I read Elsie's post yesterday, 03/15/2011, "53 Years of Pets," and she reminded me of all our pets. Four dogs and one cat made our lives meaningful. Having dogs was a no-brainer. I had a small dog Ginger as a child. After being married, getting a dog was quite natural, especially when you're pregnant and have that nesting sensation. Our first dog was Dynah, the dalmatian. We had her until my youngest of 3 boys was in grade school. Dynah was a skittish sort, afraid of thunder and fire crackers and lived 12 years.
Next came Tootsie, a brown and tan coon hound who could clean the kitchen floor of every crumb that fell. I think we had her for 7-8 years. The last dog we had was Amber, a blond lab who was a very dear dog to us all.
Our children's grandfather gave us a kitten the last year he was alive. It was a surprise gift, and we couldn't refuse it. This cat was supposedly the nicest kitten of the barn litter. Into the shoe box he went and home with the grown puppy Amber. We never had a cat before and wasn't sure how Fuz, the kitten, would get along with Amber. The first thing we learned was when you look for a kitten, you don't necessarily look under and around, but up! There he was on top of the curtain rod. Amber and Fuz hit it off. Sometimes they would even lie by one another.
I realized cats definitely have an attitude. We had so many names for him--Cat, Fuzzy, Little Lord Faunt Le Roi, Leroy, and other unmentionables, just like the cat poem of T.S. Eliot's The Naming of Cats.
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
Fuz wasn't a lap cat until he was older and because our son got married, we left him alone for 3 days. Next thing we knew, Fuz wanted to be on my lap every night.
All my kids had left by now for a marriage, college, or a job. Amber had to be put down because she could no longer could manage to get up and down. That left Fuz. Because Fuz was raised along side of Amber, he basically acted like a dog--went out in our yard only and came back when we called. He was long-haired, and we took him to the vet to get a shave and a shower 2 times during the summer--he loved it. He would prance around when he got home. Fuz lasted another 2 years after Amber. We had to put him down because of cancer.
For some reason, I still think I hear or see Fuz creep around. Is this because I miss my pets--I sorely do. Sometimes I still yell out when I get home, "I'm home!" Is that call for them or my own longing?
Will I get another pet? I don't think so. They're a great responsibility, and now I can enjoy my sons' dogs on the weekends!