Meet Hunny's kitty-baby, Pepper. Fall, 1997.
This is the beauty of raising cats and dogs together. Pepper was just a few months old in this picture. I was doing a lot of petsitting. Pepper was surrounded by dogs. He took walks with us, learned to fetch and joined the puppy piles. And he always won wrestling matches. Don't be fooled. No matter what the pack order, the cat in the house will always outrank the top dog!
Pepper doesn't live with us anymore. Four years ago I moved to a tiny guest house in Venice with a garden bigger than the house. I loved it. But Pepper was terrified. For months he never came out from under the covers.
Three summers ago, Pepper moved in with his Auntie Cheryl and his cousins, Opie [dog], Moonie and Rudy [cats]. Not long after he moved in with them, he was out-and-about like the little panther we had grown to love.
We miss living with our Pepper but he's very happy in his "new home" - even though he's lived with Cheryl longer now than he lived with us. Hunny and I see him a lot but we fantasize about all of us living in community so we don't have to be apart.
Pepper is 6 1/2 years old now. And though he's no longer suckling on Hunny for comfort, make no mistake about it, he is definitely her baby.
A few months after Pepper moved, I had a terrifying experience in the middle of the night. That's when I decided my house was [for lack of a better term] haunted. [I believe Pepper knew that all along.] I can hardly think about it today without going into complete panic. Perhaps I'll share that story in the daylight sometime.