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Tag: pets

Happy Pet Remembrance Day!

The second Sunday of September happens to be National Pet Remembrance Day. I am not entirely sure what “nation” the name refers to. Even so, do you really need a reason to remember your awesome pets? If someone says it is Pet Remembrance Day, well, here I am all ready to celebrate it.

I love pets since as far back as I can remember; and I have also had pet cats since right about the same time. Whoever decided cats are shrewd or wily or scary, clearly didn’t know what he was talking about. I adore cats. Now, I can either write a long post describing exactly why I love cats and end up sounding like Mrs. Figg. Or, I can post this:

He appeared at our doorstep one day, with no sign of a mother or sibling-kittens. Of course, we took him in, and fed him. The little kitty decided to stick around. So, we let the him sleep in this small basket in our kitchen. He loved that place. He grew up to be quite a loyal young cat. But he never grew out of sleeping there. Here, more than a year old, the big tom cat that he was, he could hardly fit in there. It didn’t bother him one bit.

Cats are kind of stupid and very adorable and lovable, which anyone who bothers to take care of one would say! Happy Pet Remembrance Day!

(Neither of the pictures of the cats – no, they’re not the same cat – was taken by me. Thanks to those who did – you know who you are – for capturing such cute moments!)

A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain

For Short Stories on Wednesday (hosted at Risa’s Bread Crumb Reads) I was planning to read and review a vampire short story by Anne Rice. Which I did, and it did seem exciting for about the first two pages.

“Julie!” he whispered, in a voice so low that it seemed my own thoughts were speaking to me. But this was no dream. He was holding me and the scream had broken loose from me, deafening, uncontrollable and echoing from the four walls.

The story is called The Master of Rampling Gate and it is a vampire ‘love’ story, which is something they had forgotten to mention where I first read about it. It was such a grave disappointment, that it didn’t make much sense to review it. Let’s just say that it’s a story Stephanie Meyer would adore; take that whatever way you want.

So, instead, I am reviewing a very beautiful and touching story I read by Mark Twain, titled A Dog’s Tale (1903). It is the life story of a loyal pet dog, told from her point of view.

The story begins in a way that is quintessentially Twain – “My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing.”

The dog talks about her life with her mother, who was a favourite among the other dogs and about her puppy-hood adventures. She then goes on to tell us about the sorrow of her separation from her mother, the following joys of the nice, new household, until the day she has her own puppy.

The story is crude and cruel, and it is the story of so many other loyal house pets who don’t deserve the treatment that they get from their “masters”. It is a silent, confused cry for help, and it really affects you. That’s great writing for me.

Cujo by Stephen King

“They began to back up, and as they did, the dog began to walk slowly forward. It was a stiff walk; not really a walk at all, Ronnie thought. It was a stalk. That dog wasn’t fucking around. Its engine was running and it was ready to go. Its head remained low. That growl never changed pitch. It took a step forward for every step they took back.”

Cujo is a psychological horror novel by Stephen King. It is the story of a rabid St. Bernard. It is also the story of a little boy and his nightmares, a mother and a child, and an almost broken marriage.

Rating: 3.5/5

Summary: Cujo is a big, five year old St. Bernard, owned by the Cambers; a family in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. Cujo is a good, loyal dog; he loves his owners and they love him! That is, until he gets scratched by a bat and becomes infected with rabies. The dog soon loses touch with reality and turns into a crazy killing machine.

Four year old Tad Trenton lives in the same town with his parents, Donna and Vic. The little family has problems of their own – the scariest being the monster that seems to appear in little Tad’s closet at night. A frightening, wolfish animal that haunts Tad’s nightmares.

Fate brings the two together, when the only thing standing between the rabid dog and the mother and child is the broken down car they are trapped in.

My thoughts: Each book that I read by Stephen King, gives me one new reason to love him. This is not your typical thriller, and there are definitely some side-plots that seem unnecessary. The horror doesn’t start till halfway through the book and when it does start, not a lot happens. Still – I loved the book. For two reasons.

Firstly, as usual, Stephen King never disappoints you when it comes to the lives and the thoughts of the characters. Their stories are so intricately built – it is very fascinating. Even without the dangerous dog, there is a lot of evil in the town; just in the ways that people think, what they do. Each of the side-plots is a message on its own.

Secondly, what I love about King’s novels is that the monsters themselves are victims of circumstance. I pitied Jack Torrance (in The Shining) and I definitely felt horrible for ol’ Cuje when he got infected. I love that King has written parts from the point of view of the dog – the helpless creature, who hurts all over and doesn’t know who else to blame but the humans. The animal lover that I am, I really appreciated that King ended the book saying something positive about the poor dog. He wasn’t trying to be a monster, he was a good dog.