06 Jan

Folks for over a year I have enjoyed countless wonderful stories about pets; about cats, dogs, parrots, and all other manner of “pets.”  To a one, these stories have been heart-warming carefully crafted, tributes to your wonderful pets.  I must have seen maybe a hundred different pet video’s and seems like it is a push between cats and dogs as the top (get it) dog of pets.  Being honest I have had 4 pets during my brief time here on earth, btw this count does not include gold-fish, I am sorry Gold Fish just don’t count.  Also, before you get the wrong impression I LOVE PETS, I love yours; I love the one’s I have had.  They are a wonderful addition to the family. They bring warmth, fun, some protection, love, and just a totally unflinching friendship, and they are totally forgiving.  We humans could and would learn a lot from this alone.


As I mentioned earlier I have had 4 pets during my life, I doubt very seriously if there will be another. So I do want to talk about the 4 I have had.  The 1st pet I h had was Snowball; she was a stray, a mutt, and as cute as she could be.  Whatever her lineage, it included a lot of short long dogs. She came to us went I was in the 3rd grade living in Easton Maryland.  At the time my dad was the manager of the local McCory’s 5&10.  About 2 weeks before Christmas that year he brought her home from the store.  She had been either; left behind, lost or abandoned.  Dad posted signs at the store and ran an ad in the local paper for the required 2 weeks, and we got to keep her.  She became a part of the family about 3 days before Christmas, that year.  She had the run of the house and ate leftovers.  Snowball was a hunter, and would bring trophies home from her hunting expeditions.  She left them at the front door.  She was a runt dog; I was always surprised when she brought home something half her size.  She was also a great watchdog.  She would go to the door and bark and bark and bark when someone would come to the door.  Her sense of smell must have been off the scale.  Because once a person established themselves to be part of the friends group (and she recognized their scent, even thru closed doors she could smell them) that visited regularly, she didn’t bark, she paid them no mind.  And gosh was she friendly, she was everyone’s friend.  As I said earlier she ate off the table, but one of the things that solidified our friendship is that she would not eat beans.  Mom would make chili with beans, on a regular basis, I hated beans then and even more so now.  The leftovers went into Snowball’s bowl, Snowball would lick the bowl clean, except for the beans, she even licked the beans clean, but she never ate a bean, God bless her. Snowball was killed when I was in the 10 grade, I cried like a baby at her lost.  I guess in dog years she would have been 350+ by now.  I have wonderful memories of her, and she really lives on in my mind.   


Within a year of Snowballs death, my parents got a new family pet.  Pepper was a 100 pure breed Dalmatian.  Her complete name was Rustic Rails Suzette Ann Pepper Pot.  One of the prettiest animals I ever saw, dumb as a bag of rocks.  We didn’t have Clydesdale’s or a beer wagon, and the firehouse was miles away, but that doesn’t matter, Pepper was dumb.  Pepper wasn’t a replacement, she was the next pet.  The folks had hopes of making some money from her litters, and I think they made enough to pay for her.  Pepper was also a house dog, she also ate scraps (and anything else she could get her teeth into) like furniture or rugs or lamps, she would eat anything.  She didn’t hunt; she just kinda sat around and looked good.  She wasn’t much for being a watchdog, she would bark at anything and everything, including family.  Eventually she became my sister’s dog. My sister and Pepper had a good long relationship.  Hopefully I told you she was dumb, and yes she was quite friendly.  My sister has become the Dalmatian lover of the family, and even today some 40 yrs. after Pepper she still has 2 giant Dalmatians.

