When I was a little girl, the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow was a horse.
I really only voiced the question of my getting a horse to my parents a couple of times, knowing full well that the answer would be no, and, as a matter of pride, I’d ultimately have to run away from home or, at the very least, stage a run away as in the following true scenario:
“Look at this Janey,” my father remarked to my mother, “I found Linda’s pajamas in this little 45-record case in the bushes just outside her window when I was mowing the lawn.”
Oh I was going to run away alright . . . eventually.
Ok, fine . . . if I wasn’t going to get a horse, at least I could try for a kitten. This is how I went about it. Step 1: Convince my parents that I was head over heals in love with cats. So I colored umpteen pictures of kittens and scotch taped them to my circa 1959 pink wall. Step 2 wasn’t even needed because Step 1 worked like a charm. Next thing I knew I was picking out my very own gray, long-haired kitten from a batch of 5 or 6.
In my excitement, I failed to notice that this particular kitten had issues. It suffered from the world’s lowest kitty IQ. Maybe that’s why the name I chose, Taffy May, seemed to fit her so well.
Taffy May was the perfect cat for a little girl to bond with. Being nearly brain-dead, she allowed me to pick her up and carry her around without protest. She slept with me all night under the covers which I thought was because she loved me so — but more likely she just couldn’t figure a way out.
I loved stupid little Taffy May with all the passion of my nine-year-old heart and soul. She failed to grow to full size due to the fact that while she was checking to see if there were any predators around to eat her cat food, the dog would wolf it down.
She had one batch of kittens – if three can be considered a batch. But being the little dummy that she was, she managed to lie on all three of them during the night and in the morning the only one left breathing was my beloved, Taffy May.
Perhaps it was Karma (I know there was a car involved) the day Taffy May shuffled (or rolled) off this mortal world. I was on my way home from school without a care in the world. When I rounded the corner, there stood our across-the-street neighbor, Mr. Huey, holding a lifeless Taffy May up by the tail.
I don’t know how many times Taffy May had been run over, but judging from the fact that she was literally as flat as a pancake, it would be safe to assume more than once. I screamed and ran into the house where I was inconsolable well into the night. I never got another cat of my very own, out of respect for Taffy May, who will always have a place in my heart . . . about two feet wide and one and one-half inches deep.
Until next time . . . I love you