. Funny me!
Sometimes something reminds me that I need a break from Football. The season is at such an important stage (and football is football afterall) yet something reminds me there is past memories that should be shared. Memories that have nothing to do with this game we love.
I had one of these 'Eh piff uh mees' today on a visit to 'Battle Red Blog' a blog I really enjoy visiting not just for the love I have for Kubiak (wishing him success) but the kind way BRB members have treated me during my visits. Its funny, I have had good experiences at almost all sb nation sites except the Chargers site. Isn't that funny. It is the only site that banned me from the site. I had to find a way to contact the guy in charge to un-ban me so I could destroy the post. And I never do unfriendly posts. I like the Faiders and Faider fans more than Charger fans now.
Sorry about that vent and back to my thought and to the 'Eh piff uh mee' that brought this post to mind.
I made a comment, at 'Battle Red Blog' trying to encourage them that they will get through their QB problems and have no problem beating Atlanta and I got a friendly response that for some reason reminded me of cats. That is the origin of this post. I hope you can leave 'Football' for a moment and enjoy something 'real-life'.
The Story of Richard
Richard was a friend of mine, maybe the best friend I've ever had. The strange thing about Richard is he was a cat. He and his sister Alice were given to me as a highschool graduation gift. ' A Strange Gift' you say? Maybe, but other than the car it was the most valued gift and I think the most valueable gift I ever received. Richard's papered named was "Richard-Lion-Heart' his sister (the runt of the litter) was thrown in for the deal. My sister and I had always a funny way of showing love. The year before I had given her a graduation gift of great value and I'll tell you right now, she outdid me. The two cats were totally unexpected. A year earlier we had lost another old Siamese (that I loved) named Clod (yes Clod) and she knew I loved that cat.
Richard and Alice's Travels
I worked for Albertson's then and they just opened a warehouse in Utah, I was transfered then and began the trek. There was no I-anything (as far as interstates go) complete in the Mountains back then and I made the mistake of just putting Richard and Alice in the car...and taking off. I regrett that decision as that '72 Comet of mine never smelled the same.
Although born in (and returning to) Utah, it wasn't long before I realized that Utah and I (during years of my youth's lust for evil) were not going to get along. I soon fell in love with green mountains again but it was not North Idaho it was a visit to Lake Tahoe. And with a 'hair' up my 'needing the mountains' I quit a great paying job and ventured to Lake Tahoe. I got a job with Safeway, bought a small cabin on the South side, and then came Pumpkin.
Pumpkin must have been 'Left Behind'. She was a beautiful, long haired, young black cat with (I kid you not) big orange eyes...thus the name pumpkin. She got along quite well with both Richard and Alice so I got her fixed and kept her.
Pumpkin's funniest moment
Its funny when I move somewhere, things seem to get extreme. It happened to me in Tahoe and again many years later after my trek back to Idaho. When I moved to Tahoe there had been a drought for about five years. Very little snow. I was on my way back to the cabin when when the snow began to fall. By the time I got home there was over two feet, strangely enough an earthquake, and something else...I just can't remember.
Because of everything happening I forgot to let Pumpkin out (she was a very good cat and always asked to go outside when she needed (hated the cat box). I went to bed, got up the next morning, and Pumpkin was beside herself. She wanted out bad! I opened the front door and 'pooofff' she ran out. The funny thing is is the storm had dropped over six feet of very light snow blowing towards that door. All I remember is 'poof' Pumpkin disappearing into this sheet of white and 'poof' she reappearing, and the melting white powder on the cabin floor.
I often wondered why cabins in that area had doors on the second floor (with no porch or balcony) now I know. Pooooffffff Pumpkin was lost and seconds later poofffff Pumpkin was back in the cabin, covered with snow. She was terrified. I picked her up, carried her to the cat box, rubbed her paws in the sand, and she accepted indoor 'cat-restroom'.
I lasted two years in Tahoe, working for Safeway in the summer and teaching skiing at Heavenley Valley during the winter. I really loved it there, really did, but at the same time there was a culture I could not stand. I didn't mind the gambling, it was fun when I won. I didn't mind the drinking (after all some casinos gave you four drink tokes just for cashing your paycheck there). But years ago I had watched some of my best friends get into drugs and hate me because they said I was the one that had changed. Coke was just coming into the 'vogue' and had a strong hold in Tahoe...a very strong hold...I hated it...and I left. Richard , Alice, Pumpkin and I hit the road.
Think about this and then think about it again. I'm in a '72 Comet with three cats and I've decided that San Diego is where we're headed. Because of previous experience I have placed a cat-box on the back seat. Pumpkin and Alice are a little freaked (trying to crawl under the seats and other things) but Richard (the best cat ever) is fine with whatever. I'm glad my Comet had a steel bumper. It allows me to rent a u-haul trailer and attach it. The U-Haul people are really nice and let me fill up with gas (little would I know that this would become important). Wouldn't you know that when you're on an adventure like this that it would snow...and it did. I tried to get the quick way out of Tahoe, jack-knifed, had to turn around and head back to Reno instead. Cats didn't mind. Alice and Pumpkin remained freaked, Richard was asleep on my lap. We finally got off the mountain, made it way south, and then made a mistake. I was running low on gas and stopped to fill up. They wanted 55 cents a gallon! Can you believe that!! Man!! I had never payed more than 31 or 34 cents per gallon in my life!!! I was rude to the people and filled half a tank. I wasn't really in touch with what was happening with the real world at that time....just having a good time traveling down 395...funny when you're young.
