Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Kittens and Dogs

When I was a little girl,maybe 7 years old, my stepdad brought me home an orange and white kitten. I believe that he and his dad were doing some "cleaning" in the barns and he, knowing how much I love cats, spared one for me. I named him "Tuffy". I wasn't allowed to have pets in the house, so Tuffy stayed outside, in a box on our porch at night.

My step dad had two dogs at the time, Princess and Tanya...he kept them tied up outside, they were basically the type of dogs that you would imagine on a junk yard, used solely for the purpose of letting the owners know that there are intruders on the property. They were scrappers, meaning mutts. They weren't tame in the sense that they were trained to interact with humans, and if we let them loose from their tethers, they'd run and run.

My step dad wasn't fond of cats at all he'd just as easily shoot one as look at it, so giving me a kitten was an extra special thing. Well...the dogs sometimes did get loose from the chains [yes they were chained]. I guess the kitten, being it's kitten self became curious enough to hop out of the card board box and was playing around on the porch. It must have been driving Princess crazy. Being a part Malamute, and part wolf, with a drive for hunting small animals. She broke the chain, and Tuffy was no more.

I remember my step dad coming into my room that night, waking me up. He was crying. I guess maybe that little cat broke through his usual resentment of all that is feline. He told me that Princess got a hold of my kitten, and we both cried together. I remember my mom being mad at him for waking me up and telling me, as it was really late at night.

I don't remember talking about Tuffy to my parents ever again. I can imagine the details well enough right now, and I am thankful they spared me that. Perhaps after I fell asleep I sealed him up in a dream memory for safe keeping; swaddled in my blue blanket, where he couldn't get hurt.

A few years later my parents took me out to pick out a puppy of my very own, my stepdad refused to get another cat for obvious reasons. I was happy with my puppy, Bandit, but it wasn't the same type of happiness.

When Caleb came home last Sunday night with Tangerine, I almost cried seeing her cradled in Caleb's arm. I was flooded with memories of Tuffy, the joy I had upon receiving my very own kitten to love, and the pain of how a crazy wolf dog "got a hold of him" late at night while I slept peacefully in my bed, unaware.

I've been on pins and needles for the past few days wondering if Roxy's inner-wolf will kick in and "get a hold" of this little tigress. I've drilled everyone on not letting Roxy and Tangerine by themselves until she is a bit older and defend herself better. I guess after seeing this today, I may not have anything to worry about. Perhaps instead of her inner-wolf, Tangerine has triggered Roxy's inner-momma.

Here I am crying again. Sweet sweet little Tuffy, kitten of my childhood memories... Sandy loves you.


At 12:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That picture is sooooo cute. I think Roxy's internal wolf is well enough supressed that Tangerine should have nothing to worry about.


At 20:39, Blogger Kassi said...

I hope so. I hope so.


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