Monday, September 19, 2016


There were a few comments on my cat pix on an earlier post so I thought I would expound.

During most of my life I have owned dogs.  As a young boy in Mississippi I had hunting dogs: hounds.  As an adult I have had a number of dogs, mostly German Shepherds.   Until age fifty-five, I never had a cat – I had no use for cats.

My wife and I were in Alaska, teaching in an Athabaskan Indian village.   The school district had moved us to a village where there was no teacher housing; if we wanted the job, we would have to find a place to live.   We knew one of the elders in the village and he offered us his old cabin on the edge of the village.    The cabin hadn’t been lived in for over two decades.   The roof was damaged, there was no glass in the two windows, there was no door at the entrance; just a bare bones old structure; and full of vermin.  

The village was on the road system: one hundred  fifty miles of dirt road north of Fairbanks.   We took our truck into Fairbanks and bought roofing materials, window glass, a door, insulation, sheet rock, an oil tank and a gravity fed oil stove.  I spent the next three weeks making the 16 x 10 cabin secure for a winter that could drop to sixty below. 

Because of the vermin living in and under the cabin we we decided we needed a cat.    

There was a cat rescue group in Fairbanks, and among the choices was a three-year-old male Maine Coon Cat.     This was the beginning of my cat odyssey and love affair. 

Hobbes was never my cat, but my best friend and companion.   He followed me everywhere.   If I was on a ladder painting, the cat would be on the ladder with me.  If I was rooting around in my toolbox the cat was there helping.   He interacted with me constantly, but on his own terms. 

I lost Hobbes at twelve years of age, and my wife’s shadow, a beautiful Ragdoll cat, when she was eighteen.  

We went a year without a cat and finally adopted two Maine Coons: a two-year-old and a kitten.   These are spade female cats and lovable, but don’t interact with me the way my big male did.  

The young girl is trying to fit into the slow cooker pot.  
The older cat, in the background, is pollydactyl with six toes on each foot.  
 The younger cat has normal toes but big feet

They have been with us three years now, and we love them dearly.  Maine Coons are big cats.   They are known as the dogs of the cat world, because they are laid back and always want to be close to their people.

The older cat filling a large size dog bed.

The baby

 I don't dislike dog but they are too much maintenance for me now.   And, I am a cat person. 

the Ol'Buzzard


  1. What a beautiful and heartwarming post! It sounds as if Hobbes really enjoyed your company and won you over! I love all animals but since I have had cats all my life, (my first cat was given to me by my parents when I was 6 years old) and I will be 60 next month, I now have a 3 year old, black and white male cat, with beautiful green eyes. His name is Romeo. And the way you worded "On her terms"...this is precisely how cats are! Many people think that cats are selfish and antisocial, but it is just because they don't understand their nature.

    I once read a book quite sometime ago and there was a part about what the difference between cats and dogs are. I had to laugh hysterically, because it is so true! LOL!

    "When you call a dog, he/she comes to you. When you call a cat, he/she takes a message and gets back to you."

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I am so glad you love cats. Your photos and cats are beautiful.

  2. Our Maine Coon was like a dog. He would come when called, fetched cat toys and brought them back to you, caught bats and placed his paw on them just so he could look at them (husband would set them free again). How wonderful that you have two of them! -Jenn

  3. Cats always have such delightful personalities and you're right -- everything is on THEIR terms, not yours. What a wonderful sense of independence, superiority and entitlement!

  4. I love cats too, even though my blogging persona says I don't. I've had mostly cats in my younger years. I'll be turning 62 this month and I guess in about 8 more years or so (if I live that long) I'll revert back to my cat days. I love your Maine Coons. They are so damned pretty!

  5. I was always a dog person and then I became a dog and cat person and then when I lost Nate I just became a cat person..Dexter thinks he's a dog so there's that..and I love Maine Coon's..

  6. Love your story about your Alaska cat. We all have to go sometime but it is never easy on those of us left behind.
    I was never a cat person until I married Tanya, mostly because my kids are allergic to cat hair big time. Our dog is an outdoor dog but does not get enough attention. I try to walk him every day but he needs more hugs and petting than he gets.


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