Animal House…

There are several pets living in our house. The cat and I are most in tune with each other. We respect each other’s privacy, allow for each other’s occasional need for attention and do not get upset if the other is moody. The dogs are more in my face and very much in need of attention. Hmmmm….kind of like the other human living here.


Eugene is a Jack Russell Terrier. He is intelligent, athletic, fearless, and vocal……..he is stubborn at times and can be aggressive towards other animals and humans. He protects us by barking even before the postal carrier drops mail through the front door mail slot; continuing to harass the letters, magazines and advertising circulars as they lie on the floor waiting to be picked up. I appreciate his sentiment, if not his method. Eugene terrorizes the backyard squirrels and birds and anyone who walks by on the sidewalk.


Princess is a Schipperke, a small Belgium dog known for herding sheep or working on boats. Princess is, also, very stubborn and extremely intelligent. We have to spell words…..o-u-t…d-o-g…c-a-r … when talking in front of her. I used to call her “P” instead of Princess and I cannot even do that anymore. She is mischievous and has a headstrong temperament. Schipperke’s are sometimes referred to as the “little black fox”, the “Tasmanian black devil”, or the “little black devil. Schipperkes* are “very smart and independent; and sometimes debate listening to owners, instead choosing to do whatever benefits them the most.” Princess is the alpha animal in our house. She would really like to be the pack alpha. Eugene recognizes her superior abilities and the cat does not care what she thinks, he is simply not interested in being in charge. The humans are on to her little games.


Jem’s name is taken from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Jem came to us as a kitten with his female litter mate, who I named Scout. Scout disappeared several years ago. Jem missed her for awhile and then he moved on. Jem is an indoor and outdoor cat. He uses the pet door as easily as the dogs. He is inside most of the time in winter and deigns to show up for food in the summer. He terrorizes the goldfish in the pond, the ground squirrels and the neighbor’s cat. The neighbor told me her cat and Jem have made an uneasy peace this past year. Jem still follows her cat into her house whenever he is in the mood.

Sometimes it is hard to keep the “children” home……


©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved

About Lily

Born in Topeka, Kansas in the middle of the 20th Century, daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, reader, spiritual, writer, cook, crafter, junker...... twice-married, former non-profit executive in retread mode... currently living a bucket list life in a remodeled schoolhouse.....
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