Ailurophobe or Ailurofan?

This past year, my retirement entertainment reading has included Lillian Jackson Braun’s “The Cat Who…” series. The stories combined some of my favorite things (no pink-satin sashes for me): mystery, cats and small-town life. The plots tend to be predictable with the cat-hating ailurophobe being the murderer, but her description of cat behavior is always right on. She romanticizes small-town life which is in keeping with my fantasy of living in a small town. I’m on number twenty-eight. There are only thirty in the series, and since Ms. Braun died ten years ago, that will be it. It will be time to move on. I’ll be looking for something light and happy to read next. I’m always looking for something light and happy.

My friend Rikka moved to the four-corners area of New Mexico after extensive travels. I’ve followed her family’s travels since she was a co-worker of mine around seven years ago (ahhh, work, the thought can still be frightening). Theirs is an adventurous family, having traveled extensively and calling many things home, including a schooner named Wind Dancer. Now that they’ve settled in Northwestern New Mexico, they’ve opened their home to more animals (and more animal species) than I can keep track of, and they’re not even retired. They have dogs, cats, bunnies, birds and fish. Their young daughter, adopted while they were in Guam, looks so happy among her many siblings (human and other animals) in the many photos they post on Facebook. Their posts will be a nice segue into my next reading endeavor.

While I have not loved, nor owned, as many animals as Rikka and family, I have loved all of the animals I have owned, starting with my first pet, Snoopy the rat. She was a former lab rat that retired to our family’s home. We taught her to jump from our knee to the coffee table and back. We loved that rat. Next came Vigaro the cat. He was a big Maine Coon. We loved that cat. After I left home there was a long succession of cats, a few dogs, a half dozen ferrets, turtles and then more cats. Our ferrets were famous for their industrious and fastidious tidying of our home (moving beanie babies, shoes and visiting family members’ underwear from wherever they found them to under their bed of choice). One of our ferrets was discovered missing shortly after starting the dishwasher. We quickly opened the dishwasher to find a waterlogged unconscious ferret in the hot water standing in the bottom. We grabbed her, revived her, rubbed her ears with our hands that had been cooled with ice and her gums with water mixed with corn syrup. We loved that ferret (and all of our other ferrets).

I enjoy watching videos on the internet of animals behaving with total acceptance and unconditional love for other animals and people. I’ve been bitten by ferrets and dogs and scratched by cats and I still think that those animals were better behaved than some people. I’m blessed to have amazing (well-behaved – except when it’s more fun to not be well-behaved) friends and to have had wonderful (even when not well-behaved) pets. Animals and life are good!

Heishi, second of many ferrets.

5 thoughts on “Ailurophobe or Ailurofan?”

  1. For my light, funny reading, I like all of Janet Evanovich,s other stuff besides her 1,2,3 series. She has some funny crime novels that aren’t graphic. Hope that helps you move on from the series you’re finishing.

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  2. How did you happen on BRAUN’S series? I’m definitely going to find some to read. Do you need to read them in numerical order?

    My sister in law had a ferret and did not have the “stinky gland” (I don’t remember correct word) removed. She kept ferret on the kitchen counter in a large wired cage, suffice it to say, I never ate at her home.

    My niece (same family as above – different sibling’s child) had a rat. No thanks! I can’t even handle the mice in my apt. Mice make way into my closet, bc gnawing hole into sheet rock, when crawled under apt bldg. Chinese elm tree roots lifted the bldg just enough to allow mice into frame of bldg.

    My family had a bassett hound dog named Snoopy when I was 10yo.

    Glad you realized ferret was missing and quick thinking to look in dishwasher! What made you think of looking in dishwasher?

    Did you have to use a sandbox in backyard for Maine coon cat? Was your coon cat 5 ft in length?

    Your life stories are quite interesting and I enjoy reading about your life. I am too much of an introvert, plus it is filled with too much negativity, to write about my life. I always tell people my life is a soap opera story.


    1. My sister-in-law gave me some of the Jackson Braun books. If you would like them, I can get them to you.
      Vigaro was big but not 5 ft. in length. He was an indoor cat.


      1. Jennie, that would be awesome! I would return the books to you for your grandchildren to read later. Email me for my address and phone number.


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