By the time I started third grade I had moved into the split-level house on Gothard Rd. This time around it wasn't just my family of six that moved in. My paternal grandmother, Mom Mom to all of us kids, and my great aunt moved in with us. Mom Mom had recently suffered a stroke. Finding a place that provided a space for the two of them was important so we found a new rental property about 5 miles from the house on Othoridge.
The neighborhood was full of kids and although it wasn't easy making friends at first, eventually we all got used to each other and learned how to have fun together. In the summertime we had epic games of kick the can in the Cul-de-sac to the left of our property.
The Vietnam War was the lead news story of the day. Pictures of soldiers and war covered the pages of The Baltimore Sun and the now defunct, News American. At the age of 8 I didn't really understand what was going on over there but I do remember wondering who was winning on regularly.
My grandmother and great aunt weren't the only additions to household on Gothard Rd. After years of asking, begging and pleading I got my first pet. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Carey, was quite the saleswoman. We arrived at school one day and found kittens running all over the classroom. Lucky for us they were all in need of homes! To this day I can't be sure what it was that convinced my mom to say yes, but the next thing I knew I was coming home with my very own gray cat. Deciding on a name was tough. I was still an Orioles fan so of course Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell were in the running for some time. Eventually I settled on the name of my favorite cat food spokesperson of the day and named my new kitten Morris.
Did I mention that my mother specified the cat had to be a boy? She was not about to deal with any cat that was going to sneak into some closet and have a bunch of kittens.
Oops...Morris turned out to be a girl. Not only did she sneak into the closet and have kittens (twice), the closet she decided to sneak into was the one that stored my mother's clothes and shoes.
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