Desdemona died sometime in the night. Aunt Ada had had the cat since she was a tiny kitten, and she was naturally heartbroken. So was Boots, Desdemona’s partner in crime and play and food and everything else that makes life worthwhile for two old cats.

  Through her tears, Aunt Ada wondered if she could’ve noticed something or had done something differently that would have given Desdemona back to her for a while longer, but there just wasn’t anything. The cat had looked good at bedtime, and was gone before the sun came up.

  What if? Well, what if she’d done this or that? Would it have saved the cat? No, of course not.

  Even if your heart is breaking, you have to look at things logically. Cats get old and cats die. So do people. Aunt Ada Sandiford is old. Very old to some ways of thinking. But she still putters around the house and does her own shopping and cooking. She makes it to church every Sunday, too. Years ago she sang in the choir, but she stopped doing that when she discovered her voice had gotten old.

  So she called a good friend and asked her if she would look after Boots if she died before he did.

  There, that was something I could do. And she went quietly out in the back yard with the shovel and said goodbye to her old friend Desdemona.

  Sometimes there’s nothing left to say except I love you.

Brought to you by new book The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List. Look for it at LPDpress.com.



Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.


  Huntington Beach News

Huntington Beach News 18582 Beach Blvd. #236 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Ph. (657) 845-7475  Email: hbnews@hbquik.com