We traded city life for country life and I got another kitten to replace the poofed Puff. This kitten was equally friendly evidenced here by her willingness to pose in my arms for this picture.

Raindrop was a mottled gray/brown – which is why I named her Raindrop.

A big, yellow tomcat also entered our lives at this time. Not sure where he came from – he just showed up. There was only one other house within a mile of us and it didn’t come from that family, so he must’ve walked quite a distance to find us. I named him Sunbeam.

I then named my white, stuffed cat Snowflake and felt quite weather-oriented.

All was happy in the pet world, until we went to Cuba. The neighbors were supposed to feed Raindrop (Sunbeam, too, but Raindrop was the real pet), but alas, they didn’t take the responsibility too seriously and when we returned she was gone, never to be seen again. I mourned her for quite awhile. I can still remember waking up each morning thinking maybe she’d be back.

We didn’t have much success leaving animals to the care of others. We had a duck, Quack, that we left with friends while we were away another time. Not sure exactly what happened, but when we came back Quack was dead and they invited us over for dinner to share in the partaking of the dead duck. My parents didn’t seem all that upset, so I’m sure there was a reasonable explanation for eating duck fate pate, but to my little-kid brain, the whole thing was rather traumatic.

My grandfather on one of his horses

Moral of the day: Never serve a child meat that has a name.

I decided to aim higher and began asking for a horse. This wasn’t too far fetched of a scheme. My dad’s father was a horse trainer (he was also a few other things not so noteworthy, but we won’t go there). So Dad had grown up with horses. I never knew my grandfather, he died before I was born, but I was familiar with the empty stables, which were no longer used by anyone or anything except nesting wasps. Besides, we certainly had the land for a horse.  Dad said he’d think about it.

He kept telling me that a lot – we’ll think about it.

But then my world turned up-side-down. I got a brother (which I had been wishing for even more than a horse), and we moved to the Chicago suburbs.  The country kid became a city kid.

To make up for the lack of a horse, my parents got me a bike.

But I’ve always thought that if we had stayed at our house in PA, my brother and I would’ve both gotten horses.

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