Pet Parables

While my husband and I visited with another married couple, we concluded that we have pet tales galore. As we are fairly recently married (them and us) and we are taking our time in starting a family, our dogs become the center of attention, which parents around us don’t seem to find interesting or important in light of their children’s stories.

Pets, however, have long taken part in people’s lives, guided, loved and inspired the human kind. I just discovered that the musical “Cats” was based on the T.S. Eliot’s collection “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” The author wrote the poems provoked by his cat Jellylorum, who is also a character in the stage performance.

Another beloved writer of mine, Charles Dickens, apparently owned a pet raven named Grip. He included the bird as a character in “Barnaby Rudge” and some say Edgar Allan Poe based “The Raven” on Dickens’ pet.

Grip, the raven, mounted after his death in 1841. (Courtesy of

I can only hope that one day when we have children, we will never forget what large role pets play in people’s lives and will respect that.


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