Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stormy Our Cat

I know some of you just hate cats or are allergic to cats but for those of you who speak the cat language, I wanted to tell you about our great big 16 pound fluffy grey tabby cat who is just now 2 1/2 years old. His name is Stormy and he makes quite a statement when Bob is walking him up and down our street decked out in his bright red harness and leash. He is partial to walking in the evening as the street and people traffic during the day distracted him too much. He creates quite a sensation when people realize that he is a cat and not a dog. We have actually had people screech to a halt to see what he really is. He will not walk just anywhere; he prefers a familiar route and is only good for about a block and a half or maybe two.

Sometimes thinks he is a mother. He adopted a small ugly purple stuffed toy when he was a kitten and he used to roll and wrestle with it like it was another kitten. Now he thinks it is his baby. Whenever we leave him at home alone we can find out where he has been because of where the baby is. When we are there, he seldom plays with it or carries it around but he always does it when we are gone. Sometimes we find them both laying on the rug in the entry hall waiting for us. Sometimes at night we will hear him meowing loudly and when we turn on the flashlight he is carrying the baby in his mouth and talking to her all the way to where ever he is headed. Once he gets where they are going he quits talking to her and lays the baby down and puts his back feet on her and goes to sleep.

Sometimes in the morning I like to sit on the front porch and drink my coffee when it is quiet and cool and he really wants to come outside with me then. In fact he watches everthing I do in the mornings so he won't miss out on a chance to go outside. He rushes to the door and waits until I unlock it hoping to be able to go outside. He likes to check out both neighbors front porches and then he comes back in our yard as he likes to be near Bob or I. Generally we put his harness and leash on when he gets settled down and fasten it to a tree limb or a pole in the yard.

Stormy doesn't know he is a cat. He does not respond to the tipical calling of "Here Kitty Kitty. We have always called him by name and he comes when we call him. He actually minds Bob better than me.

Stormy is a very social cat. If we are both in the dining room he joins us. If we are eating he wants to be there too. If we are in the bedroom, he comes where we are. If we are in the back bedroom where the computer is, soon he will join us there. If we have company he doesn't want to held by anyone or sit in anyone's lap, he just wants to lie on the coffee table right in the middle of things or on the floor nearby. He just wants to be near us.

He likes to watch Bob take his shower every day. When Bob is through, he leaps in the bathtub and wants to have his bath. Bob wets him down gently and then rubs and blow dries him. This is un-cat-like since most cats hate water. He can open drawers in the bathroom and only does this at night so we have never seen him. We have never been able to figure out how he does this. He loves to get the hair scrunchies, pony tail holders and play with them. We can always tell when he has been in the drawers because he scatters his play things all over the bathroom. Last night we heard quite a commotion in the hall by the bathroom. He managed to find a pony tail holder and was turning flips and tossing it up in the air. We thought we had moved all of these things so he couldn't find them and get hold of something that would be harmful to him but I guess we missed a few.
Right now I am mad at him. On Holloween night our grandchildren and baby great grandchildren came over for treats. They are sooo cute. Anyway, he scratched two of them. He really didn't mean anything but he is not used to small children. I guess he will make a trip to the vet to get his nails clipped before they come over on Christmas.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


What fun weddings can be and what nightmares they also can be. On August 3, my youngest son, Brad married a lovely young woman Megan. They combined their families and became a family of seven. Brad's son Meyson is 14, Brianna is 10, Cody is 6, Carson is 3, and Memphis is 1 1/2. Most of us get married with the thought that our marriage is to last forever and hope that it will. But life is so complicated today, that sometimes those good intentions get swallowed up in life and it simply is not possible.

Brad has been single for over 7 years and has been responsible singly for the care of his two children all this time, so I am delighted that he has finally found someone to love and who loves him.

The wedding was a wonderful expression of love for each other and combining of the two families. The children were the attendants and the service was small but just large enough to accomodate two pretty big families. A blended family can be a challenge but I hope that the big ones can help with the smaller kids and the smaller kids can look up to the bigger ones.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Reflections on What Makes a Mother Great

Each day that passes reminds me that time is fleeting and fragile. My dear mom, Doris Kennington is 89 years old and the family is planning on a big celebration for her 90th birthday in August of 2008. Mother is an incredible woman who has lived through some very unique experiences in her life, one of which always astonishes me when I think about it. "When mother was a little girl, her mother, Mom, was married to a guy who owned a ranch in Colorado. She had five children with her on the ranch and her husband was very cruel especially to the two older boys. The boys had already left and returned to Kansas City, where Mom had relatives living when Mom finally had enough and decided to leave. They actually hitch-hiked all the way from the mountains in Colorado to Kansas City. Can you imagine hitch-hiking with three small children clear across the country in the 1920's? Mother said they rode in bread trucks and all other kinds of vehicles on the way. Mom was clearly a remarkable woman in her own right but this post is going to be about my mother, Doris Kennington.

Thoughts about how to best tell mother's story is still floating about in my head so I am not sure how best to do it. Mother was born in Kansas City in 1918 and had one older sister Dorothy and three brothers, Carlile, Durb, and Bob. Their father was an engineer with the rail-road and was gone from home quite a bit. When their dad was home, things were good financially but when he was gone, things got really tough. Finally one day he just disappeared and they never saw him or heard from again until they were all grown. They grew up thinking he was dead.

