EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Friday, May 1, 2009

Buckwheat shreds homework and pounces on keyboard

 On November 7, 2009, at the age of 20 years and two months exactly, my beloved cat Buckwheat died, having been my buddy for more than 20 years. I thank all those who sent  me such kind messages when they heard the news.  I reposted  this article that I had written earlier to my "good boy" and "pretty cat" who is now playing near the Rainbow Bridge. In 2009, this story was number one, and amazingly, it has stayed in the top ten throughout 2010...  michael

Suddenly Buckwheat reached into the pile of English essays, grabbed one with his teeth, and before I knew it, had torn it into shreds. No kidding. Now I had taught school for a long time, and had heard every reason in the book about why an assignment was late. But, how does a teacher explain to a student, "Sorry, but my cat shredded your homework."

On another occasion, Buckwheat gently picked up a student paper and brought it to me. I later learned this student was a cat lover and had sprinkled a little cat nip on her paper. That alone made it worth an A!

Both incidents occurred during my first year at College of the Rockies 20 years ago, and Buckwheat was just a kitten, arriving in my life very shortly after I arrived in Cranbrook, British Columbia. He's having his afternoon nap as I write, and obviously isn't as frisky now, but we still try to go for regular walks in the courtyard where he is considered Sir Buckwheat of Woodland Court.

Some of the children have told me, "I know you. You are the old man with the old cat," and I nod and agree. I guess we are conversation pieces and that's just fine because Buckwheat has been one all his life. I've been the subject of a few conversations too so not much new there, except we are both older!

In fact one student went so far on an instructor evaluation form to note: "All he did in this course was talk about his cat." Imagine, according to this student, I spent 45 hours talking only about my cat. With all respect, I don't think so. Hockey maybe as some may say about my time at Chapleau High School, but not Buckwheat, although I am guilty in part.

But for the most part, students were animal lovers and would share stories about their cats, dogs and yes, out here, horses and other animals. I have been retired a few years now and when I meet former students, many still ask about Buckwheat.

Buckwheat has always become annoyed when I read, mark papers, talk on the phone or type. In fact years ago, he destroyed my last electric typewriter by pouncing on the keyboard. However, we are making progress after all these years. He is not showing too much annoyance now when I talk with my best buddy on the phone. At one time he would have made it a nightmare!

My friend Melanie reminded me that Buckwheat comes to get me every night when he thinks it is time for me to go to bed. He's done that every day of his life, and waits until I turn off the TV or computer, and follow him to the bedroom. Once I am settled down, off he goes to do his thing!

Why am I bothering to tell you about Buckwheat? Well the other day I was chatting with a friend on IM and she said, "I can tell you really love your cat." I was taken aback for a moment, but I replied, "Yes, I do" and have enjoyed his friendship all these years despite the fact that he can be so damn independent and is really the one who runs our home.

I would love to have you share pet stories or offer comments. I promise I will read them all to Buckwheat and won't let him destroy them!

Email me at mj.morris@live.ca

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kyle and Joanne contribute to popular Chapleau nicknames

NOTE: Kyle Cachagee and Joanne (Burns) Gionet are the latest to send along more nicknames from Chapleau. Keep them coming as they bring back fond memories not only of the people mentioned but of life in Chapleau. And yes, to the person who wrote to tell me that "Yes, you did politics in Chapleau, but it was really you did hockey," I will share some memories soon. And I also did drama at Chapleau High School with some incredibly talented students and I will share some of those experiences too. Thanks Kyle and Joanne!

Boxcar- my late grandfather Tony Cachagee. His name was Charles Douglas but we all called him Tony and not sure why. I guess he had a couple of nicknames.

Kitty or Nanny is what we have always called my grandmother Kathleen Cachagee who lives in long term care at the hospital.

I worked with Chicken Corston for several years at the MNR as a teenager in Chapleau and didn't know why everyone called Henry 'Chicken'. I believed it was revealed in his obit in the Chapleau paper. Since his name was HENry and a hen is a chicken....hence his nickname.

Fireman-Jean Longtin was a long time watchman at Martel Lumber I believe. Everyone knew him since he wore his red hard plastic fireman hat while walking around town. He even had a chair he kept on the new walking bridge he would rest on while walking to and from downtown.

Pit- Anne Elizabeth Michaud if my memory serves me correct. Everyone knows Pit from her minnows. Speaking of minnows we can't forget 'Toy' (Nellie) McCauley (Gregson). A few others who I don't even know their real names include Dink Edwards, Pepsi and Fleagel (sp?).

More recently there's Bucko (Terry) Laframboise, Hammy (Dave) Hamilton

There was also nicknames for places around Chapleau. Down on the point, the forestry or Lands and Forests was the MNR. Loon lake was Borden Lake where our camp is.

There is Dr. Young's hill, Michael Levesque's trail also sometimes called Carl Nyman's trail, The Carl Nyman Forest is a small plantation of pine trees planted at the MNR behind his former wood shop.

SEE EARLIER POST http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2009/04/fascinating-nicknames-abounded-in.html


Mom was just telling me, five minutes ago that their mother use to be called "La Butt" because she smoked and would use a pin to hold the end of the butt so that she wouldn't waste any. Isn't that a hoot!

Mom said that Froggy's name was Eugene, for sure and Mick was Edgar she thinks. She doesn't seem to think that Willie was much of a nickname...that his name was likely Wilfred but not at all certain of it. (Fortin family)

And of course Joanne reminded us of Gerry (BEANIE) Gionet and advised that at times when she referred to him as Gerry, people asked who she meant!!!

Fee free to comment and email me at mj.morris@live.ca

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE