Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Lords of the Household

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader's advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin on March 13, 2014

The library will begin its ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY READ with multiple events on Tuesday March 25.  As many of you may already know the book that we chose is FOLLOWING ATTICUS: FORTY-EIGHT HIGH PEAKS, ONE LITTLE DOG, AND AN EXTRAORDINARY FRIENDSHIP by Tom Ryan.  I have already learned that Atticus is a miniature schnauzer and is a delightful dog to have as a companion. This got me thinking about the pets in my life and I was amazed to remember some names!

We did have a puppy dog for about two weeks when I was probably about 5 and my brother was 3. I “think” the dog’s name was Tippy.  After Tippy gnawed the arms of one of my Mothers nice upholstered chairs he was returned to puppy land. The chair remained with us forever and you could visibly see the teeth marks! We also had a wonderful canary named Sammy (maybe Uncle Sam). I do not know what happened to him or how long he was with us.  The next animal in our family became our very beloved pet for 22 years. Topsy (I do not know who named her) was a kitten we chose on the last day of our vacation on Monhegan Island, Maine when I was probably 6 or so.  My Dad put her in a cardboard box for the boat travel and she was ours forever.  Dad always proclaimed that she was such a good cat with great longevity because she came from Maine. We are cat people! Along came Inky a coal black tiny kitten and then an orange cat- I forget her name.

Thus ends my childhood pets. We have always had cats from the time before our son was born right up to today. First came a brother and sister Frodo and Gimli – treasured cats who lived with us for many years. Frodo was NOT a very good hunter and probably would not have been successful in a quest to get rid of a ring but Gimli was. The next two kittens also a brother and sister were PippIn (Peregrin Took) and Brandy (Meriadoc Brandybuck).  Pippen died early but Brandy was a spoiled calico cat with a wonderful disposition. Now we have two sibling brothers Strider (Aragorn’s other name) and Grey (Gandalf the Grey). Can you guess one of Margot’s very very favorite sagas – LORD OF THE RINGS by Tolkien??? We now keep our cats in and have delighted in seeing very strong personalities. Stridey is a bully and not too bright and Gray is a hunter and affectionate and unfortunately has to do a lot of hiding.  We love them.

BUT this does not mean that we deprived our son of other wonderful pets. You know those great goldfish that one wins at the local carnival? Well- Mark brought one home and of course we had to get the goldfish bowl, the food etc. and try to learn about fish.  I hate to say this but he did not last very long. Then I remember Mark coming home with a lizard and I think he named it Reggie. Well, Reggie did not last too long either – I was not happy when he escaped in the living room!

On Wednesday March 26 at 7PM come meet Atticus and Tom Ryan at the movie theater.  The program is for adults and young adults. Those desiring to attend must register at the library 781-769-0200 x110. The program is free. Tickets will be held at the theater.

By the way the library has a great book collection on pets of all kinds mostly in the 636 category.  A few suggestions might include: “Before and After Getting Your Puppy” by Dr. Ian Dunbar 636.7 Dunbar, “The Perfect Kitten How to Raise a Problem Free Cat” by Peter Neville 636.8 Nev. “Encyclopedia of Aquarium and Pond Fish” by David Alderton  639.34 Alderton, “Lizard Care From A to Z” by R.D.Bartlett  639.39 Bar, and a variety of other instructional and informative items. Do come to the library and tell us about your pet!