Category Archives: Springfield Al

The Power of the Purr: Charmed, I’m sure

These past two weekends have been busy and a little disruptive around here.

The weekend before last, I was in in LA w/Owen and Olivia, and the weekend just past found Joanne in San Diego (Happy Birthday, Marly!) and me away visiting my father (Happy Birthday, Pop!).  While I was in LA, Joanne was the pet-wrangler, and while we were both away, Springfield Al stayed at our house and, according to him, he was absolutely charmed by Cherry and Calvin.

From what I hear, Al, Cal and Cherry (together) spent more than a few minutes in SnuggleBunny and purr-mode… as it should be. Al told me that Cherry and Calvin were very present – and affectionate – with him… how cool is that?

Thanks, too, to Ellen for stopping by and participating in house / garden / penny meds maintenance… all are very much appreciated; in fact, I hear there is an abalone dinner in your near future 🙂

The Power of the Purr – pretty neat, huh, Al? 🙂

We are sad about Springfield Al’s aunt…

We were saddened to receive a call just a few moments ago from Springfield Al telling us that his aunt unexpectedly passed away earlier today.

We never met Al (and Don’s) aunt, but we’ve heard about her for years through Al, who always spoke of her (and his uncle) with wonderful affection for their caring nature toward him.  From where I sat, in the ~20 years that I’ve gotten to know Al, her returned their care and affection in spades.

We understand the pain of losing such a loved one as your aunt, Al, and our thoughts are with you and your family members.

Hal, Joanne and The Pack

The Blankie is back in action!

Today, on the three month anniversary of Pan’s passing, once again  The Blankie is back in action doing what it does best: serving as a feline comfort zone.  I’ll explain.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but years ago – 10, maybe? – each morning I began the day by drinking my coffee and reading the morning papers on the couch… with Pan always by my side on The Blankie.  And, depending on my schedule, at times I would sit on the couch throughout the day – and evening – and Pan would always follow me out to sit by my side (and often sleep) on The Blankie. Over time, it was the most natural thing in the world for visitors to our house to find Pan and I sitting on the couch… me, reading… and with my left hand resting on her back, Pan by my side… gazing at me, sleeping or – if we had company – sitting upright in a Sphinx-like position, gazing at our visitor.

After Pan passed, I left The Blankie in its center-cushion place – directly to my left… it just seemed the natural thing to do.  When Calvin and Cherry came to live with us, I had hopes that one of them would find it to their liking and we could share some time together.  Despite my assurances to them that The Blankie was TwoBigCats approved and certified, neither of them showed the slightest interest in The Blankie… or the couch, for that matter.

Until today.

Late in the afternoon, Springfield Al stopped by to visit and caught me – well, actually, the entire pack – napping.  Calvin and Cherry being who they are, came out to the front of the house to see what all the barking was about.  IIRC, Calvin cruised by Al to acknowledge his presence and shake his tail at Al, while Cherry remained slightly out of sight.  Al stayed about 10 minutes, then headed out the door to catch a bit of a nap, himself.

And that’s when it happened.  After seeing Al out the door (thx for latching the screen on the way out, Al!), Calvin came in to the front room and took the off-road course to the sewing machine perch @ the window.  He looked out the window for ~1 minute, then looked at me @ my end of the couch.  I patted The Blankie and said, “You know, two very special cats have spent many years on this blankie – maybe you would like it, too.”

That did it.  He walked over to The Blankie, planted himself on it and curled into a half circle and closed his eyes… I instinctively reached out to pat / rub his shoulders and head as I had done with Pan sooooo many thousands of times over the years, and he began purring deeply.

We both woke with a start an hour later when Joanne called from work to say she was on her way home.  When she drove in the driveway, then walked in the front door, Calvin remained on The Blankie… apparently content in his new-found resting place.

Strange coincidence that Calvin (or Cherry) would choose the three month anniversary of Pan’s passing to discover The Blankie, but it is what it is, eh?  I hope Cal (and Cherry) continue using The Blankie.

Luv you and miss you, CatGirl.

Happy Birthday Springfield Al!

A quick note to say “Happy Birthday, Albert!” to our very good friend, Springfield Al.

Looking at the calendar, I can see it’s been about 25 years since we first met Al as a neighbor at our former residence. And though he / we waved to one another from across the street, we didn’t really get to know one another until ’91 or ’92, when we started bicycling a fair amount and a year or two later, learning to rollerblade.

Through some set of discussions & negotiations, Al and I each got a set of blades and took to the sidewalks to enjoy what was then the latest physical fitness craze. Turns out that sidewalks are uneven, cracked and have lots of tree-crap that has fallen on them so, basically what we’re talking about is as close to death-trap as a 40+ beginning blader wants to get.

Ah, I know, we’ll each carry a house broom in front of us for balance… like a hockey stick. Yeah, that’s the ticket… and that kinda worked, but not really. Oh, how about going to a local school basketball court where there’s smooth asphalt and wide open spaces? Yep, that did it. Before long, we were rolling and scootching all around the courts and, heck, we even got rid of the broom (after we’d swept the pebbles off the courts, that is.) From there we, ahem, (pardon the pun) graduated to racing around the school corridors on the shoe-slicked concrete – woo hoo!

Until that one corner that was snot-slick, that is. Ok, maybe we’ll avoid that corner in the future.

And from there we moved to the Los Gatos Creek Trail / Parcourse and cruised in to Los Gatos… a 16 mile lap. Seems we did that 2 or 3 times a week, then adding bicycling for variety and, voila… we were having lots of fun.

And we’ve had hundreds… no, thousands, of hours of fun since then. And like only long-time friends can do, we’ve helped each other get through our share of sadness as we’ve lost members of our families, friends, jobs and relationships. Life, huh?

These days we make it point to get our daily bike ride in as part of our morning-coffee ritual. Rain or shine, hot or freezing (as it is this morning), Springfield Al and I are out and about… Al calls it the “Amble through Campbell”.

So, Happy Birthday, Albert(!), I’m about to amble down for your birthday breakfast at Stacks 🙂

hal, joanne, The TwoBigCats, penny & pepper-do-you-want-her