Thursday, January 13, 2011

"It's Raining Cats and Dogs"


One of my all time favourite pictures from my childhood is this one of big brother, Ronald and me. I think the reason I like it so much is because we both look like we are having a ball. It was raining. We were trying to get under the table to stay dry when Mom decided to take our picture.
The table was on the west side of the wash house. Apparently it was used to hold the separator parts after they had been washed. I can also make out all the "Johnnie Jump Ups" surrounding us. Mom always loved the little purple, yellow and white 'faces' of those perennial Violas.

I most likely first heard the expression, "It's raining cats and dogs" at a very young age - young enough that I may have looked to see if animals really were falling from the sky. But I quickly learned that it just meant it was raining hard. I know many family members used the old saying, but for some reason, I associate it with Grandma Bessie Lynam.

The Internet is invaluable to me. I'm always looking up things, including the meaning behind this title saying. It is fascinating how many explanations there are. Phrases.org.uk not only gives what I consider the most plausible, it also debunks some of the other derivations.

Two things are for certain: One, I heard "It's raining cats and dogs" many, many times as a child; and two, there were lots of cats and dogs in our young lives.



Left to right, Ronald holding Trixie, Betty holding Old Slug and I am holding one of Slug's puppies. (Taken on front porch around 1955.)

This photo is dated simply "1946". It was warm enough we were barefoot. Betty was old enough to be sitting up by herself. And I don't have a clue what the dog's name was.


Ronald looks about three years old, here. Did he have a dog named Spot? It seems a likely name for this puppy with one black eye. Or perhaps he was named "Pete(y)" after the dog in The Little Rascals.



And just to prove we also had cats, here is little brother, Leslie, with a wagon load of them. We had so many barn cats. Every spring it was a big adventure to try and find where the mother cats had hidden their nests of kittens. We would climb up into the haymow and listen to see if we could hear them mewing and then dig them out if we could.
Sometimes we had to wait until they were old enough for the mothers to bring them to drink out of the milk pans we filled for them at milking time. It always took awhile to tame them when they were older. Our hands and arms would be lined with little kitten scratches.




And the final measure of this blog is this old picture of Ruth Ridnour (Mom) with a dog named 'Major'. She always loved her dogs.





1 comment:

  1. Ramona~
    I discovered your blog today thru a link to a link to a link on a series of blogs before I landed on your blog. And I love your blog! Your photos of your brother & your pets are wonderful. My photos from my youth with my brother are black & white too. Thank you for your book recommendations. The book about Mr. Lipton intrigues me. Your blog has a welcome tone to it and the colors are soft. I like that. Thank you for allowing me to visit. ~ Amy in Nevada

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