Sam’s two biggest talents in life are smelling tacos through the window and cats through the window. He’s an equal fan of dining on either, though he prefers his salsa on the mild side, thank you. And hold the guacamole.

Coons are a tertiary speciality.

My pet raccoon growing up was named Clawdeen. Even at the age of 8, when the still nursing little thing came into our lives, I must have been a bit fey. My mother asked me, “Why Clawdeen?” I said, “Because she has sharp claws. Duh!”

OK, never mind. That wasn’t fey. It was just me being a dumb 8 year old.

She became my partner in crime, though, chasing my little sister around the house just to hear her scream, never quite catching her. We bonded over that.

Which is why I’ve decided not to eat any more coons. My sister could use a good chasing, even though she isn’t 4 anymore.

Sam is barking at rabbits at the moment, which is embarrassing. I’ve tried to explain to him that the other bird dogs would mock him if they knew. But then he just pants at me accusingly, as if to ask, “So how come we aren’t out chasing pheasants, pal? Huh?”

Having no answer, I close my mouth and crack a beer.

He’d drink some of it, if I let him.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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