Confessions of a former cat man

The Book of Face can be downright Orwellian when it wants to be, but strangely it does not throw personal reminiscences down the same memory hole as certain political and scientific facts.

This week its “Memories” feature brought up a post I’d made in 2009, and it showed how things can change in 14 years. It seems we had a bad snowstorm that left me camped out at a hotel near work rather than driving 20 treacherous miles home.

“had a lovely night at the downtown Days Inn in lieu of driving through 10 inches of snow, but I miss my kitties,” I wrote that late February morning.

That was at the peak of my time as a cat man. We had seven (!) felines wandering around the house: Bam-Bam, Cody, Boop, Beeker, Hemi, Pumpkin and Blackberry. Yes, we had a couple of dogs, but the pointy-eared little fluff balls ruled the roost. I even wrote a song that spring, proclaiming me as a “Cat Man.”

But then our sweet golden retriever, Onyah, died just after Easter, and in May we introduced the menagerie to another golden, an eight-week-old puppy we named Willow. 

Oh, Will. The next 12 years turned me completely around. I may have mentioned her before. My voice may have caught just then when I said, “Oh, Will.” But that’s not today’s memory.

Blackberry — whom I found forlornly wandering a highway on-ramp during Independence Day weekend 2007 when she was four weeks old — is the last representative of her species standing in our domicile. She still has a fierce appetite, and she has taken to caterwauling in the middle of the night, yowling at the injustice of a world where she can’t get room service at 3 a.m.

She has never been one to climb into a lap or sleep on a shoulder, but Blackberry does allow a purr to escape when ears get scratched or a food dish is set before her.

She may be the last cat we ever add to our family. Of course, when Onyah left us, Red said she didn’t think she wanted another golden retriever.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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