The first kitty I really remember was a female tortoise shell named Junior. Don't ask me how we came up with that name! She came down with some sort of disease and had to take pills every day. She loved them! We would just have to shake the container and she would come running! And she loved potato chips!
Back in those days one didn't keep kitties inside and usually didn't "fix" the females either. So eventually along came Stripes. I loved him so much! I loved him so much that I made an elastic collar with his name and address on it just in case he got lost! He got in a lot of cat fights and would sometimes be gone for a few days, sometimes coming back without the collar!
After Junior and Stripes passed Dad said we weren't going to have anymore cats. When I was in high school I brought home another female tortoise shell kitty named Miss Prissy. I bought her at the Ohio State Fair for about $5.00. Dad acted like he was mad, but the very next day he was playing with her!
Being an apartment dweller in the early years of my adulthood I again could not have pets in a lot of the places I lived. It wasn't until I started a family that pets were again introduced into our lives. Having grown up with kitties it wasn't hard to accept an offer to take my brother's kitty when he could no longer keep her. He had named her Pookie, and she was a wonderful addition to our family.
It wasn't long before Pookie became enamored with a neighborhood cat, and gave birth to 4 kittens. One sweet little angel passed shortly after birth, and two were given to good homes. One of her babies was kept. He looked like a little mountain gorilla so he was named Grilla.
By the time my daughter was born Pookie was getting up in years and did not like the attention that Jamie gave her. I thought it might be a good idea to get Jamie a kitten that would be used to having a young child man-handle it. I bought Tips at a local pet shop during my lunch hour and he was waiting for Jamie when we got home later that day. She loved him! She loved him so much that she would put him in her chest of drawers while we were away, so that she would know where to find him when we came home! I finally had to explain to her that was not a good idea.
All of the above beloved pets are now passed. Pookie was with us for 19 years, Grilla 12 years, and Tips 10 years. They are most definitely missed!
It finally occurred to me that as a family we should have a dog. I wasn't overly fond of dogs because I had not grown up with one, but a woman advertised free puppies at my place of work. They were beagle mix. My two kids, Nick and Jamie, and I had to drive about 30 miles outside Columbus to see the puppies. I really wanted a female and was partial to the ones that looked like a beagle. At first it didn't look like there were any females that did look like a beagle, most being more black than the traditional tri-color. But finally we found her! Our beautiful, most wonderful dog in the world Sera. I have said for many years that Sera is the reason I now think dogs are so wonderful! Sera passed away this past November after giving us 14 great years of her presence. I still cry when I think about her.
After moving from Columbus to upstate New York in 1998, my husband and daughter decided that we needed another dog. I wasn't so sure about that, but they did their homework and decided that we should get a Cairn Terrier. I was still trying to sell the house in Columbus and made quite a few trips back and forth during that time period. It was when I was in Columbus that I noticed an ad in the Columbus Dispatch for Cairn Terrier puppies. The woman selling them actually lived in Dover, Ohio. That was on my way back home to New York so Jamie and I stopped to check them out. We fell in love with the puppy who couldn't stop licking our faces. We decided to let Jamie name the new puppy. She liked the name Coco. I thought he needed a more dignified name so added Bean. So Coco Bean he became. I know, I know, Coco Bean is not a dignified name, but I liked it!
In 2004 we decided for some reason that Pookie and Tips needed a brother. Actually Samson helped make that decision. My husband and I were at the local Agway that always has a kitty from the SPCA on the premises. We heard Samson meow and thought he sounded a lot like Tips. My husband and I looked at each other and decided right then that he was coming home with us. I cannot say enough good things about this cat. He is so lovable! He does have his moments - we think he has a split personality: "Daytime Sammy" and "Nighttime Sammy" as during the daytime he can really act like a cat, but at night he is Mister Cuddlebug.
After both Tips and Pookie passed away we of course had to get a companion for Samson. Jamie and I went to the SPCA and came home with a beautiful calico kitty. I looked for a name for her that would describe her, and since she was a very plump cat I decided that Kessie fit her perfectly. Kessie is an African name for "born fat"! Samson and Kessie get along so well - they really love each other.
So our home now is filled with love of our adorable Coco Bean, Samson, and Kessie. I cannot think of anything more enjoyable to have in our lives!