My new best friends
It’s been a few years since I had a pet.
At least, it had been a few years up until about six weeks ago. Now it seems as if I’m starting a menagerie.
After several years of living in an apartment, I recently bought a house in Berryville. And before I even moved in, I adopted a stray cat from the neighborhood. A woman who was helping me clean before I moved in told me about the cat, saying she had kept him in her garage briefly before he bolted back to the freedom — and the danger — of independent living. She described him as a sweet animal in need of a home. I told her I’d love to have him if she saw him again in the neighborhood. As it turned out, she did see him again — as she left the house that day. She knocked on the door and when I answered, she was holding a beautiful black cat. From then on, he was mine. I named him Mago, in honor of my favorite baseball player — Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez, aka “El Mago.” If you’re wondering, that translates to “The Magician.”
Mago took a while to settle in, at first hiding on a shelf in the laundry room. But it didn’t take long for him to realize I was his friend and now he happily jumps up next to me on the couch at every opportunity.
It had always been my plan to get a dog, while a cat was just something I might think about, and then only after I had a chance to get settled in the new house. But Mago needed a home right then and I’m glad I was able to help him.
With a decent-sized back yard and a privacy fence, my new home was just calling for a dog and although I held off for a few weeks I finally couldn’t resist. Last Friday, I adopted a beautiful female black-mouthed cur from the Good Shepherd Humane Society adoption center. She checked all the boxes — not a little yappy dog, not a puppy and with a calm demeanor. She needed a Cubs name, too, but I just didn’t feel right naming such a pretty girl after a first baseman. So I decided on Ivy, a nod to the famous ivy that grows on the walls of Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play their home games.
Ivy is a very good girl, except that we’re both still working on getting her completely house-trained. I’ll take my share of blame for a couple of accidents the first couple of nights she was with me. Sunday night was much better as I let her sleep at the foot of my bed and took her out at 1 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Hopefully soon she’ll be able to go a little longer between trips to the back yard but even if she doesn’t it will be OK.
Owning a pet, or two, is a little bit of work. But it’s worth it when Mago sticks his head under my hand for me to pet him or when Ivy wags her tail 100 miles an hour when I go home for lunch.
I wonder how hard it is to take care of a fish …