I recently watched a video that included a Golden Retriever puppy going down a slide. This brought back memories of our family dog, Peppy. Peppy joined the family while we were living on P street in Lincoln, Nebraska. When Peppy was a puppy, we would take him to Woods Park for him to go down a short children’s slide. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of Peppy going down the slide.
Prior to our move to Lincoln, our constant childhood companion was our dog, Susie. I don’t remember Susie as a pup, but I’m guessing she joined the family after our move to Dodge City when I was three. I do remember the tears when we found out Susie wasn’t going with us when we moved to Lincoln in 1967.
About the time I was 8 or 9, a small black kitten joined the family – Blacky. Blacky loved to cuddle, but he was also a fighter. When we first got him, he had to wear a collar with a bell so that the birds would be scared away. One day, Blacky went missing. When he finally made it home, his right front paw was caught in his collar. That was the last day he wore a collar — until our move to Lincoln.
Lincoln had a leash law for cats and Blacky had to be kept on a leash when outside. Since he had always been able to go outside, he adapted to the collar and leash. We would clip his leash to the clothesline giving Blacky the ability to explore most of the yard. The squirrels would sit in the tree and taunt him. They seemed to know the limit of Blacky’s leash and stay out of his reach. One day, he hunkered down and waited. An unfortunate squirrel got within Blacky’s reach. Needless to say, the remaining squirrels left him alone after that.
Shortly after my marriage, my husband, Michael, agreed that I could have a dog. Unfortunately, there was a stipulation with that — the dog couldn’t be in the house. Sunny and I made the best of the situation. Sunny would get to come in for short periods of time — he just couldn’t stay. During the summers, he would join me on my trips to summer school. While in Emporia, Sunny got to stay in the house!
A year or two after Sunny’s death, a small gray cat began visiting our yard. I was allowed to feed her, but again ‘she couldn’t come in the house.’ She became Jessie and was taken to the vet for shots, etc. It didn’t take much time before Jessie was allowed in our house and became part of the family. Jessie was my cat. She loved spending time in my office watching the birds or curling up on the afghan with me for a nap.
When Jessie was about 10, a small yellow kitten began coming around the house. About the second day, the kitten jumped in Mike’s lap. Somehow, that kitten knew who he had to convince that he was our kitten! Jake is no longer a kitten, but a big yellow cat. Jake has always been Mike’s cat. Jake is a loving cat and purrs a lot. He allows me to pet him and sometimes will snuggle next to me. However, it is Mike’s attention he craves and Mike’s lap he seeks.
I still long for the companionship of a dog but love having a cat in the house!
Join the ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’. What are your memories of the pets in your family?