New Cat, Memorial Day

My mother's cat, an orange tabby named Claudius, has come to live with us. My sister Amy brought him up a couple of weeks ago. He is considerably younger than our old momcat Serena, who has outlived all her children. He is lean and muscular, and he reminds us of Serena's son, Walker, a black panther of a cat who was not inclined to real intimacy with humans. Yet he is jealous of our attention, and challenges Serena, who presides on her chair and ottoman, so that we must draw the pocket doors between the front and back parts of the house to separate them. Serena has an advantage over Claudius in that his front paws were declawed before my mother got him. Serena can therefore stand her ground. But she doesn't like to come into the kitchen and eat, or use her litter box, unless he is confined.

Ronda and I headed to Governor's Square Mall today to see what bargains we could find. I bought a couple of pairs of jeans at Dillards, as well as two beautiful shirts marked down from $75 to $20. The challenge in shopping for jeans, and I know it's been this way for a very long time now, is to find some that don't look like the ones I have worn out. Levi pre-washes their jeans, but at least they don't look tattered and bleached.

It's time to prune the azaleas, so I made myself do it, sweating, with a dark sky and thunder to the west all afternoon, Now, at midnight, we've had a little rain.

My family hasn't done very well at dying for our country since The War. We died at Chickamauga, Atlanta, and Petersburg, and for the Confederacy, but after that, not so much. My maternal grandfather was on a boat for Europe when the Armistice was signed in 1918. My uncle James was the only one to make it to Europe for WWII, though my father and his other brother Dwight were both in the Army Air Corps stateside. James was a pilot in the Berlin Airlift after the war. My uncle Charles was in the Navy in Vietnam. My own year of 1-A draft eligibility passed in 1973 without my being called up, and I wasn't sorry for it.

I will mention my father-in-law, Ron Hansen, a tank sergeant in the 8th Armored Division who crossed the Rhine in '44. Though he died in his '70's, he was as much a casualty of that war as those who died on the field of battle. So I raise a glass to him on this day.

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