Many people have emotional attachments to stuffed animals. My daughter, Alexa, still loves her little teddy bear named Teddy. When she was an infant, she had quite the collection of stuffed animals, and among them was a little pink doggie with a rattle inside, it that we called Augie Doggie.
Any of you old enough to remember when Hanna-Barbera pretty much ruled Saturday morning cartoons might recall that name. Alexa named Augie Doggie for the little boy from the team of “Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy.” Alexa kind of lost interest in Augie, after a while, and focused on Teddy. That was just as well; someone else in the family wanted Augie.
Now, we got Snow when Alexa was a toddler. Part of the reason we got Snow was that she was born deaf. She was pure white, with blue eyes and perfectly pink skin.
We learned that such a combination, in any sort of animal, leads to congenital deafness almost all the time. A deaf cat, with a loud toddler, seemed a perfect match. Well, Snow took one look at Augie and was in love. From the moment she arrived in our house, Augie was her baby; she dearly loved that little stuffed toy.
Snow would carry Augie everywhere. She slept with it. She played with it. She tossed it around. She would wrestle us for it. She beat the poor thing to death, just about. She knocked the rattle right out of its guts, not that it mattered, after all, she couldn’t hear it.
It fell to my wife Jo Ann to sew and mend little Augie back together year in and year out. It was downright amazing to see how devoted Snow was to that simple little toy. Whenever Jo Ann could, she’d sneak it away from Snow and give it a good washing. Yet, Snow was quite the devoted momma and would often chase after her in an effort to reclaim her baby.
Well, let me put it this way. Cats do not like to get wet; bathing them is virtually impossible. One time, Jo Ann tossed Augie into the washing machine. It was running. She’d just started a load of laundry. She was throwing in a few last items.
Well, Snow White saw her do it and she acted. Leaping onto the washer, she dove into the churning water! A moment later, she emerged, Augie in her mouth, both of them drenched, Snow climbed out of the washing machine.
Snow was one unhappy kitty, I can tell you. She’d followed her maternal instinct and saved her little one. Hopping down with a splat and a splash, she shook herself hard, hissed at Jo Ann and ambled off, Augie in her mouth.
We did eventually manage to get Augie washed, but we had learned to be especially sneaky about it from then on. Ah, the things we do for our pets.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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