Time for more of your wonderful stories, some about how you came to have your pet, and all about how much having a pet adds to life.
DEAR JOAN: About 4 years ago, I had a knee replacement. I was sent home after just three days with a big bottle of pain pills.
I took them for 3½ weeks and then decided it was time to stop so I could start driving. That night, I went to bed and couldn’t sleep. I had pain and was jittery. I was thinking about getting another one of those pain pills when my kitty, Bialy, came and sat on my chest.
He’d never done that before (although he does now since he lost his brother). I couldn’t bring myself to get up to get any medication with him being so cuddly. He did the same the next night and by that time, I had no more need for pain killers.
I still tell people that Bialy saved me from a lifetime of addiction.
Merryl Kravitz, San Jose
DEAR JOAN: I was taking my usual lunchtime run along the Guadalupe River in San Jose when I caught something unusual out of the corner of my eye. It was a gray cockatiel with bright yellow facial markings and an orange spot on its cheeks.
He was in the same spot on my way back and on following days. I went back one day after dinner and, as I suspected, he was there. I think that was the only food he could find was from a bale of hay put out for soil erosion.
Every day I got a bit closer and closer with crackers in hand before he would fly away. When I finally got close enough, I swiftly grabbed him and put my sweat band around his head to stop the biting. Ouch! I had a cage in my car and he spent the afternoon in my office.
I tried out several names, but nothing took. One day he fluffed up his feathers and his dander rose. He was back lit by bright light streaming in through the windows and I said “Boy, you’re dusty. Wait, yeah, you are Dusty!” and the name stuck.
That was 25 years ago. Now we are two aging bachelors hanging out and watching out for each other. He has a table of his own with a cage, a playpen, a tent and toys. I never lock him up but I do keep his wings trimmed.
Steve Kalata, Sunnyvale
DEAR JOAN: One wonderful day we found our special little feline, Sally. It was a late evening coming out of Safeway with my 10-year old daughter and 8-year old son. We saw a little cat running out of the entrance to the store with an employee behind it yelling “Scram!”
It was obvious to us she was just hungry and upon her rude dismissal from the store, she hid under a parked car. With some minor coaxing, she let me pick her up. She immediately started purring and we were instantly smitten with Sally.
My rescue tendencies got the best of me as well as a chorus of “Can’t we take her home, Mommy? Can’t we?” from my kids.
We took her home to become a member of our family. This lively, spunky little cat lived a long life with us in the company of two dogs. In hindsight I now know I should have tried to find her owner, but at the time all we knew was she needed a home.
Nelle Neighbor-Alonzo, El Cerrito
San Jose cat saves woman from a possible drug addiction