Your Memoirs – “It Started with a Cat”

Well, he was a kitten actually and my brother had given him to me as a birthday gift. Just after the New Year celebrations were over in 1970 I took a trip to the animal hospital to see about having him neutered. When I was called in to the consultation room I was surprised to find myself speaking to a young and somewhat handsome veterinarian with a lovely Scottish accent. He examined the cat while I examined him. He then handed him back to me saying “For heaven’s sake, this little fellow is just a baby. Take him home and bring him back when he has something large enough to remove.”

I was annoyed and embarrassed but thanked him and returned to reception where I had agreed to wait for my roommate to collect me. As I sat there feeling pretty stupid with my kitten in my arms the animal doctor (as we called them in Canada) poked his head around the door and said, “I’m going into town. Anyone need a lift?” Being the only person in the room, I put my nose in the air and replied, “No thank you. I’m waiting for my friend to come for me.” Then I turned and stared out the window. 

We began dating in April when he invited me to the annual Horseman’s Ball which was more like rodeo dances I used to attend in my teenage years on the prairies. He warned me that he had always planned to carry on seeing more of the world. In January 1971 he left Vancouver Island for New Zealand and Australia. He asked me to go with him but I declined. The understanding we came to was pretty casual; if he came back and if I was still available we would get married. He did, I was and within seven weeks of his return we married and were on our way to Scotland. 

I’ve now lived in this country longer than I lived in the country of my birth. And do I regret it? Not a bit.

Submitted by Lynn Otty, 75, Dumfries

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