And a cat named Henry..

This is an acrylic of my backyard.

I’m very fortunate.

It’s lovely and has a large expanse of beautifully kept grass (seriously there’s no creeping charlie or crabgrass!!) that flows to a rather steep forested ravine where deer, rabbits, foxes, snakes, possums, raccoons, owls, turkeys and all sorts of other furred and feathered creatures frolic.

Unfortunately I also have a klutzy dog who likes to frolic too.

So there was Sampson frolicking and rollicking when he hit the steep part of the ravine.

And away he went.

I saw it in slow motion, he tumbled and rolled and tumbled some more….It was like watching a little furry snowball, flashing white against a backdrop of autumnal browns and purples and even though I appreciated the juxtaposition of colors, my heart stopped.

Anyway.  I ran down, he ran past me going up. I ran back up.

Then I realized he couldn’t use his leg. And he was very sad. We had to go the vet.

My vet is in the town of Milan. If you read that and pronounced it like you would expect, you were wrong! It’s pronounced “my-land” and if you pronounce it the way most normal people on this planet pronounce it, they snicker behind your back and think you’re a fancy pants. My vet’s office however has the name of the town down the road on it even though it’s not in that town probably because people can pronounce that name. But Milan or My-land, I secured Sampson in my car and off we went.

At which point in a town of 5000 people, I ran into a traffic jam.I called the vet from the car. Don’t worry, I always keep my hands on the wheel. I have one of those Bluetooth things (though I don’t know why it’s called Bluetooth, the last time I checked my phone it did not have teeth nor was it blue). The phone works through my stereo and the buttons on my steering wheel, I’m not quite sure how it works but I think it involves small magic leprechauns and a cat named Henry.  The first time someone called me I was listening to “Rock Lobster” loudly. It rang, and for a moment I thought the record had skipped then after a moment I remembered that it was not 1980 and deejays don’t use records anymore plus the odometer display was flashing what looked like my house phone number. Either my house was calling me or I had driven much further then I meant to. I panicked and pressed every button in my car and ended up listening to Muzak. I never did find out why my house called me. It’s never called again. I think it’s mad and wants new carpets.

But I digress. I called the vet to tell them I was stuck in a traffic jam and seeing as it is a town of 5000 people, they already knew.

There I was stuck in a traffic jam and I was looking around keeping myself occupied when Sampson’s window rolled down.  I put it back  up. And it rolled down. I put it back up. And It rolled down. I looked over at him. He looked at me. Then he smiled. And I realized that it was not an accident. Sampson knows how to work the buttons. That rotten dog can’t seem to figure out that’s it not a good idea to run amok in a steep ravine but he can figure out how to open a window. And to boot it was only 42 degrees out. I would have put the child locks on but I don’t know where they are and ever since the Muzak incident I’m little paranoid about touching anything. I sometimes get the feeling that the little magic leprechauns and the cat named Henry are very disappointed in me.

But after twenty minutes I managed to drive the block and a half to the vets and park. I went to gently pick up Sampson even though my hands were blocks of ice. He then jumped out of the car and ran up the stairs to the vets. On all four legs!

Son of a……..

To make a long story short (if you can believe that at this point, you’re, I’m sure a very nice person but gullible. You should work on that) Sampson did injure himself but not badly. He apparently has a floating patella. The vet showed me how to put it back if it slid again and gave him some anti-inflammatories (isn’t that a double negative, shouldn’t it just be flammatories). The vet said, it’s fairly common in small dogs and not a big deal. I’ve never had a small dog before Sampson. I did go home and ask Zeus how his patellas were and he said fine. And I asked how his parents’ and siblings’ patellas were. He wasn’t sure so he texted them and they texted back saying their patellas were just fine as well. There you go, it must be true.

All is well.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

And to my family who may have mistakenly assumed I’ve been in the kitchen baking all this time…you silly silly fools.. yes the brandy and eggnog is nearly gone but there will be pie and buttertarts.

Just be careful how you bite into them.

The pink rabbit is missing.


©Virginia Spencer,, 2011

29 thoughts on “And a cat named Henry..

  1. Wow! I’m sure you must be able to feel my envy! A truly gorgeous garden and your art seems to get better with every new painting 🙂 You also tell a wonderful, funny tale 😉

  2. I was laughing so hard I forgot to comment. Hope Sampson is ok. Love the painting of the backyard. I envy anyone who has a backyard. I only have a stoop. And I have to share it.

    The colors in your backyard painting are autumnal in the foreground and jewel-like in the background. Does that mean your neighborhood has amethysts and sapphires hanging from distant trees? I want to live in your neighborhood!

    1. 🙂 Sammy is doing really well. He is supposed to rest for another four days but he’s feeling super hyper. I tell you westies are stout little dogs but man can they move.
      I wish they were amethysts and sapphires. 🙂

  3. Oh, Virginia, I laughed all the way through this one! I miss you when you get busy and don’t write! These little white dogs are a handful – I think of white lightening! Cotton got a huge splinter in the front of his little leg when he was running about ninety miles and hour around the corral into the end of a broken tree branch. Dangit, I knew I should have picked that up.

  4. A sweet little story. Your dog is so cute. I hope he is feeling better soon.

    I had to laugh at the pronunciation of “Milan.”

    There is a town near the one where I grew up.’s called Genoa. You pronounce it Jah NO uh. Not JEN oh uh.

  5. Beautiful acrylic! You had me laughing. I have two maltese. Know about the patella thing…… I found out the same way you did. 🙂 They do look miserable and “very injured” when this happens, though.

    1. Thanks Leslie! It scared me to death. It’s funny though, now he knows if he stands at the top of the stairs (there’s only six stairs) and looks sad someone will carry him down. Maltese are such funny dogs, big personalities in a ball of fluff.

  6. I’ve been lurking about on your site. Sampson sounds as silly as my cat, but a lot smarter. I wrote a post on my cat. Aren’t pets so much fun to write about.

    I love art, but I have no know-how. I just love to wander in museums and galleries alone, looking. Anyway, I really love the style differences between the outlined trees in the foreground and the soft strokes in the background (impressionisty right?)

    1. Impressionisty is a great word for it. :D. I love museums. The one close to me has a great collection. In case of a pandemic, like Zombies or something, I’ve already made plans to run over to the museum and swipe I mean protect the paintings.
      Your cat is so cute! I love his coloring too.

      1. Swipe me a Sisley or a Caillebotte. Especially this one:

        I saw this in a book my mom has and fell in love. I’m a sucker for super emotive works (in music too. that’s the type of performer I am. emotion over technique.)

        Yay for cute pets.

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