Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"©
It is not everyday you see a drummer, Josh, a guitarist, Mike, and a cat, Slim Pickens, together! FUR an evening of purr-fect entertainment CAT-ch Josh and Mike's Generation Mix band at the Village Green Lounge, Sunday, June 10th from 6-8PM. (Slim cat-naps at home during the men's purr-formance.)
Mike's father-in-law held a number of "odd" jobs when Mike's wife, Anne, was growing up. He was a drummer for world-renowned stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee; the owner of a Eugene, Oregon sporting goods store; an actor; and, a pilot who flew celebrities/customers into remote fishing areas resulting in a life-long friendship with actor and rodeo clown, Slim Pickens who made frequent visits to her family. Anne recalls Slim as a kind man and a horse whisperer whose performance in the movie Dr. Strange Love still cracks me up when I recall the scene in which he rides the nuclear bomb across the sky into oblivion, yelling the entire way."
Eleven years ago Mike and Anne went to look at a litter of beautiful brown pedigreed Devon Rex kittens. One kitten had an overbite and a "slightly misshapen head", according to the breeder, which served Anne and Mike well at "adoption negotiating" time. As they were settling upon a price for their "new baby", he showed-off for his adoptive parents by racing around the room three times, then plopping himself down into Mike's lap, and staring up into his eyes. Obviously, the "choosing" was mutual.
They named the kitten Slim because he reminded Anne of her dad's friend, Slim Pickens. "I thought that the name Slim would be a good, strong, humorous, and different name for such a special cat, but the name is actually an oxymoron because the kitten was not 'top of the line' for his breed--he was the last of the litter and definitely 'slim pickins'. I felt, too, that naming him after the actor would help him to develop into a happy, strong, loving soul able to survive anything, just like his namesake survived the rigors of Hollywood." And so it did, because Slim Pickens, who turns 11 on June 11, has grown into a beautiful cat, reflective of his pedigree.
"A few months after we adopted Slim," said Mike, "he walked across the bedroom dresser turning the clock-radio on in the process, just as the 9/11 tragedy was broadcasting. I will never forget that moment."
"Slim loves car rides and his favorite place is 'up front' on the dashboard surveying the road ahead," laughs Mike. "When we spend the night in a motel, the first thing that Slim does is to run into the bathroom to find 'his toy'! Mind you, this is not a toy brought from home. Slim loves the old fashioned rubber drain stopper and goes to town batting it around as if it is the most ingenious toy ever invented!"
During his teens, a kind mentor taught Mike how to play the guitar. He fell in love with the instrument and with how music transforms one's soul. He's played ever since, dedicating many hours of music both professionally and gratis, such as purr-forming for hospital patients. Now Mike is "paying it forward" with Josh, a second-year Lane Community College music student. Josh, who is autistic, was crowned Cottage Grove High School's Homecoming King in 2010. He is a member of the college's Symphonic Band and takes classes in jazz, percussion and piano.
"Josh was born to play the drums. At age four, he was already banging on boxes and my pots and pans," laughs his mother Arlene. "He's excelled in drum lessons, and last April played for the Special Olympic's award dinner. We are so proud of Josh! To see him on stage with his big smile, you'd never know he's autistic. It is a joy watching him fulfill his dream of playing professionally. Josh loves four things: people; drumming; performing; and movies. His new dream is to compose movie music."
"Mentoring Josh is rewarding," said Mike, "and a way for me to pay back the gift of music bestowed upon me by my mentor, which I enjoy to this day! Josh shares my passion for music. We are a great 'generational' mix; thus, the reason we named our band Generation-Mix." (Mike and Josh invite everyone to the Village Green Lounge, Sunday, June 10th from 6-8PM to hear them play their Pop-Rock selections). firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your cat/or dog need a bath that you have neither the time nor energy to give? Miracle microfiber cloth to the rescue! Just wet the cloth then rub over pets' fur, both against and along the grain. The cloth works like a velcro strip by lifting/attracting dirt and dander from their fur to itself. Great for use prior to the arrival of "pet allergic" visitors, too!
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