Sunday, December 9, 2007

In Better Days We Had Animal Pals

In better days, Marcie and I would take walks around the neighborhood. Generally speaking, Marcie did this every day or other day and preferred to go alone, but it was not uncommon for me to go with her.

It was nice to hold hands, even as they turned sweaty and Marcie grew annoyed. It was also fun to stop and chat with our mutual animal pals, petting the dogs we knew wouldn't bite. Both of us also enjoyed being waylaid by attention-starved "outside" kitties, which invariably ate up a good five or ten minutes of our time.

Marcie drew the animals in. I had always been boastful of my charming ways with the furred set, but Marcie was so gentler and quiet, usually able to suppress her own versions of my sometimes boisterous outbursts of delight at spying some furred denizen of the neighborhood. Consequently, I have many of my neighborhood animal pals because of her and because I was with her when she won them over.

Tonight I took a little walk down the block and visited a few of them before dusk brought the cats' more private nocturnal urges and the dogs' more guarded natures to bear. I wanted to take a walk with Marcie, so I just retraced our meandering neighborhood route.

Each animal I met and pet opened a floodgate. Memories of visits from those better days, those sweaty-palmed, frumpy-comfy walks, washed over me as not one or two or even three, but six separate cats we both had known visited with me tonight. I also checked in on Fred the Bellowing Basset Hound, who bayed mournfully when I was done petting him and moved on. I "feel ya," brother Fred.

When I got home, I turned and looked down the alley I liked to walk home in. Marcie and I both enjoyed visiting with a huge clutch of cats, all feral, who live behind a TV repair shop there. I noted a stunning sky, and thought I would share a snapshot I ran in and got the camera for. It became a "Stunning sky with telephone poles" shot of the alley instead.

Alley of The Cats at Sunset