Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Story of Buffy and Fiddlesticks


The history of my parents’ farm includes a period of time when my brother and his family lived there, followed by a period of time when they didn’t, and nobody lived there, and the current epoch where they live there again.

During their first habitation, a respiratory illness broke out among their cats. Although some fared worse than others, it seemed that none were immune completely. Every new kitten born there eventually became a snot-nosed feline.  And even when nobody lived there, the disease went on among the cats that had been left behind for my dad to feed.

While home one summer, we visited the farm to find a batch of adorable kittens just the right age to leave their mother. We were torn. We already had a number of cats, but to leave them was to doom them to a life of sneezing, and death by excess mucous. There really wasn’t any choice to make. When we left, we took all four of them with us.

Two went to my niece (they were really her cats anyway) and we kept two–Buffy and Fiddlesticks.


We never had a pair quite like Buff and Fiddle. Fast friends and fierce wrestlers. They spent their days zooming around the house, usually with Buffy chasing Fiddle.

Buff was a tough cat, and he played rough. When he got to be too much for sweet Fiddle, I’d stuff him in a pouch-like shoulder bag I kept hanging on a doorknob. This was the time-out bag, and it gave Fiddle a chance to beat up on him for a change.


Both were mischief makers…


with tons of personality…


and they brought us joy.


Soooo, when I decided I needed some cats in my romance novel, Interiors by Design, I used these two to bring a bit of mischief, mayhem, and sweet comfort to the storyline.

They may be minor characters in the book, but they will forever be major characters in my heart.

Interiors By Design is available at Amazon in paperback form and the Kindle Store.

Sheep Summers and a Baaad BBQ

2478629_orig Many of you know that my husband and I are in the midst of moving. We have been purging, scanning, shredding, and packing for a month now, and frankly I’m bored to death with it all. The keyboard is calling me, so before it, too, ends up taped up in a box, I’m ignoring the TO DO List in favor of some reminiscing.
Early in my brother’s foray into 4-H, Dad bought him some sheep–Cheeko, Meeko, Peeko, and Baa Baa. Mine was Baa Baa. (NOT the sheep pictured here. These two were Ophelia and Isaac Hayes from several years later.)

We spent nearly every Sunday afternoon that summer, clip, clip clipping the sheep’s wool in an attempt at 4-H perfection. They probably still had a good two inches of wool on them by the time the county fair rolled around in August. Back then it was all about “blocking.” For some reason, they wanted the sheep to look square.

In later years, shearing was popular, to the point of some sheep being barely clothed for their parade around the show ring. Probably a sign of our decaying society.

One summer, the sheep shearer had had a few belts before he put shears to sheep and we weren’t sure if we wouldn’t be better off just taking them straight to the slaughter house, since they were nearly cut to ribbons anyway.

Poor Dorcus Hines.

That was the sheep that developed kidney stones. We took her to the vet, but he was getting ready for some wing-ding of a barbecue, so performed emergency surgery right there on his lawn. I was appalled at this inconsiderate violation of my lamb, who was none too happy about it herself. And the vet’s wife was livid. He was getting blood and yucky stuff on the grass. She did not recover from this ordeal, and Dad ended up having to shoot her a week or so later to put her out of her misery.

Dorcus, not the vet’s wife.