A Goots Story

Taken from the files of Cactus Comments, a daily radio commentary aired over KLBJ-AM by Catus Pryor

She adopted us 16 years ago. She jumped into my daughter's car at a convenience store in San Marcos. She was obviously abandoned, malnutritioned, abused, and very pregnant. My daughter brought her to a new home in Austin and called her Goots.

Not much bigger than a good-sized cat, Goots appeared a mixture of coyote, fox terrier, and Siamese. She turned out to be a four-legged Pryor.

Like all of us, togetherness was important to her. She would not tolerate being left alone. So, when my daughter would leave her in her apartment when going to work, Goots would voice her resentment at not being included by reducing the apartment to shambles.

This behavior got her a dog house - out on the balcony! The balcony was 30 feet off the ground...the ground covered in jagged rocks...Small obstacle.

Goots would jump...or sail...or levitate off that balcony and somehow survive the thump. She would then travel two miles, twice crossing one of Austin's busiest thoroughfares to come to my home where there were family members who would not abandon her...just to go to work.

After many such statements, my daughter got the message. Goots did not want to be left alone. Reluctantly, she surrendered and the dog-person became a permanent member of the old home place.

However, family members who lived elsewhere would borrow Goots when they wanted good company. My eldest son took her with him when he went horseback riding in the hill country, a good ten miles from Goots' home. She encountered an especially fast rabbit. The two of them disappeared into the brush and two hours later she had not reappeared.

she was gone. Three days later, our Goots returned home...covered with ticks, beggar lice, and a chagrined grin on her fox-like face. Canine radar...or telepathy?

Goots is a mystic. She knows when you need comforting, and she comes with her big, brown, soulful, deer eyes full of compassion. My sister, who lives two blocks away, keeps her when we are gone. But strangely, Goots leaves her house for mine a few minutes before we return, even if we have been away for weeks. Mystic.

She is also a disposal. There has never been a morsel of food reach our floor near the table. She will eat dog food, but she much prefers people food. Angel food cake is her favorite.

So when she recently refused any food, we knew she was ill...very ill. The sparkle had vanished from her deer eyes - the sad eyes now, pained eyes. Walking had become difficult for her. She would lean against the wall as if to balance herself. She wouldn't even take water.

Then, her least favorite trip.. to the vet. "She's old...she's obviously very, very sick. Kidney function poor...probably an intestinal obstruction. She's too old and too weak for surgery. We can give her an IV...but actually..." We knew what he was saying. It was time for Goots to go.

"Well, Doc, I think we'll just take her home and just give her lots of tender loving care and let her finish up where she loves to be... with us."

So Goots came home again. She was held and petted and hugged almost constantly by the family she had chosen as hers. Every morning the first one up raced to her basket to see if..."Yes, she's still breathing." Days...no food.

And then one morning when I came into the kitchen, there was Goots at her food dish. Almost licking her chops. Her eyes were sparkling. Her tail wagging. You can no longer get into the car without her and even the neighborhood cats are once again in joyful jeopardy. Goots was loved back to life. We know that. So does Goots. She told us so.

Return to
Culture Cafe