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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Cat Henry & My Dog Tulip: A Bond To Last A Lifetime


I've always felt a connection with dogs and cats throughout my life but I never owned a pet until I adopted my  tabby cat, Henry, 11 years ago and he became my whole world from that moment on. When I first laid eyes on Henry as he wandered across my boss's desk at Pensacola Junior College I had no idea that I needed him more than he needed me and I found out very quickly that he was the best therapist I'd ever known. 

See, at the time of his adoption I had been living in Pensacola for nearly a year and I was not happy with my surroundings because I never thought I would be separated from my New Hampshire soon-to-be ex-husband after only two years of marriage. Obviously, I was going through a series of emotions because of the impending divorce and the only friend who stuck by me through it all was Henry. Since I didn't have a roommate, Henry heard me voice my concerns on a daily basis and he was always patient and attentive during every one-sided conversation - bless his little heart!


And because I've experienced a bond like no other, I can fully identify with the bond that is shared between cats and humans but also between dogs and humans and I can think of no other touching memoir that J.R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip.  This 1956 memoir is based on the old bachelor’s real-life 15-year relationship with his German shepherd, Tulip (named Queenie in the book). The book  begins with a witty quote from the author — “Unable to love each other, the English turn naturally to dogs” — and manages to maintain this clever wit all the way through. 



Luckily, My Dog Tulip has been adapted into a delightful film which came out in September 2010 and I cannot wait to get my hands on it because I love to see a great memoir in action, don't you?

18 comments:

  1. Oh, my - and with Christopher Plummer, to boot! Awesome! Thanks for telling us about this one:)

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  2. I loved your story about you and Henry. Cats do seem to know when we are having a rough time.

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  3. Mom says animals are the BEST and she can identify with your bond with Henry! She can't wait to see that movie - thanks for sharing that! She loves Chrisopher Plummer and Isabella Rosellini. Hmmm, Mom thinks she must be English :)

    The Road Dogs

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  4. your comments about Henry so touched my heart and soul.

    I had my Bobo for 18 years and for many of those years I was single. He also saw me through my first (and thankfully only divorce), he was there during that bad marriage (that lasted slightly shorter than the duration of yours), moved with me to Michigan and was here for the marriage of me and my new husband (it will be 5 yrs this June that we are married)...he was also my soul confidante.

    We got our Sheltie (Dakota) in 2007, (after we got our second cat, Cody) and Dakota was my first dog as an adult. We are blessed to have two such wonderful babies in our lives.

    Thanks for sharing the story of Tulip, my husband and I will be sure to catch this when it hits the theaters. Much love!

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  5. duh...obviously I didn't read closely. The movie ALREADY came out! Will have to look for the DVD! xoxo

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  6. Awwwwww wow!!!!! I want to see this film!!!!! Awww how wonderful!!!! Yay for Tulip!!! Yay for Henry!! What a star and what a wonderful kitty!!! Thanks so much for sharing!! All my life, whenever I go through so much trauma I always know that the only friends I can rely on wholeheartedly, are my animals!!! Take care
    x

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  7. Oh, what a wonderful post! We think your Henry is just gorgeous and a wonderful friend. We often wonder why every human in the world doesn't have a cat or 2 or 3 or 4...and yes, a dog or 2. Nothing beats our kind of lovin' :D
    xoxoxo

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  8. Kitty fur is the best for tears, too!

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  9. That's one of the reasons we're here. The other reason is total control!

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  10. Beth here....I will certainly be looking for this! I totally understand the bond between us and our animals! I don't know what I would do without mine! They are my best friends! They totally get me! ha ha!

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  11. Animals make all things bearable.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

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  12. I gots your pressie today! Thank you so much!

    woof - Tucker

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  13. Henry here and I just want to tell you that I really do know EVERYTHING about my mom! So if you want to ANYTHING about her I am the one to ask! Besides being a therapist I was also a dating monitor and if I didn't like the guy who took her out fur dinner I was the one who had the final meow about him. If the guy had no interest in me then guess what? He never got to see my mom again and my mom thanked me fur my paw of disapproval! Finally, mom met my dad, Amos, and he was so nice to me that I gave his 4 paws up and the rest is history!

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  14. Henry strikes me as a very special cat. There is just something I can't put my finger on but he seems to have an old soul.

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  15. Great post - we have been reading a lot lately about that special bond between a pet and their human - we sure feel it here. The Momster would love to see that film or read that book. Thanks for sharing.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

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  16. Does the doggie die in the end of the movie? Dogs in books and movies ALWAYS die! It makes our Mama cry so we try to avoid those books and movies!!!

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  17. We've had dogs all our lives. I don't know what I would do without a pet in my life.

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