I have always been an animal lover. As a kid I almost always had a dog in the house and we always played with most of the neighborhood pets, but we never had a cat in the house because my mom hated cats. But I, lover of almost any kind of animal, broke away from the all dog idea when I first moved out on my own. I got a Siamese cat who I loved. But of course when I fell in love and decided to marry I had chosen not only a “dog” person, but had a man who did not understand cats, nor trusted them, I believe. So my lovely little Siamese cat had to be given away and I again became a dog person.
When I went out on my own again recently I knew I had to make a choice of a very small dog, or a cat. After exploring the various shelters and playing with both I discovered the cats were by far the most prevalent and the quieter of the two. Apartment living does not work well when you have noisy neighbors, be they dogs or humans and though the small dogs can be taught not to bark, most of the dogs found at shelters are larger breeds or tiny barkers.
After my third visit I discovered I was drawn to the funny felines that I began to encounter. I had totally forgotten their penchant for destroying paper bags and boxes and crazy cat-astrophes they often can create in a home. Humor and silliness are often traits I find the most endearing in my animals. I’ve had my share of crazy dogs that would often have us laughing at their antics over the years, but by far in my opinion a cat can more subtly grab attention and make you question if there is a mini human within those furry bodies. It is said that Jim Davis loved cats so much but because of his allergies could not have one of those little furballs so he created Garfield as a cartoonist to fill us with all the laughter of what never could happen with a cat – right?? We who know cats have a secret. Often what he shows daily in his Garfield strips is total truth about our furry feline friends!!
Life is too short not to share a story, a song, or a laugh….Share something today!
I have love the Muppets for what seems to be forever. And if I’m honest I have also always loved almost everything that came from the mind of Jim Hensen and his team from the very earliest. The man’s imagination was like that of a consummate story teller who knows his medium and and always understands the ways to capture hearts. My first taste of the show began when my oldest was in his first years. He fell in love with Kermit and Sesame Street, and so did I. From the beginning the characters were as important as the many lessons they taught, and as my son has said, “I learned from friends on that street.”
But Sesame Street was only the beginning! Just recently a friend added a picture to his social networking page and it was of a wonderful fantasy movie characters with that large yellow Bird who I know you probably all have at least heard of, and it brought out the kid in all of us who responded. But it also brought out the names of all our favorite characters in the show as well. I have to say that I really giggled and was involved in that online conversation!
In thinking about the shows and movies and all the various characters I remember there is more than a bot of wonder in all the learning and enjoyment that grew out of the creative genius of a man who shared his inner child and the fun that was there. We rally did lose him way too soon.
My favorite character of all those Henson created has to be Big Bird. The wonder and naiveté of his child-like character was fun to watch develop from the those early Sesame Street days. His endearing imagination and the excitement that came with every learning experience made me believe that learning could really be a fun thing for my children and grandchildren. It is a sad thing to see the way our schools have gone. There now is a passion for teaching to the tests rather than exciting a child’s imagination. Somehow, I hope we can find a way to balance the need for testing and the desperate need to capture the excitement for learning in children of all ages again. We are not going to save the wonder for life in the lives and hearts of of children today if we don’t. Last September would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday and I would love to celebrate changes toward a more excited form of learning melded with what we need in being accountable to what our children learn to bring them into this century’s way of learning in America.