Counting to Ten

What’s the point with list making anyhow?

Every where I look there is some list. Ten best of this, 20 worst of that, five things that boost something, eight reasons to do this. What’s with the list making and who really enjoys the statistics game?

Basketball season is here and my mind returned to the squeaks and squeals of the court. During high school they never let me take stats during the games. I missed too many things because of my eyesight. And constantly asking the person next to me for “my” stat answer just didn’t cut it. They fired me on the spot. The rest of my high school career was spent in the pep band. I have always enjoyed the role encourager. Leading in nosie making has always been a key crowd control pattern for me.

Today, I am on my church’s prais team as the pianist. Not the keyboardist. I hated keyboarding. The idea that one can play piano, add other instruments, and play the rhythm section all at once is pretty close to playing organ for me. Using all four limbs in contrasting motion to fill an orchestra of sound is completely impossible to me. Most of the time I fill in the bass and add rhythmic jazzy chording. At times my classical training jumps in and I get bored of the quitter keyboarding rhythms. Okay, so now that I have given a horrible review of my abilities as a pianist, back to this list idea.

Last night I had a nightmare that caused me to cry out in the night. I decided that I’ve been drinking entirely too much coffee. So I should keep track of how many cups I drink in one day. Today I have a migraine from the caffeine craving.

Meanwhile, my insomnia has returned and while the MP3 IBible does keep my brain occupied for some of the night, I came up with a list of my favorite cats throughout my life. Other people count sheep in the night. Other people count backwards from some fancy number by threes. Other people get up and watch train documentaries on PBS. Other people make cleaning lists. Other people read dumb lists on facebook that helps them decided what kind of dog not to get. I made a count down or up of all the little fur balls that have purred in my lap. There’s probably more than ten, but these will do as my favorite through the years.

The first cat that I called my own was named Mittens. While my mother had always had a good mouser, Mittens was mine. The love of my middle school years, I defied my boy cousins by giving him a “girly” name. They thought his name should be socks. Mittens was a gorgeous gray colored saddle with white markings. I think he had blue grey eyes, but my memory might fail me., Saying goodbye to cats is not fun. In life, however, it is this lesson that teaches us people have more value than pets. Mittens was the pet of my paper route years. Delivering paper route in an older community gave me several “death’s door” deliveries. The first customer that died, was when I noticed a two day pile up and the television still on. I notified the neighbor and learned the following day that she had passed on. Saying goodbye to Mittens seemed minimal compared to when a favorite friend’s husband died on my paper route. Hearing her laugh about how he died, was a new experience for sure.

Tigger was the second pur-buddy to leave me. Tigger was true to his striped name and very fast. But this was more traumatic, because my children were little ones and witnessed the event. The postman ran over the cat when the dog chased it under the pickup. Lady never did like cats much. But we had hoped to remove our mouse problem by having a cat in the basement. Poor Tigger. Poor wee children.

Socks was number three. My cousins favorite cat name ever returned. A beautiful calico cat that rode over in the wheel well of the pickup from the neighbor lady, This one actually survived the dogs chasing game. But her fight to save her kittens, gave a deadly infection from the battle. She was our sheep-cat. She use to sleep on the backs of the warmest ewes and lambs. Lucy the lamb and Socks were quite the pair! Her kittens became my ten year old daughter’s mission. She fed them with a dropper for two weeks until I decided some kitten food slurry would maybe help her out. Needless to say, I wasn’t a very kind mother when that summer blew through. I just didn’t have the patience.

