THE EARLY YEARS
LET THE STUMBLING BEGIN
I hope I look as good as my Mother does when I reach the age she says she isn’t. Anonymous
I was a race car driver in a previous life. I must have been. It’s the only explanation for the way I have lived my life. I was the first born, and I must have been in a hurry even then. I was not going to come out head first like a normal baby, oh no, I had to try to come out butt first. Well after the first 20 hours of labor that my Mother went through, her doctors decided maybe they should use the forceps and turn me around the right way. (It seems that in the year 1959, cesarean births, were very uncommon). After almost putting out my left eye, and causing me to have an eyebrow that turns every which way but the right way, I came into the world. It was four days until Christmas. See what I mean, about being in a hurry. I just didn’t want to miss the excitement of Santa Claus.
The great thing about being a Christmas baby, you get to open presents on your birthday while your little brother gets to watch.
The bad thing about being a Christmas baby, you don’t ever get to have a birthday party because it’s too close to Christmas.
Join me on my journey as I stumble my way through life laughing along the way.
STUMBLING ALONG WITH OUR PETS
INDIE & PEPPER
Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.
His name was Indie. He was the greatest cat that ever used a litter box. He loved people, dogs, other cats, and pink pearl erasers. He was a chestnut brown tabby with beautiful markings. Instead of stripes or spots he had circles. We should have known that since he belonged to my brother, he was going to be different.
Indie owned my brother, Bobby. Bobby lived in Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. My sister, Misti, was going to college at TCU, (go Frogs), but she wanted to get as many of her classes done in as short a time as possible so she took a summer class at UT Austin, (hook ‘em horns), and she soon found out what it was like to have Indie as a housemate.
Indie hated closed doors. It didn’t matter what door it was if it was closed he wanted it open. He would put his paw under a door and pull it so that it made a banging sound, over, and over, and over. No door was sacred. If you were sleeping and shut the door he was banging on the other side. If you let him in and closed the door he would bang to get back out. Misti, after a few days of this treatment, decided she’d had enough. She got a water gun and she proceeded to chase him around the house with it. When Indie banged, Misti drowned him with the water gun. To Misti’s astonishment, Indie was the only cat ever created who thrived on getting wet by a water gun. To Indie, it was a game. To Misti, it was war. Both combatants vowed to be the victor.
Indie also loved Pepper. Pepper is a five pound toy poodle who arrived at my brother’s doorstep via an F5 tornado. The storms that brought Pepper to Bobby were the same killer storms that took out the town of Jarell. Through the horrible devastation, a small sweet miracle survived. Since Indie outweighed Pepper by more than double, he would wrap his legs around Pepper and roll with her. They would wrestle like that every day. I’m sure that Indie was under the impression that Bobby had gotten Pepper just so he would have a younger sibling to play with. Pepper just thought he was crazy.
Indie was a thief. He stole cigarettes, lighters, loose change; whatever he found just laying around was fair game. He even stole some money from my Dad, money clip and all. To this day I don’t know if he ever got it back. One time he stole a penny and cost my brother a huge vet bill. Not only did he steal the penny, he swallowed it as well. Thankfully he survived to steal again, but after that, my brother was a bit more careful with his loose change.
He also loved to steal Misti’s pink pearl erasers. Misti, who was taking an advanced calculus class, had a number of supplies handy when she was doing her homework including pencils, a calculator and pink pearl erasers. Oh yes, Indie loved Misti’s pink pearl erasers. He loved them so much that he would swipe them onto the floor for his new friend Pepper. The problem was that Pepper didn’t want to play pass the eraser, oh no, she wanted to chew the eraser. That’s right, Pepper turned Misti’s erasers into crumbs. Misti would come home from school, start her homework and realize her eraser was gone. She finally decided that Indie was stealing her erasers. War was declared. Indie was the target and Pepper was determined to be an innocent bystander.
Pepper may have gotten away with turning Misti’s erasers into crumbs if not for the one time that she got caught in the act. Misti had gone to the kitchen for just long enough for Indie to leap on the coffee table and slide the eraser off. She saw Pepper grab the eraser and run with it. Misti followed her and found all of the other erasers in a cute little pile of pink crumbs. Mystery solved.
That year for Christmas, Misti, gave Pepper, her very own pink pearl erasers.