I love animals of all kinds, except for reptiles. (I had a bad experience of having a rat snake in my bed with me while I was in it. Forty years later, it still gives me the heebee geebees!) I love seeing the sweet pictures and videos of adorable fur babies frolicking around. I also love to visit my good friend, author Carolyn Haines, at her home. Carolyn, in addition to being an author of wonderful and entertaining books of all genres, also runs an animal rescue called Good Fortune Farm Rescue. She takes care of dogs, cats and horses. Her babies are all loved unconditionally and I have heard someone remark that when they died, they wanted to come back as one of Carolyn’s rescues. Upon arrival at Casa Carolyn’s, I am always greeted at the door by a veritable barrage of happy dogs and cats all wanting some attention. I just love it!
My first cat memories are of two brothers we named Ace and Deuce. Before we moved into the country, we lived in the small town of Houston, Mississippi. I have no idea how Ace and Deuce ended up with us, but it seemed they’d always been there with us. They were outside cats and were used to wandering off, but always returning for supper. They were absolutely adorable! Ace was dark grey with white streaks on his face and a white belly and Deuce was just completely light grey. They were hard to spot at night, much to the dismay of whatever prey they stalked. Too many times my mom would yell out in disgust for one of my brothers to come get rid of whatever prize one of the cats left for her on the doorstep. She understood they were trying to be sweet and share, but she sure wished they’d pick another way to shower her with attention. We thought it was hilarious!
We moved out to the country when my mother remarried. We kids loved roaming around and discovering new things, but not as much as Ace and Deuce did. When we lived in town, they would always be home every night. Out in the country, it was a different story. At first, they’d be gone a night or two, then a week, until finally, Ace came home without Deuce. My stepfather speculated that maybe another wild animal got Deuce, as we never saw him again. Ace finally got to the point where he stayed gone almost all the time, only showing up once in a blue moon to eat. He wouldn’t come near us, either, so he was becoming more feral. He finally stopped coming home.
In my last blog entry, I introduced you all to Felice, the beautiful golden-colored Persian cat who adopted us. I also spoke about how she’s wander off on adventures and come back a few days later. On two different occasions, she returned and a couple months later, she’d have a litter of kittens. There was always one kitten who was dark grey with white streaks and a white belly and another that was completely light grey. My mother made the remark that maybe Ace was still in the area, after all. It made us happy to think that he was still around, but sad that he no longer was tame enough to be near us.
I am really enjoying reading and writing about everyone’s favorite young feline detective, Trouble. He leads such an interesting life, just like his dad, Familiar. Everywhere he goes, he gets into amazing adventures with some colorful characters. Sitting around the house and eating kitty treats is not the life for him, although he doesn’t mind it occasionally. I admire Trouble, too. He lives life on his terms, just like Ace and Deuce did. I look forward to the many more adventures he has in store.
Hope Harrington Oakes is a writer who lives in Columbus, Mississippi, a city steeped in literary tradition. It is the birthplace of Tennessee Williams and home to the Mississippi University for Women, which hosts the Eudora Welty Symposium each autumn. Hope has always loved to write, and now makes her living as a columnist and reporter for a local newspaper. She is married to Ed, and is mom to college students Jared and Emily Anne, as well as their fur baby, Tippy. Caledonia Trouble will be her first book.