Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.
Today, I wanted to remind you of the four legged friends in your early life.
Washington belonged to your Godpa Tom. He was the first big dog you were introduced to and you made me so proud because, like me, Washington could have been a chihuahua; you showed no fear. I don’t think Washington knew that he was a big dog because he’d plop on anyone as if he were a featherweight. Always felt safe visiting because we knew that no one was going to come through that door unless they received approval from Washington. It also helped that Tom wasn’t wrapped too tight either :-)
McKenzie was our black cat. A contrary little lady who looked upon you as a mere inconvenience and a hurdle to getting attention when she wanted it. McKenzie tolerated you. She gave you no more special attention than she gave others in the household. She would let you play with her whiskers, pull her tail, try to ride her like a horse, treat her like a fluffy pillow only for as long as she found it convenient to do so. I don’t think McKenzie would have mauled an intruder to save your life because she just wasn’t that type of cat. She respected everyone that lived in the house but expected each of us to know that she really wasn’t into lots of picking up, hugging and petting. It was all about her — until you came along :) As long as her food was put out at the appointed time and she was allowed to roam the neighbourhood at night and someone was there to let her back in the house with no questions asked, she’d play along. We brought McKenzie home about two years before you arrived and we had to say good-bye to her shortly before your third birthday after it appears that she lost a battle with a closing garage door. Do you remember where we buried her?
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. – Alica Walker
Murdoch was our “first born” and a beautiful, patient, mild mannered cocker spaniel. He was chosen during a time when we were thinking it was time to start a family but maybe we could buy some time by getting a dog. After all, that would prepare us for the responsibility in raising a child right? We were delusional! After being an only child for 3 years, we worried about how we would break the news to Murdoch that he was no longer going to be the baby in the house. Murdock followed me around practically the entire 9 months. It was if he felt his protection detail started at conception. Murdoch was never far from your side before and after you were born. Unlike McKenzie, he would let you do whatever you wanted with him whether he was awake or asleep. He would sleep within feet of wherever you were. I didn’t have to sit and watch too many episodes of Barney with you because Murdoch was always there the minute we turned the tape on and you didn’t seem to mind his company over mine.
A funny story —- I remember waking up and feeling like I was being watched. I slowly opened my eyes and looked around and there at the foot of the bed were Murdoch and McKenzie. They were staring at me like they knew something that I didn’t. I almost lost it when they both licked their lips!! Needlesstosay, that day I was admitted to the hospital early because my blood pressure was sky high and a few days later you were born — 2 weeks early!
Unlike McKenzie, Murdoch would have attacked if he felt that you were in harms way. It was tough for all of us to say good-bye to Murdoch but he played a big role in your first three years and was my faithful friend and companion for several years before you arrived. Although we tried to replace him, it never worked out. We did settle for Peaches – your hamster who would travel to Bermuda with us when we moved back in 1994. I’m sure you remember the few that came after Peaches — one in particular, we’ll happily forget!!
It’s funny the little things you remember when you are reflecting back on life and time. I don’t expect you to remember much about any of them but I thought it was important enough to mentioned them because they loved you too.
Happy 28 days before 21. I love you.