By the time 1953 had arrived we had acquired another dog. It was a Border Collie that was going to be put down because it was the runt of the litter. We named him "Rover" and he grew into a lovely long-haired collie that looked rather like "Lassie" the dog in the films. "Rover's" coat was black and white though.
We also gained a cat that idolised my hubby because he saved her life when she had been poisoned, she followed him every where.
"Prince" found the cat in our garden when she was a kitten. I was quite surprised when he came in and kept barking at me as though trying to tell me something.
When hubby and I finally followed him out we saw this little black scrap of a kitten being violently sick and writhing in agony. "Prince" must have sensed the urgency for the kitten although he was not fond of cats and could have killed her with a snap of his jaws.
Hubby immediately ran in for the castor oil and literally poured it down the kitten's throat. He sat up all night nursing the kitten and cleaning up after it kept throwing up but by the next morning "Sparkie" as we called her was perking up and lapping a drop of water.
Her devotion to my hubby after that had to be seen for it to be believed. "Sparkie" followed hubby everywhere. She even fathomed out what shift he was on and used to wait for him coming out of work. She used to run and meet him to walk home with him. It was an uncanny relationship between them.
This next piece will explain what I mean by the close relationship between hubby and cat.
We had no bathrooms years ago and had to have a strip wash down every day at the kitchen sink. Our living facilities were FAR different from today. Houses are not built today without a bathroom/s. They are a MUST in any building regulations now. We had to bring a tin bath in every Friday night and put it in front of the coal fire to get a bath.
As soon as hubby got in and started taking his things off for his strip wash "Sparkie" used to climb up on top of the door leading into the kitchen and when hubby was washing his face she would leap over on to his neck and wrap herself round him. She never dug her claws in just wrapped herself round his neck like a collar.
I had to keep the door shut after she had done this about three times so that hubby could have a wash in peace. I had to lock her in the front room when he was having a bath because she would once again be round his neck.
All three animals used to go out together and the neighbours called them the Three Musketeers.
If any one has seen the film "The Incredible Journey" about two dogs and a cat that was just how our three were. "Prince" would lead and the other two follow wherever he went. It has to be remembered here that there were no restrictions on keeping animals indoors at that time.
"Rover" loved being dressed in Barry's outgrown clothes and he used to commandeer the pushchair or buggy as they are called today. He also had a fetish about his beautiful bushy tail and disliked anyone touching it although my lad could do anything with him including dressing him up in his outgrown clothes.
My son was about three years old by this time and very often we took "Rover" out in the pushchair with Barry pushing it and "Prince" and "Sparkie" walking alongside. The animals that we had over the years have all left footprints on our hearts and we will never forget them.
Wonderful memories about the funny incidents and extremely sad ones especially when "Sparkie" got run over while waiting for hubby to come out of work. I was devastated when I heard about it, but that special bond between cat and master was a different type of grief to mine.
Hubby was heartbroken.
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