Friday, January 23, 2009

Kitty cat! Kitty cat! Kitty, Kitty, Kitty cat!

Snowy, Germantown, TN, 1989

Snowy, Germantown, TN, 1989

Snowy, Marshall, about 10 years old

Dad, with beard, Ann Arbor, and Fido, 2006

Spike, Ann Arbor, Christmas, 2008

Pets were not a big deal for us when you kids were little. We had tried a dog when we lived on Westminister, but he kept running away and that got old. We also acquired a kitten who was sickly, which we gave away not long after she arrived.

Snowy was the only pet I wanted to have. But Beth "saved" Spike and Fido from the "crack house" in Marshall. And now we have two kitties, one of whom loves Dad and only Dad. She cries pitifully when he is out of town for a few days. When he returns, she follows him, talks to him, and waits patiently for him to "spank" her. The girl needs some perspective on this "love the Dad" thing. It's almost embarrassing!

Spike is happy to be petted by everyone except Johnny-boy. When he is well-scratched and contented, he slobbers all over the place.

All in all, having kitties has been a good experience for eveyone, I think. We have learned to make sure that they are taken care of, safe, and that they don't get outside. When you were little, it helped you to identify with someone smaller and less capable than you. But Snowy and now Spike and Fido love us unconditionally, and share their purrs and softness with us all.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nina and Johnny's Birthday

Nina's due date was at the end of 1978. That year December 31 fell on a Sunday. Dad went into church for early meetings, and told everyone that we were having a baby today (!). When I showed up later, they were very concerned. "You should be home resting." "What are you going to do when labor really starts?" "John said that the baby would be born today!" I said that John was dreaming and there was no way she would make it today. He wanted to tax break, but Nina did not agree.

She made it on January 3, which was a terribly cold day. We had three days in the hospital in a semi-private room. In those days, they provided a steak dinner on the day that you left the hospital for you and your husband. I could not sit long enough for Dad to finish chewing all of the bones and licking the plate. So, I went back to bed.

We had only been in Michigan for a few month before she was born. I was not a fan of the cold. We stayed home almost all of the time until Spring came. And even then, I bundled everyone up before we went out.

Nina was so thrilled that she was going to have a baby brother on her birthday. She was 6 at the time. She insisted that he was going to be born on her birthday. The doctor put his birthdate at December 25. Well, December 25 came and went. And Nina was still insisting. I have to admit to being a bit cranky, what with being overdue and all. Back in the day, they did not induce on your due data, if you had not delivered on your own. You waited. It is exactly 10 days from December 25 to January 3. It was a long wait. But then, on January 2 near midnight, my water broke. We raced to the hospital fearing that he would be born in the car. But labor stopped, and started a number of times. At one point, Dad said that he was very tired and he wanted go home to bed for awhile. I could call him when I was really ready to have him. No, I said, if I was there and awake, he could be there and awake. It was about 5 am when the boy finally made his appearance. We had a private room in the new wing of Foote Hospital for three days. It was again terribly cold, but we were snug and warm.