#NorthupNews – Childhood Pets

On our Norns Triad Publications blog, I have feature called, Julie’s Jewels. I use it to share tidbits about my life, which I tie into book suggestions (because you know I love books), and I thought it might be fun to do something similar here. Hence, the birth of this new series, #NorthupNews. The cool thing about this feature is that my partners, Sahara Foley and Karen J. Mossman, are also doing a similar series on their blogs, which I will tie together on Norns Triad Publications. Hopefully, it is as interesting to you as it is for us.

We decided our first topic would be childhood pets. As animal-lovers, that only seemed natural.

I grew up with a houseful of pets. My mother seemed to be the local animal refuge. My sister carried on the tradition. I think the only reason I’m not overflowing with cats is because I have a sensible husband (whose allergy has increased with age, unfortunately).

One of my favorite memories is how my sister and I brought home our kitten, Fritzy. It started when we heard the pitiful cries of kittens in an old, abandoned garage. My brave big sister crawled inside to investigate, bringing out an adorable baby.

Little by little, I helped my sister smuggle Fritzy and his siblings into the house. She hid them in a drawer in our bedroom closet… until our mom quickly discovered them. My compassionate mother helped rescue their momma, bring her safely to her litter. Mom took them to the vet and nursed them all back to health before finding them loving homes.

As the kittens grew, I recall how our dog, Puppy, would bathe them. Of course, the mother cat was not having that and re-licked them to a shine. At least until our bunny got to them. Then our rabbit would bathe the kittens until the poor things were just about drenched from all their attention. This was the point Momma Cat said, “screw this!” She hauled her babies away and hide out, licking them back to appropriate cleanliness.

I had such joy from the animals in my life. They have taught me empathy, compassion, and that we are all more connected than we can imagine. My pets showed me they are capable of humor, thought, and love. I am forever grateful to, and for, them!

Book Suggestions:


  • How children treat animals tells everything about the adult people they will become. I can empathize with your love of cats/animals. We lived on a farm. We had one small black baby Scottish Terrier dad brought home when I was about 3 or 4 years old. We always had a cat that mom fed outdoors, even though it could come inside or out. Eventually from feeding the cat outdoors, all the stray cats from the farm country area ended up coming to our house. They were mostly outdoor types. Mom fed them when they were around. Luckily, these feral cats were friendly to us, but decimated the community of large field rats in the orchards and farm fields. So, I grew up with cats mostly, and later dad’s hunting dogs. In my own adult life, I preferred cats. Then somewhere as I grew older, I found had switched to preferring dogs mostly. Today, I would give anything if I had the time and money to afford a Put Bull or a Doberman They are my favorites and I even write about them. But ultimately now, I am elderly and no longer strong enough to handle the strength of such large animals.

    • Yes, children learn empathy from the animals in their lives. I think it is an important part of their growth, definitely showing the kind of person they are and have the potential to be.

  • Great story, I hadn’t thought of those words, but growing up my house was definitely an animal refuge. We had digs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, mice, and some at the same time!

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