Pete’s Last Ball Game
Nothing in return.
Two cats live here, outside of course, and that seems fine with them and suits me as well. Molly is the Alpha cat, Spookie is other one and got that name because she is.
They associate being fed with hearing the goat bell ring, but so did the raccoon, who apparently believed he was also entitled to being fed without giving anything in return.
The door remained closed when the 'coon was around.
There have been other pets. In my teen years we had a herd of little mixed up chihuahuas carrying people names, being named for neighbors — Louise, Mildred, Cleo, Oliver, Andrew, etc.
The dogs were accepting when I found a piglet beside a dirt road and couldn't find an owner. Pete was turned loose to make friends with the dogs or do his own thing alone.
He was soon making the rounds and trying to keep up with the dogs. They napped in a pile under the car and showed up at the back door for treats and a belly scratch.
At the time, my father's office was in a building that was wide open. Each office had an air conditioner and it was comfortable for a 1904 building.
The trail of dogs, led by Louise, made their rounds each day to the administration building including a climb up the steps, down the hall to my father's office door where they stopped, sat and waited.
The visit came about 4:00 p.m. as things wound down, and he expected them. He opened the door, said a few words, the dogs rolled over for a belly scratch and so did the pig.
The pig's days were numbered anyway because, with time, the novelty wore off, and I'm sure Dad was embarrassed to be visited and followed around by a pig.
You expect a college president to present a level of dignified aplomb, but my father said that it was difficult to have a serious conversation with the Dean or a faculty member with a pig squealing for attention at his feet.
The last act was during a college baseball game.
It was in the day when many dogs roamed the town. In that day there were more dead frogs to roll around on, cars to chaise and shade trees for napping.
It was not unusual for a neighbor dog to wander across the ball field during a game en-route somewhere else. The game paused until the field was clear.
On that day the pig visited the baseball field, spotted my father on the other side and ran squealing with glee through the infield to my father's feet.
That was the pig's last ball game.