I’ve always been a cat person, and for most of her life Grace was, too. This story focuses on a cat that lived on the farm for a long time. Dandy was the animal that Grandma Luehr told us about many times. There are a lot more stories about Dandy that I just don’t remember. When I was a kid we had several cats that looked a lot like Dandy, but they weren’t quite as friendly as Dandy appears to be in this story. The pet’s name that comes to mind is Mr Jinx. Sadly, I don’t remember any stories about him.
I remember one time when I was a little kid there was so many toads. There must have been thousands of them as they were everywhere. Most years we would see one or two in the garden but this time was something else.
I had a little red wagon and I had a cardboard box on it that I was putting these toads in. The box should have been deeper ’cause I can remember how they kept jumping out almost as fast as I could catch them to put them in.
There was a time several years later when there was so many big frogs in the meadow where Melvin was cutting hay. He caught a bunch + brought them home. That was the first time we ever had frog legs. They were sure good + I still like them.
The land up there is much too dry to raise many toads or frogs. The conditions must have been just right both times to produce such a bumper crop.
Dandy was a wonderful, independent, cat that called our farm “home” for many years. He was big + brave and fathered all the kittens on farms for many miles around. Being that bright orange-yellow stripe he was easily recognized by the neighbors so we knew how many places he traveled to. Some were 8 + 10 miles away. They would say “Dandy was over to visit us for a few days – is he back home yet?” Or someone would mention seeing him travelling across country.
He wasn’t always on the move though. One time he caught a partridge and brought it home to us. He hadn’t messed it up at all so Mama cleaned it + we had wild partridge for supper.
He was such a mellow fellow that he would let me dress him up in doll clothes + would ride in my doll buggy. He was a lot more fun than dolls.
In the winter he was an excellent foot warmer as he liked to go down under the covers by our feet to sleep.
Henry built a little house and put it on a post out in the yard close by the house for the cats to live in. There was a little ladder for them to climb up so they could get in easily. Dandy and Pansy both loved it. Pansy was a calico cat. She was real nice + we had her several years but she didn’t have the personality that Dandy did. Maybe because she was too busy with families.