"This is a story about a man named
Eddie and it begins at the end,
with Eddie dying in the sun.
It might seem strange to start a story with an ending.
But all endings are also beginnings.
We just don't know it at the time."
Cali likes scotch! Rather she likes to lick the ice cubes after I have finished my evening beverage. Cali was a cat-waif who came to live under my deck the week before July 4, 2005. After a week there, she moved in (I think she heard that I was going to seek a new dog companion), and was somewhat the worse for wear. Her previous people had her de-clawed and spayed. Amazing that she looks quite like CC below, same eye- and coat-color! She loves rolling around on her back, especially on the dining room table while I eat breakfast cereal, or high up on the open stairs. She relaxes with her feet crossed, and finds mice and other rodents to supplement her diet. Getting her neck scratched is a favorite pleasure. She needs a better photo, being somewhat camera shy and restless.
Nov. 2012: Cali has a heart condition so I will need to
prepare her resting place in my yard.
Feb 24, 2013: She is now in her resting place near where she first entered my yard and house. Under a lovely weeping mulberry tree.
Here Tchaddie is a young dog, newly arrived from his rescue from the streets through the Humane Society (also July 4!) in 1988. He gazes onto the patio with his cucumber.
Tchaddie's name is derived from the Celtic "shadow" of his predecessor, M'Tchaddie San Frisco (below). He was always at my side on home and garden projects, and one of his favorite distractions was to drop toys in the middle of whatever was going on. When I renovated the upstairs bathroom, he would find great fun in dropping toys down shafts which are now part of the archeology of the house.
Together we would walk for hours around St. Paul on a regular basis in all seasons.
All through Tchaddie's life, he sang. Mostly it was when I left the house or when the telephone answering machine went on. Here Tchaddie is an old dog, about 17 years old September 2004.
He died on November 29, 2004 and brought to a close my little group of animal friends that included CC and Cyrus.
This is Mama CC. She was discovered in the Community Center (CC) and came to share my life in 1985. She was pregnant with four kittens, and had them under a bookcase. My friend Kevin used to "fish them out" with a ruler, and she was very understanding. Her son Cyrus continued to live with her, and with me. Her two daughters moved next door, and one son became famous as a nation-trotter companion with his human friend who was active in developing an organization for those with a fatigue syndrome.
CC was very friendly, but disliked being held by strangers beyond a few get-acquainted moments. She and Cyrus had an ideal world with a whole bluff to play by, and often greeted strangers on the street. If she and Cyrus were outside and would hear my car returning home, they would rush to greet me at the front door. Aside from being a great lap cat, she co-existed well with her dog-mate, Tchaddie, and never once hissed at him. Tchaddie, of course, thought it great fun to chase her and Cyrus. CC took the upper right corner of the bed for her sleeping spot.
She died in 2003 on July 16.
Here is Cyrus, a most gentle and friendly cat who was born in 1985. His very early life started by getting "fished" out from under a bookcase (his birth place), and then being trained in cat-hood by Kevin while I traveled the world.
Later he would let Tchaddie chase him sometimes; other times would just ignore him (which Tchaddie didn't understand). Tchaddie also taught him to sing and gave him his voice which he used often in later life. He enjoyed exploring the bluff more than his mother. He slept at my feet.
He died in the summer of 2002.
Here I am with Frisco, a Gordon Setter. He was a handful, but a great companion for his eight years of life. He came to live with me on July 4 (there is a pattern here) just after I started working at St. Thomas in 1977, and moved with me until I bought my house in 1979.
Frisco taught me that I needed to understand him in order for him to understand me: I got better at it as we matured together.
He died in 1985 of a sudden brain aneurysm.