Pee Wee (cat) and Betty (dog) caught napping

I walked by the guest room and caught Betty napping her new friend, Pee Wee.

Betty started her life at our neighbor’s house, where she was dumped as a puppy. She grew up in the company of two older dogs and a litter of kittens. One of the kittens became her best friend, and it followed her wherever she went.

So when I brought home lost kitten Pee Wee, Betty was ecstatic. She and the kitten play hide-and-seek through the house. And Ronnie, our cardigan corgi — who’s been leery of cats since our older cat gave him a swat — joins in the fun. In fact, Ronnie can hardly wait to see Pee Wee in the morning to cover him with kisses.

The only one in our household who isn’t joyful is Nemo, our six year old cat who misses his quiet naps by the window. But yesterday, even he was play-wrestling with the new upstart.

Even though Pee Wee’s cute and fitting in, we still consider him a temporary resident. Hopefully we’ll be able to find him a good home with friendly animals and perhaps older children. I don’t think Pee Wee would be an appropriate pet for very young children, because he does have a temper. That combined with rough handling could turn this very affectionate youngster into an old grump.

A kitten in traffic

This morning, Betty started obedience school. I’ve already taught her a lot, but she becomes overly excited when she sees another dog. I’m hoping that being surrounded by dogs on a regular basis will desensitize her.

On the way home, I saw something crawling frantically away from multiple lanes of traffic. I thought it was a squirrel, but then I realized it was a gray kitten that had been struck by a car. One leg was twisted, and it was pulling the dead weight behind it.

I went to the next exit – it seemed I’d never get there – and drove back to find it. I went down the service road running parallel to the highway, but couldn’t locate the kitty in the grass divider. I made a second pass, this time using the outside lane of the highway. Nothing.

Sometimes I wish we weren’t so rushed. That we’d drive at slower speeds. Some animals would still get killed, but I’m sure many fewer. I don’t like the attitude that anything inconveniencing us should simply be plowed over.

I’m reminded of an incident many years ago. I was momentarily alone on a moderately trafficked road. Ahead of me, a mother duck was scrambling across four lanes. Behind her was her only surviving duckling.

I got closer, and she kept running. I came to a stop, since she was about to run beneath my wheel.

She was in front of my car; almost to the curb. A red pick-up came up behind me. Swerved around. As the mother leapt into the grass, its duckling disappeared beneath the truck’s tire.

The truck stopped a moment, and then drove on, leaving a glassy-eyed mother panting in the grass.

It still bothers me.