Posts Tagged cats

Cat Herders Day

Koda waits for George

Koda waits for George

This year my brother gets to come home for Christmas before deploying next month. And he’s bringing with him a new girlfriend! My family is looking forward to it, and everything we’ve heard about her so far sounds great. The only hiccup to her staying with my parents next week is she’s allergic to cats. So what to do with their orange and white tabby, George?

George gets comfortable under my bed

George gets comfortable under my bed

It’s an awesome coincidence that today worked out for my mom to come to MadisonĀ (they live about an hour away from me) and drop off George. Koda has stayed with my parents several times when G and I travel, so I was happy to repay the favor. The cats are pretty entertaining together; George takes awhile to come around, but once he does, the two will chase each other and keep very close tabs on one another. And when Koda and I left after spending several days around Thanksgiving with my parents, my mom says George wandered from room to room meowing.

George is an absolute sweetheart, but like I said, he takes awhile to come around. When my mom opened his crate in our living room, he bolted immediately under our bed. He’s been there ever since. We’re thinking he’ll come out by Friday.

Koda’s been circling and when he’s not doing that, he’s sneaking food from George’s bowl. Oh well. It’s promising to be an entertaining week with two kitties, though I’m not sure how effectively I’ll be able to herd them …

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Fala Day

Fala Day, which falls on the first Saturday of every November, celebrates the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s beloved Scottish terrier. The dog was granted the lofty name of Murray the Outlaw of Falahill in honor of one of FDR’s Scottish ancestors, and Fala became FDR’s affectionate nickname for his pet. Fala became a cultural icon and lived in a world of luxury during his 12-year lifespan. He was served breakfast on a tray each morning and had a full dinner each night. A rumor, supposedly spread by bitter Republicans, says that once FDR accidentally left Fala behind during a trip to the Aleutian Islands and that the president sent a naval destroyer to rescue his marooned puppy. While FDR discredited the accusations during a campaign talk famously dubbed the “Fala speech,” other stories about the dog are true. Read his official biography at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

The Fala thing may be cutesy, but I definitely understand hyper-attachment to an animal companion. This weekend, P and I attended a K Family reunion north of Milwaukee. It’s the last time the five Midwest-based cousins will be in the same spot for several years, as P joins the Navy in two weeks and the rest of us continue to gradually spread out. G also left Madison this weekend to visit his family, meaning Koda had to fend for himself for the weekend. Well, not totally for himself–our neighbor stopped in to check on him and keep his food bowl full. But it was the first time Koda would spend a night without either G or me.

I definitely had kitty-mama guilt, especially when I arrived at SE’s house to discover he has four cats under his roof. I had plenty of furballs to pet and coo over, while my own huddled on the couch watching late night Food Network all by himself. (One of the cousins is allergic to cats and was also uninformed about the four felines, so not all of us were so eager to play with the pets!) The one I particularly took to was, not surprisingly, a friendly gray tabby. Every time I rubbed her ears, I felt a pang for Koda and I realized that if I were president, I would definitely want a day named for my little buddy too.

And a not-so-small part of me doesn’t blame FDR for a second about the whole destroyer thing. Just in case that’s not a total rumor.

Anyway, I was prepared for today’s holiday, much to P’s embarrassment. One year when I was a kid I dressed up for Halloween as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I was all decked out with a blue-and-white-checked outfit, pig-tails and a pair of red high heels. (I was just a bit too young for those and kept tripping while trick-or-treating. Every time I’d fall my candy would go flying, and my poor dad had to help me re-collect the candy by flashlight.) The whole affair was topped off with a basket that carried a small, stuffed Scottie dog–my personal Toto.

Toto has been hiding in a bin of childhood stuff for several years, but my mother dug him out for today. Re-christened as the Spirit of Fala for the day, the thing still has a blue-and-white-checked bow around his neck. My cousins, who love me despite my oddness, witnessed me carrying Fala around the house and taking random, traveling gnome-style photos of him. The result is a short “photo essay” about Fala.

See? I can write about more than just cats. I can handle dogs too.

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