Hello, AL!

When we moved last year, a scrawny orange tabby held court on the front porch while we got settled. The kids insisted we feed him. I checked with our new neighbors, the former resident of the house and the online neighborhood community to see if anyone was hunting for the friendly house cat. No takers. When my husband scooped up the cat for a vet visit, an implanted identification chip revealed an owner’s contact information and after some formalities, we spoke to a confused elderly woman who once gifted the cat to her daughter. The daughter had since moved to Colorado and had told her cat-loving mom that the cat had perished before the move. We’re not sure exactly what path the tabby took to our porch, but it was clear after a few months that this 11-year-old cat wasn’t budging. My daughter named him Tanqueray in honor of what she thinks is a classic and classy spirit. Now Tanque (“Tank,” but fancier) stands sentry by the food dish, a good 10 pounds heavier than his days on the street.

Like most pets do, Tanque tip-toed into our hearts and will forever be a Collins.

In this April issue, we give kids and pets some love. Not nearly as much as they deserve!

Enjoy these stories and photos, and don’t forget to play a prank on the kid(s) in your life on April Fools Day!

SCollins@LifestylePubs.com