Random Thoughts


... Thumbs the cat, old faithful ...

by Ed Boyd

This is about Thumbs,the cat who lived with us at 350 Washington Street. There was
me and Catherine and seven kids. Thumbs lived with us for thirteen years. You
can imagine how Thumbs put up being manhandled by seven kids. This got me wondering
if I might get all of our family what it was like living with Thumbs.

I e-mailed all of my family suggesting that they might offer a thought about
Thumbs that I could write up for the Melrose Mirror. I had e-mailed Maura, and
told her that the sale for 350 Washington Street was $459,000. She was amazed. She
-mailed me back saying, “Yes, and Thumbs is still there”. What follows are some of
their sentiments.

Ellen wrote that her friend, Nancy, went down to Lynde Avenue where Mrs. Tambini
had a batch of kittens. As you look down from 350 Washington Street, Lynde Ave. is
right in front of you. Mrs. Tambini’s house is about four doors down on the right.

Ellen and Nancy brought home an all white kitten with grey markings like a cap on
his head. But the distinguished part of him was the extra digits on both front
paws. I named the kitten Thumbs as Catherine got to name all our children and I
got to name the animals.

Our front door at 350 Washington Street has four small windows on each side of the
door. Martha said that Thumbs used to make a squeaky noise on the window when he
wanted to go out. Maura remembers this, too. Also, says Martha, Sandy pulled his
tail and got her face scratched.

Thumbs used to like crawling into a paper bag on the kitchen floor. Peter recalls
putting on gloves to get Thumbs out of the bag.

Thumbs was a big cat. Maura had to sling him over her shoulder to carry him.

We had not seen Thumbs for several days and I thought he may have been hit by a
car or something bad. Early one morning I opened the door and there was Thumbs
lying on the porch, not dead but nearly. Thumbs had made it home. Crystal’s
friend, Amy, took him to the vet, injected out of his misery.

The next morning I went to the cellar and built a wooden coffin
for Thumbs and put Thumbs in. I nailed it shut and took a spade and dug a hole in
the side yard. A small gesture for Thumbs who was so steadfast. Maybe this is what
Maura meant by saying Thumbs is still there.

Birth order: Ellen McIntosh, Liz Garrett, Maura Feener and Mike Boyd (fraternal),
Peter Boyd, Amy Conley, Martha Wightman.

December 2, 2016

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