My next pet was a black lab, his name was D  –  O  –  G, if you let it roll off your tongue, and don’t think about it, it’s a damn good name.  I was in the navy (stationed at Saclant (shore duty)) at the time, and living with my 1st wife.   I should have had better sense, I was not in a position to take care of a dog, and my 1st wife while enthusiastic in the search for the “perfect” dog, didn’t have clue as to what having a pet would entail or any desire to take part.  I assumed (yes it made an ass out of me) that she (the wife) knew there were going to be responsibilities involved.  We had D-O-G for several months, and the longer we had him, the less involved my wife became.  I was months away from deployment, and realized a problem was quickly coming to a boil. I knew my wife was ill prepared to take care of D-O-G, and she admitted it, as well as, admitting she didn’t want the responsibility of caring for him.  We had to take D-O-G to a shelter, where he was adopted into a family that loved him and could and would take proper care of him.


My final pet was a cat, for years I hadn’t been fond of cats, when I was a child I was overwhelmed by a litter of the little furry critters.  As a boy growing up there was never a cat in the house.  And, by the way, I am allergic to cats.  But my present wife is fond of cats, and my daughter really really really Dad, can we get a cat, please please Dad, wanted a cat.  Allison promised to keep the litter box clean, she really did promise. I’ll give Steph credit she never made that promise.  So we went to the local shelter, and saw Ms. T.  She (Ms. T) was skittish, she was not even close to being friendly, but she was a beautiful cat.  The Volunteer at the shelter explained that Ms. T was about 7 months old, and had grown up  (to date) on the streets of Washington DC, and apparently in one of the worster  (I know it’s not a word, but it works), to the sound of gun fire and mean people.  DC could and was like that back then.  The Volunteer went on to say, that Ms. T would grow into a loving friendly playful cat.  A cat the entire family would love and cherish.  As it turned out the Volunteer was about 1 percent correct.  Ms. T turned out to be the cat from hell.  She was never playful, she was never friendly, she was a hunter and a killer.  A little background here will help. Steph (wife) wanted a mouser; she had seen a mouse and wanted a hit cat around to resolve that problem.  What we got was Jason with 4 paws, the Freddy Krueger of cats, the Mike Myers of cats; oh hell you get the picture. MS T (T = Terminator) was indeed a mouser, she love to torture the mice she caught, never an outright kill, but a slow evil kill.  And she always left the pieces of her victory on the kitchen counter. In a short time that stopped because Ms. T had killed all the mice in Alexandria.  The entire time she lived with us, she never made a personal appearance, she never took a bow.  Ms. T had a very definitive way of expressing her displeasure with us, when we offended her, she would piss on the offending person’s bed, or part of the bed. No one the family was immune to her anger. After we had her for about 3 years it was discovered that she had diabetics, and we spent several hundred dollars to treat and care for her.  But Ms. T’s attitude did little to change.  She never got friendly, she never became playful.  When we moved to Florida, Ms. T made the transition; we had to give her kittyludes to calm her enough to get on the plane.  But even in Florida, she maintained her crappy attitude.  None of our neighbors ever saw her. They would hear her, when we had guess’ she would hide and hiss at the guess’, once Laura volunteered to feed and clean her litter box while Steph and I were away.  Laura would come each day to put out fresh water, food, and clean the litter box.  Ms. T would make those horror cat noises the entire time Laura was here.


We had Ms. T for about 8 years, her diabetics became so bad, we were tasked with giving her daily insulin shots, that was more than either Steph or I could handle.  Thanksgiving week 2003 we had Ms. T put to rest.  As nasty as Ms. T was we still loved her.  But the decision was for the best. 


But both Steph and I admit that we would have another cat into our home if we thought she or he would be the kind of cat we see so often at other folk’s homes.