Eventually the family moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, where my grandmother, Mom operated a pastry shop. Mother remembers delivering bread, pies and cakes in a little basket to homes when she was just a girl. Later she remembers coming home from school to mountains of pots and pans waiting to be washed. When she was just 17 she married our dad, Coll Eugene Catt and moved from a comfortable life to one of hardship.

What followed were years of all kinds of trials, times where she went hungry so her five children could eat, the washing machine being sold for a load of animal feed, driving on country roads to church in a Model A Ford with tires so thin they would have gone flat if she had run over a burning cigarette. The time she had to sell all our furniture to buy bus tickets to take us from McCamey, Texas back to Grand Junction, Colorado because her husband, our dad had gone to find work and failed to send money or communicate where he was. Or the time she asked him to send her money so she could buy all five of us kids winter coats but he sent expensive photos of himself instead. Or the time when he called her on the phone and told her he was married to another woman while still married to mother, asking for understanding how he could love them both and to help him figure out a way he could have both.

Why I said all that is to say, she survived all that and never talked about those hardships with her children. She taught us to love the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and to love each other and our philandering dad. She kept us fed, warm, clean, and educated in times of great stress and enormous money challenges, and we never knew what she was going through until it was over. She had a heart so big, she never had favorites that we ever knew of. With each child her heart just expanded to love another one, whether it be a child, grandchild, great grandchild or great great grandchild. She taught us to work hard, so we could always be more than she had been, so we could achieve more if we gave more than others. She taught us integrity, hard work, honesty, courage, and self discipline. She sang to us and taught us to sing just for the love of music. She read to us when we were tiny and taught us to love the written word and books. She taught us cleanliness was next to godliness and although we were poor in those early days, we never knew we were.

As I was growing up we did not have television. We had a radio and at special times we would gather around and listen the shows like “The Shadow Knows”. But media was never on just for noise or music. It was always a special time to sit down and really listen.

Mother did love to read and she passed this passion on to her children. We would visit the public library every few weeks and we would all check out as many books as we could to hopefully last until the next time we came. Sometimes I read some of my older sister’s books after I had read all of mine. I used to imagine that someday I would write a novel. I never did but trying to express myself a bit in this blog is reminiscent of that childish dream.

Mother has been an optimist and expected the best of people for most of her life. Now that she is nearly 90 years of age, occasionly we have to remind to look for the best in others. It seems that as you age and have to live with the challenges of dementia sometimes she remember the bad and forgets the good. However, If colors could describe us, my mother-in-law is black and mother is rainbow.

I hope when I am old, really old because I guess I am already old, my children can think of more good things to say about me and about what I taught them than the areas I failed in.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Brave Adventure for an Old Lady

Books, the magic of words, the mystery of writing, the creation of thoughts on a blank page have always intrigued me. Thus the brave step to create a blog at my advanced stage in life. I know nothing about what I am doing only that ever since my niece sent me her blog and as the magic of her words captivated me, I desired to create one just to express myself. So where does one start? I guess you start where you are.

It is fall here in Lubbock, Texas although it has been so lovely that one could hardly notice it except there was a slight nip in the air at my grandson Meyson's football game at five. This is the second year he has played football. The first year he was so scared of the violence of the game and being unfamilar with the game in general, I don't think he enjoyed it much. This year has been a great success. He plays defense and is on the A team and plays most of the games. He plays for the Evans Eagles. They have won every game so far.

Meyson's dad, my son Brad is a newly wed of just two months. His wife Megan is a lovely girl who has three young children Cody age 6, Carson age 3 and Memphis age 1 1/2. The girls love to run and play with the other children at the football field, led by Brianna age 10 who is Meyson's sister. Memphis wants to explore too but that was too distracting for us so today he wore a cute harness with a monkey backpack. It was much easier to keep up with him. Left unattended he would be a tiny white headed tot in the midst of the big boys on the field.

I am excited about what this year will bring. Things are more harmonious at my home than they have been for a long long time. Brad had been a single dad for 8 years with custody of his sweet kids. We have willingly helped a lot all this time but it has been hard on all of us. I am hoping my grumpy husband will make some continued improvements in his attitude at home. It was hard on all of us not just him and someday I think it will be evident it was very worthwile for the investment in two young children's lives for the better.

To add to the stess of our busy lives, for the past two and a half years we have had a close friend's son, Isaac living with us going to school here. He is from a tiny village in Mexico where the only way to continue beyond an 8th grade education is to go away to school. His dad Oscar wanted him to learn English so he has been here with us. He decided not to come back this year. I think he might go to college here but I doubt if he lives with us again. He is 18 and thinks he is grown. We love him and miss him but it was a lot of work to cook for a couple of teenagers last year. I don't miss that or the huge grocery bill that accompanied all that.

We live in a beautiful area of town where the trees are huge and the streets are crazy. We looked at houses in several other parts of town but nowhere appeals to me like the neighborhood where we live. We have been looking at houses to inspire us to do all the things that need doing around here. I really don't want a newer house I just want this one to be like it could be if we make it like it should be. First on the list is to get rid of tons and tons of stuff so the garage can become a garage again and all the rooms in the house can be enjoyed.