Funny Things Happen When You Run Out Of Gas
When my car began to sputter, I saw a light. I simply coasted into this gas station. He wouldn't give me any gas. Says he has to follow new guidelines. I'm very glad that I put that cat-box on the back seat. I am so very glad of this...I looked up.
This gas station I'm stuck at really services The Lawrence Welk Hotel
I'm not sure why but they gave me a room at half price (cost me $25) (and it was a nice one) . They had cable TV long before what we know today and was showing the PlayBoy finalist PlayGirl thing ( sorry... I watched it ).
The next morning I went to my car (still parked at the pump) and found a hundred (at least) very angry cars with angry drivers wanting me out of the way. I learned a lesson that two days...don't get angry at 55 cents a gallon. I happily filed up at 75 cents a gallon.
Somehow I managed to get a job right away (earth-worshipers hadn't taken over California yet) and settled in Carlsbad. I had a pretty good job as the third man at a little store on La Costa Golf Course called Market Place. It was a fun job but didn't pay much. I couldn't complain though! I was living out of my car, taking showers at either the Y or truck Stops....and having a great time doing it. There was a problem however, Alice, Pumpkin ( and even Richard) were really getting restless. Not just because they'd been confined to a car....but I think even they (despite their loyalty to the cat box) could smell the stink. Even though I was young I realized that living with three cats in a car is just not right.
I soon struck a deal with one of my co-workers to share an apartment. I didn't know he was a 'Hard-Rocker' at the time and wish now I had taken another choice (there was a girl that liked me but I was too stupid to see it). Anyway, North County at the time was still desert, tomatoe fields, and great deserted interstates (I-215) . Vast highway with no population in site.
I watched Alice and Pumpkin die
When you live in a car for a couple of months with three cats, those cats become family. One of the funniest things you find is cats are a lot like dogs. Once in the apartment (and hating the guitar noice) I found myself taking long walks over areas of the desert that had not yet been developed. On one of those walks I experienced a something....a something...
Richard was an amazing friend, he loved me and I loved him. Alice and Pumpkin were more curious. On walks Richard would stay right around me while Alice and Pumpkin were forever on adventures. I'll never forget the terror of what seen, how frightened I was...how I did nothing. I'm a kid from the Northern Rockies and had never seen a Rattlesnake. In fact where I come from cats look at snakes as big worms with a lot more meat than mice. I watched as both Pumpkin and Alice seemed to be playing with something under a bush, I figured it was a ground squirrel or something, then I saw a snake strike Alice, I began to run. Pumpkin, for some stupid reason, stayed there and got struck. For those of you that think cats are immune to Rattlesnake.....think again. I was really shook up...really. Don't tell any 'pita-folks' but that snake experienced a large rock...thrown with much force.
There’ll never be another cat like my Richard.
Somewhere down the road I got married and missed the love of four seasons (S. California had two..flood and fire). I moved back to Idaho, had two wonderful daughters and it was then that Richard really became special. He didn't save their lives or anything he was just 'Richard'.
My first daughter Alena, once walking, learned she could hold Richard's tail and pull. Most cats at that point fight back, but Richard had a strange reaction, he fell on his side and let Alena pull him across the floor. I soon taught Alena that pulling a cat by the tail is not the way to become friends. She and Richard became close friends and soon she had a sister.
I have been blessed with two daughters. One angel, and one...well..one that had a tendency to react rather suddenly, reguardless of the stability of her enviroment. Psychiatrist who believe that attitude is a product of environment have obviously not been blessed with two daughters that began their molecular structure with opposite ends of the available RNA. No book, or set of books, or any thousand books for that matter can fully prepare anyone for the subtle curiosities of being a parent. You must have children to understand what it is like to have children. Two attitudes, two opposites...so very different. Yet...you learn to understand...and love them as equals.
Yes! You guessed it! My Angel could not resist showing this other (I had co-created) how to drag Richard across the kitchen floor. Jodi was not a bad girl, just had a snarl about everything when she was young. Richard was so special the way he handled Jodi. He knew that the peaceful way to eat was to let Jodi pull him across the kitchen floor and push his face in the food. At that point Jodi would sit down and very gentley pet him while he ate. Richard soon learned that if he was eating and felt Jodi was near by he would back off two or three feet and shorten the dragging. I suppose Richard got off easy when you consider that Jodi would later get kicked out of day-care for biting other day-care kids.
Funny as you watch them grow. Jodi turns into this hyper-caring registered nurse, has nothing but love for everyone, and is the mother of my two grandsons. Alena is still an Angel, yet is hyper-brain and a very successful in a demanding, tax oriented, software company.
Richard had a funny end, the best friend I've ever had, and such a funny end. A few years before the kids left we had horses. On one ride, with Richard following, one of the horses got a hair up his whatever and kicked. The kick grazed Richard, sent him end over end, but he seemed ok. Richard was a very remarkable, very smart, very loving Siamese. He had traveled through many many states with me. He had lived in no less than five states with me. I really shouldn't be sad, I had Richard for 19 plus years. Had I taken him to a vet however the tooth, broken from the horsekick, might not have got infected a couple years later and killed him. I'm sorry Richard, I should have taken you to a vet. Just think Richard, if I had you might have lived a few more years and met my grandson....
...not to mention Jodi being really friendly and caring
I love you Richard The Cat
The Worlds Best Cat Ever