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Chuck Hinman No. 023: Thank God For Pets

It's Just Me Again. No. 023 Thank God For Pets (a Thanksgiving story)

The next previous Chuck Hinman column, Chuck Hinman. IJMA No. 161: Our Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

By Chuck Hinman

Thank God For Pets (a Thanksgiving story)

After the wonderful meal enjoyed at the Tallgrass Thanksgiving 2005 Buffet came the traditional afterglow time with family in my apartment.

I didn't sleep well last night mostly because I was having seconds on some of the wonderful things we had talked about. We got around to re-living what an important part our pets play in our day to day life.

Our last cat, Abby came in for her share of the conversation, with our wondering if she is providing some new owner with delightful times. I had to give her away when I moved to Tallgrass Estates retirement home. Abby was a mostly "outdoor kitty-cat." All our family knew and loved Abby! She was Connie's cat.

When I wasn't sleeping last night, thinking of the things we had talked about, I was curious why our pets are seldom mentioned in the things we are thankful for at the before-meal blessing. I think they should be, after the respect paid them at the afterglow!

Son Paul glowingly reported on UB, Anton, and Miss Kitty, his three cats he shares his life with in his home in Tulsa. And although none of his cats refer to me as their Grandpa, I know them well enough that they compete with granddaughter Kasi for their share of grandfatherly affection! And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Paul told a pet story that I think is the crown jewel of pet stories. He has a long-time friend, Barbara, who has the apartment adjoining his. I thought Paul had a lot of cats with his three, but imagine his friend Barbara sharing her apartment with five cats! I am sorry I can't remember her cats' names.

Paul and Barbara are surrogate parents of each other's pets in the absence of one or the other of them. He even knows how to give the twice a day shots for one of Barbara's sickly cats which she doesn't consider putting down. Barbara is in Iowa over Thanksgiving with her "people kids" so Paul had to leave early to tend to Barbara's cats' Thanksgiving repast. And here's the story.

Barbara is such a pet lover that in addition to her five cats, she befriends all the neighborhood cats by putting out food for them twice a day on the porch outside her apartment. She buys a huge bag of dry cat food twice a month. Paul says it is a known apartment ritual that when you see a procession of stray cats making their way to Barbara's second story "cat dining room" in the morning and in the evening, it is feeding time and the cats know it. (We have a similar ritual at the Tallgrass dining room -- three times a day and instead of stray cats, it's just the residents!)

It has happened for so long, Paul recognizes the cats. Paul says the cats do not want to be befriended any more than to be fed, and if you do try to befriend them, they scatter -- all ten to fifteen of them, even jumping off the second floor feeding station!

Thinking of that situation kept me pleasantly awake last night with all that that daily ritual implies, not only Barbara's inordinate love for pets, but the cats' faithful dependence on Barbara to "perform" each day. Barbara even arranged for Paul to take her place in that ritual during her absence. Isn't that some pet story?

And of course Mary Ann's "Sunny" is a known family legend! She unashamedly says that Sunny is her best friend! And I wouldn't attempt to infringe on his territory with Mary Ann, my only daughter! They have something going!

Sunny is getting some age and Mary Ann is aware that he won't be around forever to provide the loving relationship she has grown to expect. She will be a basket case when that happens; he is so special to her! He runs and hides when anyone comes to his domain. What a character!

So what about pets? I concluded after four or five pleasant sleepless hours last night, reliving the afterglow of this year's Thanksgiving, that the Hinman pets are a vital part of what makes our lives what they are -- happy! So don't think of messing with our pets!

Thank you Lord for pets and God bless Abby -- wherever you are darlin'. We love you!

UPDATE ON LANKY, well-known and beloved "cat (bell) hop" at prestigious Tallgrass Estates.

Lanky was recognized in the Circle Mountain area as the infamous missing "door cat" from Tallgrass and is back home. Thank you Lord for answered prayers.

-Chuck Hinman

This story was posted on 2011-11-27 07:11:46
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