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Random Thoughts from a Random Memory


By Edward Master

I've written about hauling our cats across Pennsylvania in a pickup. The bottom line is that they were real troopers.

Our first cat (Brutus) didn't last long as he died of feline leukemia. Originally, we were told we had a female (Isis), but then then the vet said he was a male (Brutus) to say the least we did some asking around Glassboro and got ourselves another vet. Our new vet was a U of Penn grad named Paul Berg and he turned out to be wonderful. Our second cat was Tootsie, a Maine coon who was gorgeous, with spots and sprinkles of orange (red?). At times she could be testy, but not with my wife and me.

We had a friend who was a dog owner/lover, George Sanderson, who taught with my wife and who became a 'partner in crime' for me (George went to Bloomsburg U, wrestled a bit in college, was a regional wrestling champ from South Jersey in high school, and claimed he disliked cats). Well, Tootsie decided George was to be her new best friend like it or not. This was completely un-Tootsie like, but when George stopped by for a visit, Toots did the rub-a-leg until George did the head pet or scratch. She completely won him over. Toots was one of a litter from sister Shari's mother-in-law's cat. Tootsie's brother Scotty took up residence with my folks for a few years.

Next came Sneakers, a stray I adopted from our next-door neighbor's wheel well on his riding lawnmower. She was black with white feet and some white under her chin. We found out soon that Sneaks was lactose intolerant (via Dr. Berg). She was a love bug, but oddly didn't purr for a couple of years. Then one day, she became a purring machine; she purred a storm for 11 years until she passed around age 13. I always felt bad for Sneakers as she wanted to be friends with Tootsie, but Toots wanted no parts of her and just tolerated her.

But Sneakers got her friendship wish when a stray neighborhood cat deposited T-C, a silver-gray short hair on our patio. I was taken again as we did the adoption thing a third time. The adoption made Dr. Berg extremely happy and I believe he gave T-C an exam and shots gratis. In addition, because he had to live with two female cats, Dr. Berg proudly stated that "this guy should be called Mister T-C." So, "Mister" became an addition to T-C's given name. My wife claimed T-C got his name from being a 'tough cat', the sole survivor of a litter. Not so. I named him in honor of the television character T-C from Magnum P-I.

T-C and Sneakers became almost inseparable. Tootsie died before we moved to Indiana, and so TC and Sneaks would lie together in an open window behind a screen in Indiana and the neighbor kids would say "hello" to them.

Our vet in Indiana, PA, was a Dr. Boatman, and one visit/conversation led to our disclosing how much we liked Dr. Berg in Glassboro. Low and behold, Paul Berg was Boatman's classmate at the U of Penn veterinary school; Boatman even sowed us his college yearbook with Berg's photo. Small world! Boatman himself was quite the cat lover. He had adopted a male stray who had the run of the office and had grown to 20-plus pounds; he was a love bug, but a big bug in reality.

Sadly, both Sneakers and Mister T-C passed while in Indiana, Sneakers made it to 13 yoa and TC to 13-plus. We took in HaiKu in Grove City. HaiKu was named by the daughter of a pet refuge owner in GC. We kept her name as she was a long-haired, light tan Persian with blue eyes. We returned her to the shelter when my wife and I required personal care.

Speaking of sports

The big news coming from three rivers area is the Steelers draft. I've seen one article giving the Steelers three A-pluses.

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