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  • Writer's pictureKaty Berritt

PETS! Why do we love them?


Do you ever wonder why people have pets? It wasn’t always that way. People had dogs because they were useful. They hunted or they herded or they protected. People had cats because they kept the vermin out. People had horses for work, to pull wagons and carriages and plows. Even more exotic animals had a purpose. Did you know that ferrets were brought on ships because they could get into little hidey holes cats couldn’t. They’d chase the rats out and the cats would kill the rats. Back in the WWII days ferrets were used to string wiring in the wings of planes. They’d tie a wire to the ferret’s collar then stand at the end of the wing with a dog squeaker. Since ferrets will come to a dog squeaker the little critters would run towards it and drag the wire through the narrow space. Ferrets are clever little beasts.

So yeah, animals were useful in the old days. If they weren’t…they got eaten. But sometime in the last century, a lot of animals went from being strictly useful to being PETS…actually they’ve become more than pets. They are family. They’re our fur-babies and we love them as much as, and sometime more than, our children. I mean, think about it. Our pets don’t sass us, they don’t ask for $200 Air Jordan sneakers, they don’t expect us to send them to an Ivy League college. I've always had some kind of pet: cats, ferrets, rabbits, and birds. When I was young, we even had a skunk.

Animals have personalities, just like people. And they all have their quirks, just like people. Currently I have a tuxedo cat. She’s perfect. She doesn’t climb on my counters, shred my curtains or pee where she’s not supposed to. She doesn’t like people food except for potato chips. Weirdly, she’s crazy for potato chips. Oh, and broccoli. Mostly what she likes to do is sit on my lap. This means I'm always covered with hair. The problem with a tuxedo cat is you can’t win. If you wear white, the black hair shows. If you wear black, the white hair shows. ☹ 

Even animals that people say don’t have personalities, do. I've had people tell me horses don’t. They definitely do. My daughter had a little mare who loved lemonade and would drink through a straw.

I love animals, that’s why almost all my books have animals in them, and the animals all have definite personalities. In A Wild and Wooly Texan the hero has a lamb he names Milton (after his snobby brother). My Heart trilogy has a three-legged, one-eyed dog in two of the books. The third book has an ongoing battle between a cat and a rat. A book I just finished called The Matchelor has a stray cat named Mia who listens to all the heroine’s lovelorn complaints.

In the next few weeks I'm going to publish Lucky’s Ladies. Here’s a little peek at the story line.

Once upon a time, veterinarian Aiden (Lucky)Burke loved Lindsay Shepard with all his heart, and so they were married—for all of twelve minutes. Then he opened his big fat mouth and blew it so Lindsay tore up the marriage certificate and left town to become a doctor while Lucky consoled himself by getting married again…and again…and again.

Now Lindsay is back in town to open her practice. And so is Lucky. So are all his ex-wives. But Lucky is determined to marry Lindsay again. And Lindsay is determined they won’t, because who wants to marry a guy who’s already been married three…or four…or five times?

 Of course there are a lot of animals in the story but chiefly a depressed basset hound named Kramer. Keep an eye out for the release on Amazon in November then December 5 is the release of my Depression Era comedy, Baby and the Bank Robber.






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