Pictures are at the bottom of the page--but please get to know our children first...

For those of you who know us well, Dora and have always been comfortable with being DINKS (Double Income, No Kids) and at one time were even OINKS (One Income...). But we've had "children" our entire marriage--little hairy rug rats.

Our current children are cute and sometimes weird. Micki (short for Michelle) has been with us since we got her as a kitten in 1983 when we first arrived in California. She's a pure bred grey-smoked long-haired Persian, which means that her fur looks grey on the outside and is white underneath. Micki was somewhat standoffish for the first couple of years with us, but that all changed when she had her first and only litter of kittens.

Mark was away on a trip and didn't get to witness the miracle. Dora was there when the kittens arrived, wiping Micki's brow, giving her words of encouragement, and yelling "push". After this event, Micki became much more outgoing and bonded very closely with Dora. We gave one of the kittens from that litter to Wanda, Dora's sister. Her name is Smokey and she lives in California with Mike and Wanda.

Micki's getting up there in age now, but is still just as loveable as ever. She hardly ever meows unless there's food involved, and then it's only a tiny sqeak. She still likes to play with the shoestring and comes to us when we whistle. Most of the time, she's begging us to feed her and perks up her ears at the mention of the word "FOOD!" She loves to lay between Dora and I on the bed, but leaves immediately when we turn off the lights (we must have rolled on top of her when she was young). Micki has somewhat strange bathroom habits. After she does her business in the cat box, she leaves the box and scratches the nearest wall. We think she's the culprit leaving "presents" outside of Mark's study door, but we haven't caught her in the act yet.

Casey is our second child. She's a grey tabby/calico mix. In so many words, she's nuts. We got her as a kitten in 1991 and she's been screaming at us ever since. Of course, Micki rejected her for the first few weeks, but since then, they've been bosom buddies. They used to pounce on each other, wrestle around on the floor, and chase each other through the house at blazing speeds, but since Micki has slowed down, Casey has become somewhat sedentary too. After six years, Casey still likes her space and can only stand to be held for a few minutes. She loves to play with her "toys" and she's the only cat I know who plays fetch--but only with Tootsie Roll Pop wrappers-- you know, the sucker...anything else she'll sniff and reject. If it's a Tootsie Roll Pop wrapper, she'll chase it, hunt it down, pick it up in her mouth, trot back to us, drop it at our feet, look up, and say, "Meeeoooow." A cat who thinks she's a dog--reminds me of the movie "Babe".

Our very first child was a beagle mix named Denee. Mark melted when he saw her in a cage at Polly's Pet Shop in 1980. She was our baby and we loved her very much. Well... most of the time. She loved to get into the house plants and spread the dirt throughout the living room. Of course, she liked to play fetch with her rubber squeak toys. But her all-time favorite activity was going for a "ride in the car" (the magic words). She'd stick her head through the back seat window and breathe in all that fresh Texas air, her long beagle ears flapping in the wind. Denee also liked to dig her way out of our fenced-in back yard. We'd find her all over the neighborhood, or receive "heads-up" calls from the neighbors. One day, finally, I saw her trying to tunnel her way to freedom. I snuck up behind her and screamed bloody murder while grabbing her. She almost had a heart attack and actually relieved herself on the spot. I've never seen a dog so scared. She never dug a hole again after that day. When we left Texas for California in 1983, we left Denee with Dora's cousin in Harlingen, Texas. We thought we'd never be able to rent an apartment in California with a dog. Looking back, I can't imagine why I made that decision. I loved and missed her dearly.

Within months after adopting Denee, we took in Steve Martin, our first cat. Like Micki, Steve was a long-haired Persian. Dora and I don't remember much about Steve. He was lovable and shy, and Denee adored him from the day we brought him home. We used to find them napping together, and more than once, Steve would pounce on Dennee unexpectedly and scare the bajeeziz out of her. One memory I have of Steve was his habit of marking his territory--typically male. One day I took a sack lunch to work and kept it in my desk. All morning long, my co-workers complained about a strange smell in the office. I discovered the source when I opened my drawer to retrieve my lunch. P UUUUUU! It goes without saying that I went out for lunch that day. My pals didn't let me forget about that one for awhile ("hey Mark, what's for lunch today?") We decided to take Steve to California with us in August 1983, but he didn't pee during the whole 2 1/2 day trip, ended up with a serious bladder infection, and died shortly after our arrival (sniff, sniff).

Hope you enjoyed reading about "That Darn Cat". Now here are some pictures!

Micki Loves to Be Held By Her Mother, 1986
Such Hams!
We Like This Picture...
Casey as a Kitten. Isn't She Perrrfectly Adorable?
Our First Two Babies, Denee and Steve