From my earliest memory I lived among packs, herds, and flocks. Not all of the pets belonged to me. Each was designated an “owner” within the family, for the sake of clarity…and blame. So that when my sister’s Husky chewed another plug off another cord, the destruction belonged to my sister. When one of my cats clawed another hole in another screen, or delivered kittens on Daddy’s coat, the trouble was mine. (Though Mother shielded us from the worst storms. I don’t believe Daddy ever knew about his coat.)
We chose some of our pets, others chose us. For the most part, once they set toe on our property, they stayed. Every nook and cranny, every shed and tree sheltered our teeming beasts. I can’t imagine a world not crowded with warm, funny companions. We fed and housed them, and in return they taught us to laugh and cry with their wonderful, infuriating habits. Despite the semantics of ownership, I now claim them all. I own a story for each of them. They are in everything I do.
Over the last few weeks I have come to know Mother’s current cats, four rescued felines with wildly different personalities. They range from shy to bold…from chronically sleepy to intensely curious. I’m delighted to know them, to add their characters to The Menagerie’s story.