Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 ~ 410-626-9888

Volume xviii, Issue 4 ~ January 28 - February 3, 2010

Home \\ Correspondence \\ from the Editor \\ Submit a Letter \\ Classifieds \\ Contact Us
Dining Guide \\ Home & Garden Guide \\ Archives \\ Distribution Locations \\ Advertising



We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, 1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 •E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on-line by clicking here.

The Comfort of Animals

Dear Bay Weekly:

I am sorry to hear of Boy’s demise [Jan. 14]. He lived an incredibly rich, long life, and no doubt the hole in your heart will take time to mend. Several points of his story resounded with me: the gluttony, the regal mien, the endearing charm. Longevity is the only part of the story I can’t say sounds familiar, for I have only ever owned second-hand cats whose days were numbered for one reason or another.

–Jane Elkin, Cape St. Claire

Dear Bay Weekly:

I’ve never been owned by a cat. (I think that’s how it works.) I’m a dog person, especially fond of dachshunds. This Christmas, I gave a cat-loving friend a woodcut door hanger that said, My cat is smarter than your honor student. No offense to the humans out there. Boy, the beloved king of Bay Weekly’s Martin-Lambrecht cat kingdom fits that bill and more.

Some years back in the Alaskan bush I met Susan Butcher, famed Iditarod sled dog champion. She explained that at any time she might have scores of puppies in training for the grueling thousand-mile race to Nome, but just one cat. The cat would slap around each new crop of puppies, and though the huskies grow exponentially larger, the dogs never forgot the hook of that one ruling cat.

I remember once saying, How can a decrepit, old dachshund nearing the end make me feel so secure? Such is the power of the love of a pet. And such is the loss of the king of cats, Boy, in the eloquent eulogy by editor Sandra Martin. My sincerest condolences on your loss. The king is dead. Long live the king.

–M.L. Faunce, Churchton

Dear Bay Weekly:

I’m so sorry about your cat, Mr. Boy, and loved the story you wrote. It reminded me of how animals can be a great window on our lives.

–Bonnie Leftowitz, North Beach Park

Dear Bay Weekly:

Heartfelt condolences for your old white cat. We have had and loved dynasties thereof. You will surely be inundated with Dead Cat Chronicles, but here are a couple more, both angoras who came into our lives.

At 17, our black angora cat, scruffy with leaves and dirt, sagged close to the ground. Could he know he’d soon join it?

He sprawled all evening across the striped towel we spread inside the garden door with sliding panels of glass.

Outside, the possum nosed the pane as if to say goodbye to an old friend, or welcome him back to the yard.

Next morning, like turtles clawing to cache their eggs, we dug in the end of the meadow, planted a Norfolk pine on the grave.

Come spring, my husband cut the pine, complained it hindered his John Deere. He likes clean views. The slender stump remains, level of the grass.

The next October, a white angora stray with matted fur and one green eye, one blue, escaped from a stable across the swamp. She surely knew herself too aristocratic to mingle with those stable cats.

He offered his tuna can. I tried to return her. Soon she let the possum share her bowl outside our door.

With winter she moved indoors, stayed years.

This December, she too lies at garden’s end beneath the tangled locust trees. The petals will be white as her fur till they meld with earth in June.

Do felines teach us to recycle souls, replace outmoded objects of affection, replenish earth?

–Elisavietta Ritchie, Broomes Island

© COPYRIGHT 2010 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.