That folks is the story of the Pets that I have had.  Please take care, if you have any thoughts or comments you want to share please do so.  Take care, and be safe. — Bill


Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Observations


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

23 responses to “MS T

  1. Brenda

    January 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Wow, Bill!! You have had the whole cat and dog spectrum, from lovable and stupid to evil and malevolent. I feared things would end badly for Ms. T. Snowball sounds so dear, like a dream doggie. Can I name a character after him? I feel like he should be in a story, perhaps Ms. T should be in one, too. 🙂 Love these pet stories, really love them. And also love what they say about you. Warmly, Brenda

    • FlaHam

      January 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Sent from my NOOK

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    January 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Of course, I love this post. All of it. wag wag 🙂

    • FlaHam

      January 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Paulette, I am glad, it was fun to write, and i am looking for a pic of Ms T. I know we have several. Take care, Bill

  3. jmgoyder

    January 6, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    My mother once had a cat like yours. It used to attack me every time I visited – ha!

    • FlaHam

      January 7, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Julie, Ms T was Satan’s off spring, sometimes you would swear her head could do a 360 degree turn. I loved her but I don’t miss her. LOL Take care, Bill

  4. benzeknees

    January 7, 2014 at 12:31 am

    My dog Patch was diabetic as well. He was my best friend for so many years before he got sick, I couldn’t do anything else but take care of him once he needed me. I would have to give him daily insulin shots. By the time I realized how sick he was, the diabetes had robbed him of his sight from cataracts. He used to love to ride in the car, but once he was blind he hated it. So when his sugars got really wonky towards the end, I used to have to follow him outside very quietly every morning when he would pee, then stick a jar under him to collect some urine & test it. Depending on what his levels were I had a range where I could adjust his insulin. Eventually he got so sick we had to put him down. He needed me & so I was really broken up when he was gone.

    • FlaHam

      January 7, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Benze, Patch was your friend, and he showed you love and affection. And as such you cared for him as long as you could. The love you had for him was so very special. You really did the right thing, at the right time. Please take care, Bill

  5. Chatter Master

    January 7, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Bill I couldn’t help but laugh at half of this. But I was very touched by the love you had for the animals. I often “think” of getting a pet but that thought leaves quickly because I wouldn’t have the time to commit to a pet and I don’t want one just to leave in an empty house all day.

    • FlaHam

      January 7, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Colleen, soft smile, you got it. And more importantly you get it. Pets are people to, if you can’t care for them, and be there for them, then maybe you shouldn’t have a pet. The fact that you recognize it shows you care and understand. When we got Ms T. my daughter swore up and down on a stack of bibles that she would care for Ms T all the time, but I knew Allison was a teenager and that when she went off to college that those responsibilities would rest on my shoulders, the moment I bobbed my head up and down I knew. It worked out. Ms T would still be roaming this house had she not been so ill. And most likely I still wouldn’t have a nice thing to say about her. LOL Take care, Bill

  6. Wanda

    January 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I’m glad you had a compatible pet, i.e., Snowball. You made me laugh when you described how “anti-bean” she was.

    Ms. T–somewhere between a missed opportunity and a big-time disappointment. Still, from your account, it seems like you and Steph gave her every opportunity…

    Art and I have been very lucky with our feline friends. Our first cat, Lover, was the epitome as far as Art was concerned. A few years (and a couple of unsuccessful relationships) later, Phantom came into our lives. With his short gray fur, he was the ultimately elegant, cuddly, unassuming, and uncomplicated cat. He kept us company in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and, for a short time, in Florida, but kidney issues eventually took their toll. You are already familiar with our current brood–the somber and simultaneously friendly Slider and our precious, cute, and shy (and may I say, extremely pukey) Peaches. As I type, Slider is situated at the foot of Art’s chair and will bellow for food at the dot of 7:30 p.m. or whenever Art decides to move out of the chair–whichever comes first. Meantime, Peaches is cuddled up next to Art’s left ankle and is willing to wait on whatever comes next. I doubt we will adopt any other pets into our lives when these two leave us, but as they say, pets do leave “footprints on your heart,” and we are very glad to have had these furry friends as part of our lives over the last 40+ years.

