Dead goldfish and tailless dog #mfrwauthor

Once again, here’s the Marketing for Romance Writers yearlong blog hop. For  week 41, the writing prompt is:

Meet my pets

I didn’t have pets when I was growing up, because we were always moving. Boo hoo. Don’t  you feel sorry for me?

Actually, I  had a goldfish once. It died.

And a cat for a year or less. It’s name was Cat. It used the bathtub as a litter box, so one day mom left a half-inch of water to keep Cat away. Apparently she didn’t look before she leaped, because we suddenly heard a cat fight from the bathroom as poor Cat splashed around in her panic to escape. When she emerged, she was soaked from ears to tail.

Lion (at left) and my wife, way back when

At age 25, we settled down and actually stayed in one place for more than a year! Yes, that deserves both italics and an exclamation point, because I hadn’t had spatial stability in 10 years or more. But feel no pity; I liked it that way.

Not coincidentally, at 25 I also got my first real pet: Lion. We used to take her for long walks along the river, and she never  had to be trained to stay with us. A neighbor had a St Bernard who played with Lion and one day they were standing side by side on the porch. The St Bernard wagged its tail and knocked poor Lion right off the porch.

When we moved from British Columbia to Arizona, we drove the 2200 mile trip with four kids, aged 5 to 11, and my eldest son’s cat, Priscilla. I don’t know how Judi and I survived that trip, but we did. At rest stops, Scott put a leash on him to walk the poor cat, who slunk around fearfully, belly an inch above the ground.

More cats followed in an orgy of petdom, including Katie, Whiskers, and Willy, up to three at a time. I love petting cats, love hearing them purr. Unfortunately, I developed allergies. Sigh.

There were more dogs, too, though only one at a time: Sable (an ill-behaved, 95-pound brute), Asta (a saintly Schnauzer), and Laddie (an opinionated Maltese). Laddie distrusted men, including me. After a few years he deigned to let me walk him, and he had this weird trait: he loved curbs. Not to pee on, to walk on. He thought they were Laddie-sized sidewalks. If a curb was anywhere in sight, you could count on him to trot along it.

My current pet is Twiggles. Effing Feline, the virtual cat I’m not allergic to, dislikes Twiggles, maybe because she’s a dog or maybe because she’s real and he isn’t. Wiggles has no tail, and we have no idea why, because she’s a rescue dog. Her whole rear end ‘twiggles’ when she tries to wag. She loves my grandsons, too. Well, actually she mostly ignores them.

What about you?

What’s special about your pets? Tell us about it in a comment. And be sure to check out the other writers taking part in this blog hop.



  1. Oh dear Ed, I’m not sure you should be in charge of a pet – I’m beginning to feel sorry for Effing, I’m sad for the goldfish, I’m also worrying about what happened to Lion…*sigh* I could go on. I’m assuming Twiggles has survived because your wife looks after her? (OK I’m only kidding, I’m sure you’re a great pet parent really.) I’m currently owned by a slightly manic but incredibly loving ‘rescue’ terrier called ‘Choccy’ (he’s like a chocolate caramel, and he delights in snuggling behind me when I’m at my desktop), two horses, Harri and T’pau, and a ‘ferel’ cat employed to to the mousework. I can’t imagine not having animals as part of the family!

    1. Hey, I took Twiggles to the dog park last evening, and as I went out the door, Judi said “You’re a good master.” Since we’re not into Fifty Shades of Any Color, I assume she meant “good master to the DOG.” I quite like dogs — they’re more active than cats. I quite love cats — they’re so cuddly.

      Lion lived a long and happy life; we had her for 13 years, and she wasn’t a puppy when we got her.

      Coccy sounds wonderful. I’m getting a mental picture of your place, Hywela. Rural, with a barn and plenty of material for a compost pile.

  2. Interesting! I somehow pictured you with a small pack of dogs, that harassed effing feline because they knew he was really the boss. Cute dog- cuter grandbaby! We’ve owned a variety of animals throughout the years, and been owned by a few. Thanks for sharing! I wonder how effing feline will feel about you featuring other animals. . .

    1. I’ve taken Effing’s feelings into account by distracting him. I’ve now put him in charge of writing my newsletter, which has puffed up his ego enough that he’ll be able to ignore these other pets as somehow of a lower order of creature.

  3. Your story of Cat in the bathtub reminds me of when we had the four kittens. The spouse would come home from a day’s work and soak in the tub, and all four would line up on the side of the tub and watch the water drip. Tag, the one who had decided my hubby was ‘his’ human, would walk around, and slipped into the water behind my hubby. I started laughing and wanted to grab the camera, but the spouse yelped because a claw was hitting him in a particularly sensitive place, and wanted the cat out NOW! After we rescued Tag, he proceeded to jump onto the toilet seat and bathe himself while glaring at me!

    1. Your Cat in the Bathtub tale sounds much more painful than mine. And your cats’ fascination with dripping water seems downright unfeline. 😉

  4. Meka James · · Reply

    Kids and pets are fun! All of my dogs are good with the kids. Well most. Pixie is more cat-like in she tolerates being pet, but only for a short while. She’s learned to co-exist with the small humans even though she’s been around them forever. We call her Ms. Priss because she’s a tad uppity at times.

    1. We had only one dog who didn’t like children, and that was Laddie. Bark bark bark bark bark.

  5. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Awe cute dog and baby.

    1. You definitely earn brownie points for saying this about my grandson and my dog!

  6. lol, “cat”. Kind of like when my daughter was small and constantly befriending worms and putting them in a little tub with jar and naming every one, “wormy’.

    1. What can I say except “Great minds think alike”?

  7. Lion is so good about posing for the picture with your wife. I’m still laughing over picturing “Cat” in the tub. My friend’s cat, Snickers, is infatuated with the bathtub and dripping water. Her water bowl is in there because she swats at it and it gets splashed all over. My friend nearly slipped. Since then, the water bowl is in the tub.

    1. Lion was a very photogenic dog. I have many pictures of her that would’ve been delightful. In comparison Twiggles, being black, tends to look like a featureless lump of coal.

      1. Twiggles is cute. 🙂

  8. The bathtub water trick was hilarious, and thanks for sharing all your wonderful memories and pictures, Ed.

    1. That was one of my mother’s favorite stories. I don’t think Cat agreed, though.

  9. Animals can be hilarious… Loved the story of poor Lion and the St. Bernard, Cat and the bathtub, as well as Laddie walking on the curb. Thanks for sharing!

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