Friday, February 24, 2012

Larry's Cats

"Cat Love"

Larry is my longtime friend.  Larry and I have known each other since we were both in third grade. We first met when Larry outed me to our third grade teacher.  I was giving a book report.  Larry "helpfully" told our teacher that I stole the idea from my story from a Scrooge McDuck comic book.  He volunteered this information in class in front of me, the rest of our classmates and Miss Ezrah, our third grade teacher.

Me, Miss Ezrah (our third grade teacher) and Larry in 2005

After school Larry thought I was going to beat him up (I was much taller than him) because he ratted me out.   As we were walking across the blacktop that was the "playground" of our Fifties school, I approached Larry.  Larry was waiting for the First Punch.  Instead I said "You have comic books?  You want to trade?"  That sounds like me, non-violent and looking for an opportunity.

The only cats I have now - my friend's cats - this one is Stormy - a cat that showed up on my friend Bob's doorstep one stormy night

I had forgotten this exchange.  Larry had forgotten it also until he started to write his autobiography.  We're both writing our autobiographies through another blog.  No doubt more memories will be unearthed.

Larry (standing in front of Miss Ezrah) and me far right third row with mop of hair) in third grade 1950
Me with my head partially hidden

Larry and I talk almost every morning by FaceTime.  Larry is my Friend.  Larry is not one of these so-called "friends" who only befriend me for what they can get out of me.  Larry is a real friend.  Real friends are rare. I am very fortunate to have a few real friends in my life.  Larry likes me just as I am.

Larry likes me just as I am.  Larry and I are at the opposite end of the political spectrum.  Larry is straight and I am gay.

There is a lot we don't have in common but one very important thing we do have in common is our love of animals. We both love animals, especially cats.

My Mom feeding her feral cats Molly, Rusty and Smoky

Larry and his wife Lois and his daughters Noell and Laurel and son Darryl have a couple dozen (give or take a few) cats living in their house.  All their cats are rescue cats.

Yesterday I was talking to Larry on FaceTime.  Larry swung his computer monitor around to show me a few of his "buddies" who were keeping him company while he was talking to me on FaceTime.

Here they are:
Kerouac - found as a scrawny kitten hiding under a car in the parking lot where Larry's son Darryl worked - named after the famous Fifties beat poet Jack Kerouac
Diesel - found in her car's engine by Larry's wife Lois as she was leaving her job at the Delaware Humane Association Shelter

"Mark" - was found as a kitten near the highway by St. Mark's School by Larry's daughter Noelle thus the name "Mark"

To be the true measure of a person is how they treat animals, especially animals who are in harm's way.  I know people who have no feeling for animals.  These people are not my friends.  Some start out as friends but once I find they have this dead zone in their character for animals, I am no longer friends with them.

These are cold, heartless people and if they treat animals in an indifferent or cruel manner they are less than human to me.  I know that sounds like a harsh statement from me, but it is true.

Whenever I talk to Larry on FaceTime and I see his collection of rescue kitties, I feel good.

Thank you Larry, Lois, Laurel, Noelle and Darryl for what you do to make life on this planet a little more bearable for some of our critter friends.


  1. Great way to start a lifelong friendship!

    And anyone who is an animal lover- especially cats, is A-OK in my book!

  2. Ron,

    Thank you for the kind words.

    I do have a couple minor corrections. Lois worked for the Delaware Humane Association Shelter when she found Deisel in her car's engine.

    Mark was found along the highway in front of St. Mark's High School, not St. Mark's Church.

    Don't know if you saw my post today, but we one of our "kitties" passed away this morning.


  3. Ron, I'm TOTALLY with you on your statements at the end of your blog here. Couldn't have expressed it better myself.
    I just can't help melting when I see blogs with pictures of animals, but cats above all - and these lovely pics really give me an inner glow. (But now I'm nervous of giving the impression that animals other than cats are not so important to me, because they are. I love them ALL!)

    Btw: I talked on my blog a couple of years ago about my surprise and abject disappointment on being told at my R.C. school (I would have been 7 or 8 at the time) that an animal has no 'soul' and therefore couldn't go to heaven. That affected me deeply. Even now, I think that 'heaven', if it existed, wouldn't be worth going to if there were no animals there.

  4. Scrooge McDuck - a name from the past. Today, most people wouldn't know whom you were talking about. I remember Scrooge and I admit I collected his comic books.

    Really loved your writing today. I share your love of cats, and I could relate, as all of mine are rescues. So much more I could say, but it would take up too much space. I'll just end it by saying that you and Ray are my favorite bloggers and I am eagerly awaiting your next post. One more thing I loved those pictures.

  5. anne marie in philly2:53 PM

    nice family portrait of your friend.

    I too have rescue kitties; 2 have passed and 2 are still with me. larry's cats are pretty kitties.

    and I am with you - if you hate animals, I want nothing to do with you!

  6. Thanks Larry! I made the corrections.

  7. Anne Marie,

    I'm with you on people who don't like animals. Once I find out hey are cruel or indifferent to the fate of animals, they're not my friends anymore. I never have understood how some human being shave no empathy for the plight of abandoned animals, especially ones humans have domesticated like dogs and cats.

  8. Ray,

    The same thing happened to me. The Baptist (Protestant ) church also believes that animals have no souls. My first response was "How to they know?" And my second response was "Are they THAT arrogant that they think only humans have souls?" I'm not a religious person but I do know one thing, if I have a soul then animals do too. One only has to look in their eyes to know The Answer.

  9. Bob,

    Larry and his family don't have much in material possession but they are wealthy in compassion for their furry friends. I am so fortunate to have them for my good friends.

  10. Paul,

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog posting. You realize of course that only encourages me to write more? ;)

  11. You are right. True friends are hard to find. I'm glad that my best friend is also my partner. And the kitty pics make me miss having one around our home.

  12. Scott,

    So true! My best friend is also my partner Bill. I wish he liked cats. We could have some more BF's then. I'm glad you have a best friend in your partner also.


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