    Once again, thanks for a great story, that brings with it complimentary memories…

    • FlaHam

      January 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Wanda, Smiling, Snowball was Lassie to me LOL. If Ms. T had been anything like Slider or Peaches, most likely we would have a cat now. But your right at this stage there most likely won’t be anymore pets here. I always like it when I write something that you enjoy. Please take care, Bill

    • huntmode

      January 8, 2014 at 3:51 am

      Wanda, I’m sticking my nose in here… I loved your comment! HuntMode, Ella & Elby, That Cat!

      • FlaHam

        January 8, 2014 at 6:40 am

        Hunt, I am so sure that Wanda doesn’t mind your nose at all, she’s that type of lady. I will take this opportunity to formally introduce you, Hunt this is Wanda, Wanda this is Hunt. You probably have more in common than you think, plus I love you both dearly. Take care Ladies, have a great day. Bill

  7. huntmode

    January 8, 2014 at 3:53 am

    Bill, I loved, loved this post. I am compelled to admit that I love your Ms. T – your stories of her intransigence and evilness. Safe at a distance, I can admire her ability to be unpleasant and mean. Laughter! Keep ’em coming. Best ~ HuntMode

    • FlaHam

      January 8, 2014 at 6:33 am

      Hunt, I enjoyed the reflection on the pets of my life. It was a good post for the soul. I realize that if we could have given Ms T a kittylude every day she would have been a much more enjoyable cat, but she wouldn’t been Ms T. But I was surprised you admired her ability to be unpleasant and mean ??? LOL LOL LOL It really doesn’t seem like you at all. Curious minds want to know? Take care, Bill

      • huntmode

        January 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm

        Easy-peasy, Bill: Ms. T was true to herself. 🙂 And, clearly, you have not had to give a cat a pill – there are some very funny stories out there about trying to give kitty a pill. 🙂

  8. huntmode

    January 10, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Dear Bill, I saw this video today and instantly thought of Ms. T. If the link doesn’t, I put it on my FB to surprise you… Grin. What are friends for?

    • FlaHam

      January 10, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Hunt, LAUGHING MY FRIGGGINNNN ASS OOFFFF, that was worth the price of admission. I felt such pride for the puppy when he made it down the stairs, and such pity for how the kitten was taught. Clearly the gene pool small, or the ghost of Ms T is alive and well. Thank you for jump starting my day. Bill

  9. Nancy

    January 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Bill, I enjoyed your pet memories. Pepper (who was actually registered as Nancy’s Pepper Pot)wouldn’t eat beans either. If you gave her a bowl of chillie, she would leave them licked off around the bowl. I was little when Snow Ball died, but I remember the whole family at the dining room table crying over her death. She had her weird little habits…like she wouldn’t go g\down the hall on the house in Derby and she always road in the car on the ledge behind the back seat. (One time we forgot her at Grandma and Grampa’s and when we went back she was sitting on the porch as content as she could be.Do you remember the Hardy’s? They had a German Shepherd named
    D O G. (Who was also the baby daddy of Pepper’s last litter.) Last not least, you’re right… I’ve had 4 Dals since Pepper…currently I have Gracie the Dal and Lilly the mutt.

    • FlaHam

      January 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Nancy, Smiling thank you so much for the clarification. Where the hell did I get that long ass name for Pepper. Of course I remember the Hardy’s, (I had the longest crush on Debbie LOL) when my 1st wife and I had that Lab, I stole the name from their dog. I have always thought was the coolest dog name. Again thanks for the clarification. Do me a favor and give Ed the link for this blog. I am going to send it to his work email, but him getting it twice won’t hurt. Love Bill, PS — for the folks that read my blog and the comments, This is Nancy she is my sister. She’s a PIA sometimes, but I love her everyday. — Bill

  10. Clowie

    January 15, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I had to laugh about Snowball licking the beans clean and leaving them. I do that with stuff I don’t like – pile it up neatly on one side of the bowl!

    • FlaHam

      January 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Clowie, If you do that you are clearly a winner, and as a biped, I would affirm your good sense and taste. Take care, Biped Bill


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