Hi folks - this is Dee, filling in for April. We're trading favours - she offered to watch the kids while Mike and I are out visiting Grandpa Jim, if I gave you the update on the animals. Jim is at home, but still not quite recovered from his latest heart attack, in case you hadn’t heard. So, here goes!
I think April told you in last month’s Pets’ Letter that Dixie the dog got sick and Elly took Dixie out to “live with someone who owned a farm”, if you know what I mean. April was pretty upset with her mother, since she thought of Dixie as her own dog given to her by her Grandpa Jim. Dixie was my favourite, and I miss her too.
Speaking of April, she is living with us now. Some strange things happened around Milborough after the end of August. I think everyone who has been around Milborough for the last 29 years has been affected, some more than others. I think even me. Sad to say, my mother-in-law, Elly, has been hit pretty badly. And by bad, I mean that she threw April out of the house. April doesn’t seem to have been affected by September at all, probably because she is so young.
I can’t claim I understand it myself; but a lot of things seemed to change in September. At first they would seem like someone was not remembering things correctly, and then it seemed like that was the way things always were. It’s difficult to describe. It’s almost as if someone took 2 years out of our history, because they were no longer in-print, and tried to sell the parts of our history which were in print, as if that were our whole history.
You may wonder how this is related to pets, since this is the Pets’ Letter. I will explain. I remembered meeting Mike before he got his dog, Farley. But Mike swears he got both his fish Fred and his dog Farley before he met me. These are some of Mike’s earliest memories now, and he seems very certain that I and almost everything important to him came into his life later than Fred and Farley, except for his parents and Elizabeth and Lawrence Poirier.
I didn’t even remember that Mike had a fish. I could have sworn my first memory of Mike was when he used to taunt me, by calling me, “Wart-Head” and “Deanna, Deanna, fat as a pianna” and I hit him. Mike swears our first meeting was when his mother made egg sandwiches for his lunch, and how he wondered how he would ever sit next to me with egg breath. Then he poked me and leaned against me until I complained to the teacher and I got to sit somewhere else. However, the more we talk about it, the more it seems to me that Mike is right, and I just remember it the wrong way. It was a long time ago. I guess it doesn’t really matter which came first, as long as Mike and I are together, and he is totally over Lawrence. Sometimes I think that if only I had met Mike earlier, that thing with Lawrence would never have happened.
Well, back to the pets. After what his mom did with Dixie, Mike decided to keep his dog, Eddy over here at the Sharon Park Drive house after we moved in. When we were living in the apartment in Toronto, a large dog like Eddy was perfectly fine staying at his mom’s house. But then September happened and Elly started calling Eddy “Farley”; and started saying things like “Farley is getting a little old for a puppy. I wonder if he likes rescuing things going for a little swim in the ravine?” Mike said, “Since Farley is my dog, he should stay at my house.” I thought Farley was a family dog, but both Mike and his mother agreed Farley was his. Now we have Eddy (Farley) living with us. My kids couldn’t be happier.
Little Françoise tells me when she comes over to play with Merrie and Robin, that Shiimsa the cat is settled into her new digs after the wedding. Moving with a cat is always an adventure. Either the cat hides somewhere in the new house, or the cat will sulk for days. I think it’s great that Françoise has taken over the responsibility for Shiimsa, now that Elizabeth and Richard are so occupied with Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Richard’s mom, our neighbour, Anne Nichols, is very excited about the upcoming birth of her second grandchild. It’s a strange thing, but the first time I mentioned Richard and Elizabeth being married, April said, “What are you talking about, Deanna? Elizabeth is married to Ant…no sorry…I’m confused. Richard is sooo much better a choice.” I was sure she was going to say someone else; but when I think about it too hard I start to get faint and see nothing but lavender and teal.
Whenever Anne Nichols comes over to our house and sees Françoise (grandchild numero uno from Richard’s first marriage) and Robin playing together with Eddy and Butterscotch, she tells me I could be seeing the beginning of a long term relationship, just like she did when Richard and Elizabeth played together when they were little. As you know, I don’t like marriages pre-arranged by the parents (or the grandmothers). Sometimes I think how things would have been different if my mother-in-law’s best friend had been my other neighbour, Connie Poirier, instead of Anne. As I understand it, Connie and Elly used to be close, until Connie made a play for John after Elly started openly criticizing John for reading the paper and not doing enough chores around the house. What a strange thing to do!! It’s a wonder Connie and Elly are still friends after that.
All of the kids love playing with Butterscotch. He is a favourite of Robin's. Merrie thinks of Eddy as her pet, and Robin thinks of Butterscotch as his pet. He loves animals in general, and April loves teaching him about animals so it's nice that they have something in common. I love having April in the house. September was a rough month full of unsettling changes, but that was one change I liked.
That's it for the pets this month! See you later!