November 24, 2020

Ode to Thunder

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” — John Grogan, author of Marley and Me

Have you ever known anyone who has mischief written all over? You just take one look at them and you know they’re thinking something funny or planning some craziness.

For me, a couple of people come to mind. The comedian and former Senator Al Franken looked that way. Especially when he was on Saturday Night Live he exuded humor and offbeat antics, even when he wasn’t doing anything.

I have a friend in San Antonio named Ken who has the same look on his face. This guy smiles all the time and has a bright light shining in his eyes, both indicators that he finds life a fun and hilarious adventure.

He could have been in show business

And then there’s Thunder, our cat. He’s an old boy now – 17 years – but in his heyday he was a great entertainer.

I could just look at him walking around a room, his white-tipped gray tail pointed straight up, and I’d laugh. I knew it would be no time before he did something ridiculous or funny or outrageous.

You know – cat stuff. I’d open a suitcase on the bed to start packing for a trip and immediately Thunder would climb in and plop down, ready to join us on our journey.

The disappearing cat

Or I’d open a cabinet to retrieve something and Thunder would slip inside when I wasn’t looking. After a while he’d start meowing and it would take us a few minutes to find him.

I had to be careful when I opened our front-loading dryer or he would hop in and go through a heat cycle with the towels.

In addition to being a comedian, Thunder has been a lover boy. He’s spent a good part of his life sitting cross-legged on my husband’s lap.

The other day, I colored a picture of a cat that looked like Thunder and gave it to my husband. It was a big hit, especially since our little boy seems to be near the finish line of his time with us. I imagine we’ll frame that picture and keep it as a reminder of our dear Thunder cat, the born comic.

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
― Charles Dickens

Writing spark

I’ve had more dogs than cats through the years. My first dog Daisy, the miniature poodle, was a constant source of entertainment for me and those we knew. She had many adventures and after she died at 16, I wrote her biography – 30 pages of her antics.

Have you had a pet who has brought meaning and laughter to your life? Take a few minutes and write down your memories of them. I hope the exercise brings a smile to your lips.

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