NOW he's ready for school.

Top ten reasons my pets are the best.

I read a blog the other day, wherein the writer asked her readers to share their top ten reasons why their pets are the best. (She’s a vet.)

Well, I can’t resist an opportunity to babble about my pets, and also? Also, you may not KNOW this, but I don’t get sick. NO REALLY. Ever. Except right now my head has betrayed me and is currently harboring some sort of intelligence-sucking germ that also gives one a stuffy nose and the sneezes. Evidence of the latter is obvious, evidence of the former is the fact that I spied my pocket knife on the counter (yes, I own a pocket knife, I am rugged and cool that way), on my way out the door to back-to-school-night. And I looked at the thing and wondered, huh, should I take that to back-to-school-night? And because I couldn’t think of a reason not to, I slipped it in my pocket. It wasn’t until I got home and was walking back up the stairs to my room that I put my hand in my pocket and felt my pocket knife there, and thought, good gravy woman, but that was nonsensical.

Where was I?

Oh yes. My pets – the best.

Let’s start off with Carmelita, dog among dogs.


1 – Actually, she is a dog among boys, because that is her favorite place to be. She cannot resist a boy at play, and any episode of running boys causes her to leap up and trot off happily to join the fray. She loves loves loves the boys, which is good because if I were their dog? I would run away and take a nap.

2 – When I drive away with her boys, she stands in the front window, her tail sadly drooping, looking both forlorn and a little guilty.

3 – She ALWAYS looks a little guilty.

4 – She licks the people she loves. A lot. If they hate to be licked, she tries, oh how she tries, to restrain herself, but then she’ll get carried away by enthusiasm and love, and sneak in a lick behind his/her knee – and then look guilty.

5 – I DO wish she would stop sticking her nose in the crotches of people as a greeting, but it was undeniably funny when she nosed under the skirts of the stunned youth group girls, who stopped by on their scavenger hunt. I mean, they were so sweet and young and SHOCKED.

6 – She loves Claire with a love that will not be squelched. She has paid dearly for her love – literally through the nose. Yet she will not be dissuaded.

7 – As much as she loves the boys, the cat, and everyone she’s ever met, she loves me best of all. It’s a bit inconvenient at times, because she will shoulder her way in between me and anyone else when she’s feeling possessive, but it does make a girl feel special.

8 – She smiles. Better than that dog in “Because of Winn-Dixie.”

9 – Every night when I put the boys to bed, she starts following me around hopefully, feeling certain this might cause me to take her for a walk. If I don’t, she will walk back and forth in front of me, trying not to bother but unable to give up hope. Eventually she’ll walk over and drop her head in my lap. If that doesn’t work, she lies down with a heavy sigh and looks guilty.

10 – When Max gets sent to his bed for a time out, Carmi goes with him and lies down on his bed. I often find the two of them there, Max petting her and whispering into her silky ears his side of the story. Carmi looks very sympathetic. And guilty.

Now Claire! Our beautiful, stupid cat!


1 – She truly is beautiful.

2 – But watching how she toys with Carmi, I suspect she isn’t as stupid as I thought.

3 – She is an excellent mouser. She even kills them all the way dead sometimes, which I especially appreciate.

4 – And yet she has more or less accepted the fact that she is no longer allowed outside, where the mice are. She is occasionally given to fits of yowling for freedom, but it’s not too bad. That’s grace, when you’re as mighty of a huntress as she.

5 – She sleeps with me, but she is a very considerate bed-mate. She stays at about knee level and never attacks my feet in the middle of the night.

6 – Whenever I get up in the night to go to the bathroom she accompanies me, and sits at my feet. If I say anything to her, she purrr/meows in response. It makes the night hours just that much less lonely.

7 – Sometimes before I go to bed I will brush her, because she is the sheddingest cat there ever was or will be, world without end, amen. Seriously. I cannot overstate the shedding abilities of this cat. She hates to be brushed, so she will sit as long as she can bear it, then start trying to bite the brush, then eventually run away. After a few minutes, she’ll want to come back. To be certain she can be safe, she’ll crawl up the side of the bed and burrow under the covers until she finds her place near my knees. Once there, she curls up in her usual ball. I call her a dork, and she purrs.

8 – She will drink out of any body of water she can find – flower vases, unattended water glasses, the shower floor – anything. Sometimes when I’m taking a bath, she’ll come in, sit on the side of the tub, and drink my bathwater. Now, that’s odd, to be sure, but it does make a girl feel special.

9 – While she’s sitting there, on the side of the tub, she’ll let her tail drag in the water without realizing it. When she jumps down and discovers that her tail is all wet, she looks at it with great alarm and disgust.

10 – She seems to realize that Raphael is trying to learn how to treat a cat gently, and so she will hold still for him as long as he’s being calm. You can tell by how tense she is that she hates every minute, but she will crouch there, and even throw him a courtesy purr if he’s being careful enough. It must be that kind of bravery that makes her the mighty huntress she is.

Well, that was fun. Or maybe it was the brain-sucking snot monster in my nose, hard to tell.

Anyhow, tell me about your pets! Why do you love them?



What I want to know is how did you get that cat to pose with her eyes closed?

Mary Jo

Your couch cushion looks backwards? I see the zipper... haha

What a great tribute to your animals.


My pets love me with the most unconditional love that I have ever seen.

I love my Mollie (black lab) because whenever she is in trouble she always winces and walks toward me to lay her head in my lap and beg for forgiveness. And because she prances when she walks.

I love my Ellie (black lab) because she always listens to me and lets all the other animals play with her as roughly as they want. And she army crawls across the room when she thinks I am not looking after I have told her to stay.

I love my Abby (cat) because she is a little princess. And because she hops like a bunny when she runs up the stairs.

I love my Frodo (cat) because he follows me around every morning begging to be rubbed all over. And because he loves to play with the water dripping in the shower.


A brushing tip:

I hold the brush out to Elliott and he comes and rams his face against it. If I just start brushing him, he bites it every time. But when I hold it up, he'll shove his face (scary hard!) against the brush while I switch sides. After that, I can get about 10 strokes in, then he goes to bite it. Every time he starts biting, I hold it out and let him do the face ram. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I love your writing, by the way. :)

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