The Red-Headed Strangers


When a friend found four abandoned flea-ridden, hungry and thirsty kittens 'mewing' in the dumpster of her apartment complex, she called and asked if I would consider adopting a couple of them.

At the time, I shared an old duplex on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas with a roommate and nursing colleague, Susan.

Convincing her of adding furry friends to the household would normally have been problematic except, I recalled witnessing a petrified, ashen-faced Susan standing on a kitchen chair, screaming bloody murder at the sight of a mouse recently.

This would be a done deal.

Cats are easy. I’ve always liked them and knew that they wouldn’t cramp my style (much). There’s a well-known attitude that differentiates dogs from cats…

Dog: “My people feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me... They must be Gods!”
Cat:  “My people feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me... I must be a God.”

Our new kittens “Waylon” and “Willie” were aptly named during my ‘Country Music” phase. It was 1984 and boot scootin’ (aka C&W dancing) was all the rage. Weekend evenings were spent in cowboy boots and Gloria Vanderbilt designer jeans, with big Texas hair, dancing at “Cowboys”, “Diamond Jim’s” and/or “No Whar But Texas”.

I had always thought that Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had dubbed themselves “The Red Headed Strangers” but recently learned that they actually were "The Honky-Tonk Cowboys" - whatever. "The Red Headed Strangers" were a nice fit for our boys.

It didn’t take long before both Susan and I fell in love with Waylon and Willie. Their personalities were soon clearly defined. Willie was gentler, cuddlier and sweeter than the more aloof, curious and ‘in-your-face’ Waylon. Characteristics that probably got Waylon into trouble in the first place...Red-Headed Strangers: Part 2

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