First and foremost, you should know that I am a cat lover. I first began this series on February 28th (this year), concluding on the 29th , the very next day.
What has occurred that made me think of adding a 'part four'? Good question.
Earlier today I drove Joyce back to Hobby Airport. As I said in that post, she's a talker. I asked her about Joanne (her sister), of course, and she said that she was doing really well, actually. Well enough to complain about her physical therapist!
Then she went on to tell me how much she was enjoying taking Joanne's cat out for a walk. I asked, "What do you mean, 'taking' the cat out for a walk? Is it on a leash or something??"
[I have never 'taken a cat out for a walk'. Per the 3rd link in the introduction above (see the 6th paragraph once you get to the link), the only cat that I have EVER had who deigned to 'accompany' me on walks was Serendipity!]
And so I was really interested in hearing her answer. The answer was that there's some sort of cat carrier type of thingee (Don't you just love how accurately I am able to describe some of this stuff??) on wheels. When the 'cage door' is opened, said cat jumps in, anticipating a walk in the fresh air.
[This would never have worked with Serendipity, I can guarantee you!]
Joanne, of course, with her very recent knee replacement surgery, has not been able to take her cat out for 'walks'.
My mind immediately went wandering, as it often does, and I was reminded, once again, of the 'mentally retarded' cat that we had in Indiana. (See the 1st link in the above introduction, perhaps a little more than 1/4 of the way through, beginning with "I've had lots of cats" and ending with "Maybe he had no sniffer?")
Our very best friends at the time were Paul Joe and Jacky Kerker. Paul Joe was a farmer. (I say "was" because he passed away some years back.) They had two children, of whom I only taught the older, Krystal, who is herself now a teacher, but that's a story for another day (maybe).
They were the ones we relied on when Johnny (my brother) had his terrible accident and with whom we left our kitty if we were to be out of town for any length of time.
Paul Joe and Jacky's 'pets' were never considered as indoor critters. They were relegated to the outdoors, and if Paul Joe 'felt like' feeding them, they got fed. Otherwise, they would have to forage for themselves. We were understandably reluctant to leave our mentally retarded wonder, albeit much loved, in the care of such a person.
Both Paul Joe and Jacky, however, told us that we could rest-assured go on our canoe trip up to Superior/Quetico in Minnesota/Canada (dropping DD off at the University of Wisconsin at the Olympic speed-skating summer training camp along the way).
Well, we called along the way north (I don't remember where we were when we called) just to check and see how our 'baby' was doing. Jacky answered and then proceeded to hand the phone off to Paul Joe, who said (you absolutely MUST try and visualize a heavy, heavy Indiana farmer's accent here!), "Oh, yeah! He's doing great!"
[It was only after our return that we learned that, at the time of our call, Paul Joe actually had our kitty entrapped underneath a milk crate and was poking at it with a stick!)
Later ... quite a while, actually, after our return to Indiana ... we had Paul Joe and Jacky over. Our mentally retarded wonder took one look at Paul Joe sitting on the couch and immediately went over and bit him on his thumb!
We thought, "Whaaat!!" It was then that we learned of the milk crate entrapment. Also, Jacky disclosed to us at the same time, our kitty had chosen one of Paul Joe's boots to pee in!
Our baby might have been retarded, but he was selective!