A Squawky Thanksgiving

Elizabeth and I are in Cleveland, OH visiting Elizabeth’s dad Rick; his wife Deidre;  their dogs Watson, a chocolate lab, and Sherlock, a yellow lab; their orange spotted cat Boudreaux; and the newest addition–a baby kitten named Squawky. He’s the cutest ugly cat you’ve ever seen.

He’s a tiny, scrawny guy with black fur, big pointy ears, pink paw pads and a spot of white around his mouth that makes him look like a clown or a cross-dresser.  And Squawky’s left eyebrow has a curl on the end where he singed it on a flame from the fireplace.  The little pipsqueak earned the name Squawky because his meows sound like bird squawks. 

His original name was Lope, short for Interloper. Deidre discovered him sitting in a highway median a few weeks ago and brought the scared and homeless kitten home with her.  Being a kitten, Lope/Squawky unnerved the other animals. Sherlock, who is the biggest dog to ever be scared of anything smaller than him, stopped eating for a couple of days.

They’re all getting along pretty well now, and it’s pretty funny to see Squawky play with one of the dogs’ tails while they’re laying in front of the fireplace.

Squawky is a sweet kitten as are all of Rick and Deidre’s animals. Squawky has taken a special liking to Elizabeth, and often crawls up to rest under her chin. 

The past two days have been very relaxing and fun. We’ve mostly been eating, sleeping and talking while lying lazily in the den. Recently Elizabeth has gotten us all hooked on these challenging word puzzles on NPR’s Weekend Edition Puzzle (www.npr.org/puzzle)

This is the fourth Thanksgiving we’ve spent at Elizabeth’s dad’s house since Elizabeth and I began dating in 2002.  It’s been a nice tradition and I hope it doesn’t end anytime soon.  Rick is fighting merckle cell cancer and there is a fear that this might be the last or one of the last Thanksgivings with my father-in-law.  Although it’s all on our minds in one form or another no one is saying it out loud.  Don’t really need to name the obvious.

And what’s the point in focusing on the negative or what may or may not occur. Just have to take things one day at a time, enjoy life in the moment. That’s been Rick’s attitude about his situation. His strength and courage is inspiring and I pray that he will win his battle. At 57, there’s too much left for him to do. http://middleagedsoutherner.blogspot.com/

Despite being tired from the daily radiation treatments he receives, Rick is in pretty good spirits. His humor and wisdom is sharp as always and I enjoy trading interesting facts, telling goofy and sometimes lurid jokes, and discussing movies, books and sports.

It’s also been good to get to know Deidre more and more. She’s a wonderful person and a great cook. Very competitive when it comes to word games and puzzles. She kicked my butt playing the Scrabblesque board game UpWords.

There is much to be thankful for in this holiday week with Elizabeth and her family. I hope my eyes, heart, mind and soul will be open to every bit that God fills it with.


3 thoughts on “A Squawky Thanksgiving”

  1. Nice writing, Andy. It was very good to have you and E for Thanksgiving. Squawky does not squawk much anymore. Of course we make sure that he ALWAYS has food, so that may have helped quiet him.
    Lots of people who knew me when I was 20 would have bet that I would not make it to 30. I am going to try to beat the odds again.
    Thanks for coming and I look forward to seeing you and E at Christmas.


  2. I’m rooting for ya to make it to 60 so we can throw a big ole party…maybe have a naked lady pop out of a catepillar tractor, “git-r-done” LOL
    maybe not, a naked lady might get injured getting something caught in the machinery.
    And Deidre and Elizabeth probably wouldn’t be crazy about it either…the lady not the lady’s injury, LOL
    love ya.
    see you soon.


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