Monday, November 17, 2008


I have always loved animals. I can't remember a time growing up when we didn't have a cat and/or dog, which in retrospect makes absolutely no sense . My mom was MORE than anal-retentive about cleanliness and everything being spotless 24/7; in the last house we lived as a family, we had WHITE carpeting. Honest.

But I remember having at least one cat and one dog when we lived in Highland Part - I had a Siamese cat at the first apartment we had in South Pasadena - I had a tabby when we moved to Laurel St., and then took care of my uncle Leigh's Samoyed for the two years he was in Australia.

And then when I went out on my own, there was always a horse or a dog or a cat that was moving along right next to me (in fact, a couple of kitties and puppies that made the trip from California to and from Michigan).

But are a lot of questions which have occurred to me only since my dad died five years ago. For instance, how did he talk my mom into letting us have animals, and did he have pets growing up? I know he grew up 'in' the city of Kalamazoo (what a cool name for a city), but his grandparents (on the Russell side) had a farm that they'd go to during the summer. But I never heard him mention a particular dog or cat... of course, in a family of five kids, there may never have been a 'individual' pet.

But I grew up with a love for almost all animals (exceptions: alligators or spiders, though), and kept constant a dream of becoming a veterinarian. At least until I applied for veterinarian training at San Luis Obispo, and allowed myself to be talked out of large animal work, which of course, was what I wanted to specialize in.
But back to the main point ABOUT TIME!); now that I have an 'empty nest' of children, I still have the animals. Murray, Pandora, Delilah, Najale and Sally.
And since I am by myself the majority of the time, and am by nature a chatty creature, I end up talking to the animals... perhaps a little bit too much.
But (taking the chance that I will be struck down with lightening) it's sort of like prayer. It's someone to talk to, who you know is listening, and with at least four of the animals, you can count on a nice, respectful and polite listening face (Najale is the one who will shake his head in negativity at almost anything I say if I'm not scratching his stomach at the time).
And do they speak to me (as the title of this blog seems to be hinting at)?
Well, let me put it this way (again, in danger of being struck down where I sit) - how do you feel you receive an answer to your prayer?
Yeah - sometimes they do.