Saying goodbye to the fourth purring friend was rough. Patches was Socks survivor. This cat was amazing at how high she would jump into the air. Patches was the summer of trying to teach my children some sports rules. So we acquired a bad-mitten net and some little plastic birdies. I tried to teach my girls the abilities only to find that Patches kept jumping into the air to catch the birdies. Soon it became the girl’s complete joy to watch me attempt to hit the little plastic bouncer and then wonder where in the world the cat would be after the retrieve. This mostly white calico made us fall in love with a cat’s athletic ability. It was far better than mine, or the kids, or my husbands. Saying goodbye to Patches was rough because a rabies skunk took her into the garage and the tangle ended with two pops of the rifle. I had managed to bring the dog inside, but forgot about the cat. The encounter has ruined my taste for shredded wheat cereal. Amazing the weird things that one remembers. Like what I had for breakfast should not be a big memory, but it is.

The fifth kitty adios was a pair. Susan and Sunny were the answer to Patches’ departure. We picked them up from another home school family. Named after flowers, “Black Eyed Susan” and “Sunny SunFlower” were also the pair that joined us at the same time as our collie Dolly. These two are the beginning of the genes for our barn cats that we have today. Because the Tom that came around was pretty wild, so are their offspring.

The sixth goodbye that was sorrowful was the cat with the longest life. Daisy was the best of them all. She was Yolanda’s girl. We even had pictures of the tow of them together. Daisy really did love her best I believe. They had a good bond. Daisy lived the longest of all the cats we have ever had. I think we got her to the vet nearly ten years. She disappeared a year before we lost Dolly. I think she missed the college girl too much.

Not sure if he is number seven or not, Fresca was the year of kittens that were named after off-brand soda pops. There was Shasta, Pibbs, RC, Jolt, and others. Fresca was the long haired one of the bunch. He lived three or four years as my purring pet. He also became good friends with our new puppy at the time, It was hilarious to see him lead us on our walk to the corner and back. He walked the line on road the best of any cat we have ever had. Some of the neighbor farmer’s took to calling me the neighborhood cat walker. Fresca got owl-ly or catty in his later years and refused to be friendly with our zuchon puppy. The dog’s feeling were pretty hurt the day the cat hissed him out of the bush.

Mooch and Garfield were the year of comic strep cats. Pictured above, Mooch was a college friend save. The friend moved and needed to re-home the two. While we could not say their Korean given names the new one for Mooch became her personality completely. We took them booth to the vest but Garfield was no match for Fresca or the other township Tom. He disappeared pretty quickly. Mooch however stuck around about five years. So that makes eight and nine. Glad that they were a few years apart. Sometimes my husband says cats are a dime-a-dozen. But taking care of them is far more than a dime from the paycheck.

Suga then would be number ten. She was offspring of Mooch. The only kitten and sister that the mother cat ever took care of. She just didn’t have the mothering “hood.”The tenth goodbye of the favorite cats. So saying goodbye to cats seems like a list better made in the sleepless hours of the night. Writing the list out covers four decades, three houses, eight different vehicles (or is it ten), nine dogs, and countless brands of pet food. There are so many more things to count when one cant sleep in the night then just sheep. Oh, yeah, we had those too.

Now that I have a friend that does cat fostering and rehoming for her life work, it seemed appropriate to count these four legged creatures in print. Everyone has their list. Cars, baseballs caps, tractors, horses, or what’re the collection is, we all have something that makes our motor hum.

For me it is writing.

Okay so here is another blog written in the year eighteen that proves no matter what the topic, I can write something about it. I could get even more detailed and five the cat breed and color for each, their gender, model and make. One time my brother asked me what kind of tractor my husband was driving to snowblow the driveway (in Iowa). I had no clue. Had he asked me something significant, perhaps I might have had an answer. I teasingly answered the year and make of my piano- 1974 Everett. Now there’s something I know that is not significant to him!

Whether it’s a short list, or a detailed drama, I enjoy writing. List making is great for those sleepless hours. Writing is my new daily to do! It makes my motor pur, So I guess it’s my new passion. Just have to listen to the Spotify sound waves instead of my little Suga. She lives with a new family now. She’s very happy to inside “all the time.”

Thus ends at this time in my life any cat that puts whilst I pet it’s soft fur.

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