Nothing Beats Four Legs When It Comes to Friendship

Cat on a desk

Two years ago in late September I lost my dear friend, Callie the Wonder Cat. She gave me over two decades of life, love and the greatest friendship I could ask for.

Though none of us live forever, a part of me thought Callie would. I thought she had a real chance at going for the world record of world oldest cat, the late Crème Puff, which lived to be 38 years and 3 days.

We didn’t quite get there. Callie left this world just shy of her 24th birthday, which would have been Nov. 21. I often joked with her older sister and our youngest daughter Kinsley, who was born in the same year (1996) on Nov. 7 that she needed to watch out for her younger sister. Kinsley would scoff, chuckle, and usually hug Callie, saying something like, “You can take care of yourself, can’t you Callie?”

Callie knew how to get her way better than just about any creature on the planet. She would stop and stare at you with those bright eyes that sent the message, “Hey, whatever you’re doing it’s not as important as me.”

I will miss those stares for as long as I live. I’m certain when I walk through those pearly gates (yes, I remain confident) she will be there waiting with a look that says, “What took so long dad?”


Clear the Shelters Month

Why am I writing about Callie now instead of next month? Because this is Clear the Shelters Month across America and many shelters are participating, even offering free or cheap adoptions. Your Callie, be it a cat, dog, hamster, chicken, etc. could be waiting on you.

Check with your local shelter and see if they are participating. It is a perfect time to bring aboard a new member of the family. Even if the adoptions aren’t free, it’s worth whatever cost to give a cuddly friend a new home – and trust me, it will do wonders for you as well.

Can’t adopt for yourself because of something such as allergies, landlord won’t allow pets? Remember that animals make great companions for elderly folks. My late sister adored her cute little poodle named Miles, which lifted her spirits daily, especially when they’d sit on the front porch, Sue with a cup of coffee and Miles with one of her favorite toys.

I had so much fun with Callie, from quiet moments when she’d sit in my lap to the excitement of having to jump off when I’d leap with excitement after another Alabama Crimson Tide touchdown. Each morning she’d greet my lovely wife Junell, who usually rises before me – being the night owl I am – ready for her first meal of the day, along with a few purrs of appreciation.

Kinsley and Junell gave me with one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me, a blanket featuring the many photos of me and Callie over the years with the words “Callie the Wonder Cat” written on it. Until she sits on my lap again someday in Heaven, they keep me warm and comfy, bringing me joy like Callie did.

And like your new animal can.

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters