Thursday, September 15, 2011

"I AM NOT A PET PERSON"

 

I want to make one thing perfectly clear...I am NOT a pet person. How and why I ended up with as many
pets as I have is a long and winding journey into a world of  hair laden clothing, stains, smells and Vet. bills.
Don't get me wrong, every since I was a small girl we had pets. Mom was a farmers daughter and was well versed in raising pets, kids and vegetable gardens. She was the master of all things. Mom could crochet the finest lace, bend a piece of wire into the perfect Barbie hanger, quilt a blanket, make a prom dress, plant a garden then  preserve the harvest... she was the original ...
 I have tried to pattern my life like her's but I fail miserably at it. Mom's home was neat as a pin, and to find pet hair on our clothing was something unheard of. Pet's had their place and it was not in our rooms or on our beds... She was her own proclaimed Vet also, if an asprin  or some pepto bismol  didn't cure it,then she was also our undertaker...we had a pet grave yard in the back yard.

We grew up with rats, cats, dogs and chickens...still I did not consider myself as a pet lover. I could live without them and did happily for many years after I moved out on my own. Then I had kids....

When my son was 3 a cat came to him sat down and ate watermelon with him. I let her in and that night she gave birth to 5 kittens..OYE! And so it started, after Miss Priss, came Cinnamon a daschound. When we moved to PA we took Miss Priss, the kittens and Cinnamon with us, but our landlord would not let us have them so I had to find them homes. One night I heard a cat crying and went out. There was a kitten that had been tossed out of a passing cars window and had a broken hip, I brought her in and this is how Queen Genevieve came to live with us. I cared for her like a baby, carrying her around on a pillow . She healed but always walked funny after that. I hid this cat from the landlord not wanting to have to find her a home also. When we moved from Pennsylvania back to California, Gwen slipped out of the Uhaul somewhere in Utah, I had driven 100 miles when I discovered she was gone, I turned around and found her tied to a motorcycle at the gas station., I had a halter collar and leash on her. When I opened  the door the lead was always hooked on the stick shift to prevent this very accidental loss, but my son had been playing with her and had removed it and she slipped out past me when I got back in after refueling. So there she was waiting patiently tied to a Harley,  when  she saw me, she became very vocal about my abandonment of her, the motorcycle owner was not to pleased with me for losing her in the first place and then returning for her. He thought she was a cool cat and was going to take her home with him. Anyway, she made it the rest of the way back to L.A. Gwen stayed with us for 18 years dying an old lady as she slept, rolled up in a ball on the sofa. Just the way a Queen should.

I was raised with chihuahua's they have a special place in my heart and I have always scoured the local animal shelters for lost or discarded Chi's. On one such trip I discovered Smokey, it was her last day on earth. Something about this cat touched my heart and she came to live with us. Smokey lived with us until she was 19, she was in such pain and could not eat. She was the only one of my pets that I put to sleep.

Then we moved to Nebraska and through the years we acquired and placed many lost animals, too many to list. But somewhere along the way, I lost the I am not a pet person persona... I have to find it again, maybe it fell under the cushion on the sofa. I ruled the roost with an iron fist..no pets in the bedrooms, no pets on the furniture.  NO, NO, NO!... but my girl would sneak them in and soon my son was also.

My favorite pet of all time was my cat Zorro, he was a humane society rescue. He stole my heart and I will have to tell you about him .

When I got sick, my Zorro would sleep with me, and it was a comfort.Zorro is my forever friend. Who's story I will tell at another time.

Casia was our first permanent dog (her name means thorny) she got her name because she would tear the clothes off my daughter.
She is so smart, Casia is part Blue Healer, Pit Bull and American Bull Terrier. She has such a sweet temperment and changed my opinion of pit bulls. Casia has a heart problem now and won't be with us much longer. She is about 18 years old and it will be a sad day when she passes.
Sushi, Candi and Tinks(aka Tinkertoy) with Casia in the back.
In my search for a Chi dog I found Tinks, but my daughter and I would fight for her so I kept looking for a dog for just me, then I found Sugar (renamed Sushi) and Candi. These dogs were found at rescue agencies and folks I got to tell you they needed to be rescued from these places.I discovered that most rescue agencies are just glorified horders that can not take care of their charges any better then the person that they were taken from. Sushi's home ( North Dakota) smelled and had fece's ground into the carpet and yard. It was everywhere. She has been beaten and still more then 12 years later is very nervous when people raise their voices. Candi was a rescue from a shelter in Topeka, Kansas. This woman's home was so bad that she would not let me go there, I had to meet her at a gas station to see this dog. Candi was so overweight she hardly could waddle and she was covered with poop, head to toe poop. I could not let her go back. Candi had originally been a breeder and had been taken along with 199 other dogs from a place in Texas, hers was a hard life.She had no teeth, was fearful of feet and for the first 3 months I could not get her to go through a door unless I had passed through it and was well away from her.I put her on a diet and got her down to 5lbs. But discovered that she had a bad heart, she was devoted to me and if I had to leave the house she howled by the door until I came home.She was with me for 6 years and after a series of heart attacks My sweet Candi passed away. My dogs sit by my feet at all times they follow me around and lay down content to be near me. As Candi's illness wore on she had a harder time getting around and I carried her and placed her on a bed pillow at my feet where she would be happiest. On the day she died, she howled once and I picked her up she looked at me to say goodbye, howled again and died. 


The past year was hard for me I first lost my Zorro then Candi. When Zorro died I thought my heart would never heal.I still cry when I think about them, I miss them very much. This is the first time I have ever thought that maybe my I am not a pet person banner has been slipping. 
I did not want to replace Zorro in fact I wanted no more cats, no more new pets... but I cried constantly I missed him so much. Sometimes God knows better what a heart needs. One day I was driving to a doctors appointment when someone tossed a cat out of their window in front of me. I stopped opened my door and said kitty, kitty and this ran into my car :
I named him Paint because he looks like a Panther that got into some white paint.He healed my heart completely. He is the biggest, funniest, orneriest, silliest cat ever and I am glad he is my buddy. When he is tired he reminds me of a 2 year old ,he will cry until I pick him up and cuddle him a while then put him under some covers so he can take a nap. 
Because of how badly I mourned when Zorro died and because we knew Candi was going to die my husband and daughter got me Puck:  This is our yard sale Chihuahua
(they bought her at a yard sale) she is a cross-eyed mess of a dog that plays like a baby. Chihuahua's pick their owners, you don't pick them, this dog loves my husband and tolerates everyone else. She sleeps under the covers and adores Casia, I am not sure exactly how I feel about this addition, time will tell.

My daughter was volunteering at the local humane society shelter, I suspect it was to play with kittens. One day she drug home this cat: Xayniee is a weird one, she sort of has that Garfield attitude about her. When  Lauree moved I told her she had to take this thing with her and she did, however the cat and that apartment don't mix for some reason and Xayniee pee'd all over the place so she was brought home. She hates dogs expressly Puck and refused to have anything to do with any of us for a while. She has adjusted but as soon as my daughter and her husband gets their own apartment they are taking her again.
Then my daughter brought this home... 
she found her in a parking lot it was a rainy wet day and she was wet and scrawny and reaching to me to be held but I hollered NO! GET THAT CAT OUT OF HERE!.. so my girl took her to our Vet to see if he would find her a home. I thought my Mr. had my back on this one since his battle cry has been NO MORE PETS for the last 10 years. So it was a shock when I head a quiet voice, almost a whisper... I kind of like that cat. I hurried up and called the Vet's office and instructed them to check her out and if everything was okay to have our daughter bring her home. As it ends up our Vet knew this cat he had adopted her out in the first place. She had already been fixed and was in fine health. Rick named her Mysti,this cat is my husbands best friend she rides on his shoulder draped around his neck. She sleeps on him and is always in his shadow.


My son also has a cat, Elise. When he came home from serving with the Marine Corps, he had a lot of adjusting to do to get back in the civilian world.Brandon's heart was hurting and he needed someone that would not question him. We ran into a family with a pen of kittens at the park and he started to play with them.

They had named this kitten Kitler because she had a mustache that looked like Hitlers . She nestled down into his arms and rested while the others were anxious to get away and back to playing with their brothers and sisters. I told my son this was the one, that was 5 years ago and Elise is his forever friend. She waits by the door when she hears his keys and sits on the top of his chair by his head when he watches television. When Brandon says it's bed time she is the first on the bed snuggled down into her bed which is with in touching distance of his sleeping body. When everyone else frustrates my son to the point of no reason, Elise's soft quiet forever love can bring a smile to his face and that's all that can be said about it.

Animals can heal hurts that people can not see. They have the ability to love when others walk away.
No, I am not a pet person but I am a devoted lover of my friends. They have seen me through the darkest days of my life and illness and have captured me completely.

3 comments:

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rea said...

I love my kitty, Xaynee. She likes to follow me around where ever it is that I go. And if I sneeze she comes running to chitter and scold me.
And Paint, when he first came home he used to sleep with me in my room. Until one night I dreamt that I was being eaten by sharks. Then woke up to him under the covers nibbling on my legs.

HE'S SO BIG, my husband likes to say "That's no housecat, it's merely a small, tamed mountain lion."

Kim said...

I know your cat misses you Lauree and will be much happier when you have her with you. I am glad you said something about the nipping part with paint. I forgot to mention he nibbles hahaha