canis Major.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know. . .
If you have pets, how do you care for them during extreme weather, heat or cold?
Has caring for your cat or dog been a challenge for you—maybe during period of illness? Travel times? Being less active?
I have written about pets before: The Power of Pets.
Special offer during July, my birthday month