1.13.2009

Pets

Kristen at No Small Thing tagged me for a pets meme...and it's my first meme :).

1. What is the first pet you remember?
Muffin. A black and white cat. We got him when I was little and had him until I was in grade school. He got stuck in a tree, picked a fight one night, and ended up with only 1 eye. A few years later, Dad took him to a 'farm' to live on and to this day, I must say, I still cling to the thought that he really did go to the farm. It wasn't until after teaching for a couple of years that I ever even learned what parents are really doing when they take the family pet to the farm....

2. How many different kinds of pets have you owned?
Muffin. a black and white cat.

Buddy. A hamster, who died mere days after the arrival of the next cat, Mittens. Coincidence?

Hobbes. A black and white cat who lived at Dad's. He was my weekend cat. We took long naps and played with string together. Then he freaked. We still don't know what happened. He put 4 holes in my Dad's wrist with his teeth and was NEVER the same. I know what happened to him, and it was for the best.

Mittens. An orange cat. My first pet that I actually wanted, pleaded for, begged for. She was the runt of a litter, and is stil alive today. Although she was the one thing I was not allowed to remove from the house when I went to college. Though she is diabetic and gets insulin shots twice a day, she leads a FAT, happy life at Mom's.

Pumpkin. A tortoise shell cat with orange sploches throughout. She was a gift from me to The Man around Halloween in 1998. A truly unique animal. One of the most outwardly giving creatures I've ever met - she truly lived to love her humans. More on her later.

Max. A GIANT tabby cat. He tops the scale at 23 lbs. And he's not fat. He is so sweet and thinks any set of hands are there to pet him and any available lap is for him to sit on. Oh, and make sure his food bowl is full. At. All. Times.

Kali. My FIRST puppy! She's a mostly black Shar-Pei Dalmation mix. Not a 'real' designer breed, but we like to think she was designed especially for us and call her our 'Sharmation'. If you ask The Man, I stole his dog. He was the one who wanted a dog, wanted a Shar Pei. I was the one who saw the article in the paper, called, and made the arrangements to go and get a MALE dog. We arrived, and there in the cage were 2 tiny little puppies. 1 brown. 1 black. 1 with very short, coarse fur. 1 with fuzzy fur. 1 boy. 1 girl. Before asking about gender, I fell in love with the black, fuzzy one, I picked it up, fell in love with the dark brown eyes and was then told, that's the girl. It was too late. She had peed on me, marked me, and I had fallen in love. I looked at The Man and said "but, I want this one." From that very moment, she was mine. I was always a cat person....until Kali.

Finally, Mice. Lots of them. See Nightmare Pet below.

3. What was your strangest pet?
No strange ones for me - unless you count the dead frog I didn't know Kali was playing with in the back yard until I asked her to 'drop it' into my hand....

4. What is your dream pet?
I wouldn't trade Kali for ANYTHING. She was my first dog, and with first dogs come mistakes. Mostly in socialization. She is my dog, has no desire to be friends with anyone who isn't a permanent frequent fixture, and really wants to eat hates dislikes little dogs. My dream pet would be all of Kali's good points (smart, clean, EASY to house train, loving, loyal, and fun) without some of her bad (territorial, Alpha, and nervously reactive). Her bad that I take FULL credit for creating :(.

5. What is your nightmare pet?
Ah, the Mice. Sadly, I have lived the nightmare pet. In my defense, I did not know I was a pet parent of a family of mice or I would've just let them be. You see, they had taken up residence in the garage. Where I had unknowingly and stupidly provided them with a food source - Kali's food. One evening about 11:30 pm, I decided to fill up Kali's in the kitchen food container. Went to the garage. Picked up the bag of food. Started to pour food into container. And out came 5, F-I-V-E, mice. I leapt, seriously, leapt onto my breakfast bar and SCREAMED! The Man was 2 1/2 hours away, and I was TRAPPED. To make a long story short. Pumpkin ate a mouse. Max ate a mouse. Kali chased mice. I ran out the door and spent the night with a friend. The next morning, the Pest Control Men came and rid my home of all things rodent. I don't keep dog food in the garage anymore...

6. Your best/funniest pet story...
Oh, this is hard.
To avoid retelling one very good pet story, read Kristen's over at No Small Thing about her dog Coco, change the team to Mountaineers and the dog to Kali (oh yea, and erase the 'before kids' part, we're still childless :)). She just did it this weekend as we were getting readyd to go to Florida.
Now for my own story:
Kali loves to be outside. She loves hot days, cold days, and especially snowy days. The one thing she does not like is rainy days. While she'd NEVER turn down a walk, going out to use the bathroom on a rainy day created a challenge. She knew she had to go. She knew not to go in the house. But it was raining. At every door. Yep, she'd scratch at the basement door. I'd let her out. Rain. She'd turn right around and come back in. Then we'd go to the deck door. Rain. Right back in. Then we'd try the front door. Rain. Back inside. Then she'd huf and pace for a little while and try the cycle again. Even closing the door on her only resulted in pushing herself against it as small as she could get. She'd do this for hours. Poor girl. Eventually, when I can only imagine she was ready to explode, she'd go out, go quickly, and come right back in. Now we have an apartment. Only one door. She still won't go out in the rain.

7. Tell your worst/saddest pet story...
So recent. So raw. The hardest thing I've ever had to do. The right thing to do. Releasing her pain. Wanting her to be better. Knowing she was better. Knowing she was gone. Wanting her back. 8/13/08. Pumpkin.

8. Did you ever have a scary animal experience?
Max does not travel well. Max does not like change of ANY kind. Max is a bit OCD (and I mean that truthfully). We had just sold our house and everything was out. I TRIED to get Max to drink milk with dramamine in it. He KNEW. He wouldn't. He had to stay awake. 15 minutes into the drive, he had what I know was a seizure. It was not even a month since Pumpkin. He could NOT die too! We were 20 minutes from the nearest vet in either direction. I BEGGED him, WILLED him, PLEADED with him, DO. NOT. DIE. Somehow, through the Grace of God, he snapped out of it. He made eye contact with me. He settled down. He made it!

9. What was your favorite pet?
I was ALWAYS a cat person. Never thought I'd own a dog. Ever. Then Kali came along. There is just something about her....

10. What did you really want to tell us about pets that didn't fit into the other questions?
While there's just something about Kali - maybe it's that she's my first puppy, maybe it's that I was a dog person hidden in a cat person's body, or maybe it's just that I didn't know what I was missing - our Pumpkin was an amazing animal. The Man and I have tried to put into words what it was about her. I believe animals are put here on this earth to teach us things about life, about ourselves. Pumpkin's purpose was to love and to teach love. And she fulfilled it better than any other animal I've ever met. She connected with us and we with her. Somehow it just doesn't seem she got all 9 lives. She is the reason, I'll never have another cat. It could never live up to her.

I'm supposed to tag 4 people for their own Pet memes. I'm new to the blogging world, so I've got 3 for you....

Mommy's Time Out

Have you Been Outside Lately

A Spring of Joy

1 comment:

  1. Love the mouse story. Shivers.

    And I completely understand how you feel about Pumpkin. Completely. I feel the same about Coco. He was our "first." I believe he taught us how to parent. He taught us that life changes when you have someone to care for.

    I know it hasn't been long since pumpkin left this world...wishing your heart comfort.

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