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Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Mewsings

I have, over the years, been 'host' to a variety of cats and kittens.  They were the allowed (or not) pet in most of the apartments in which I've lived.  When I first moved to the country, in my previous life, I brought my two cats with me -- Tippet and Woody.  Both were Brooklyn City Cats.  Of course, they were glued to the windows and doors and wanted OUT.  I resisted.  Then, under duress, I let Tippet out one day.  She immediately headed down the driveway and took a right turn into the middle of the road!  Luckily for us both, the next car that came around the bend was driven by a kind-hearted person - who slowed to a crawl behind Miss Puffy Pants.  I shouted at the driver to honk her horn, and Tippet shot up the hill (thankfully, in the right direction) where I soon corralled her.  We tried one more time with a figure-8 harness and leash.  I put her on the deck and she took one step...and dropped to her side like she'd been shot.  She wouldn't budge.  It was obvious to her that these leather objects were objects of torture.  Tippet chafed at any of my efforts to control her.

People often dropped off stray cats there.  Apparently, they thought they'd be releasing them into the wild - as if that was a good, natural thing to do.  Oh, don't get me started!  Over the years, I have had more than 18 cats spayed and neutered! 

We never had cats growing up.  My mother didn't and doesn't like them.  I was desperate for a pet.  She allowed fish, so I had a tank of guppies that I loved - until the females had babies and they were eaten by their parents.  I didn't sleep for days from the trauma of it and still carry the psychological scars.  I also had a field mouse in a shoe box under my bed for a while.  This would be the period where I kept my room spotless, so that my mother wouldn't feel inclined to clean it for me and discover the contraband pet.  I was so delighted when I opened the box one day and found a whole row of tiny pink babies!  Some days later, I was not so delighted when I pulled it out from under the bed and found...nothing.  I was on edge for weeks - seeing mice out of the corner of my eye at every turn!  Then I had Peeper, my chick.  But she had to go live on a farm after she acquired pin feathers.

When I was around 8 I rescued a wild bunny  - I had found it lying in the snow with a big gash on it's hind leg.  After running into the house and grabbing one of the good guest towels, I ran out and wrapped it up and brought it inside.  I wore my parents down with my weeping and moaning, so my uncle (the Vet) was called.  He came with his black bag, cleaned around the wound and then put iodine on it.  The last we saw of that rabbit was his little white cottontail madly zigzagging around the house, with adults and children in flat-out pursuit.  My dad finally opened the door and out it went.  I was inconsolable.  Falling to the floor, weeping copious tears.  Appealing to whatever forces there were out there to help a poor, pet-less little girl, to just end my misery.  Have I mentioned that I was very melodramatic as a child?

A dachshund puppy entered soon afterward.  We were so thrilled!  Dachshunds are infamous for being difficult, but this particular wienie dog met her match with my mother.  (Probably because they were both from German backgrounds.)  However, she had the rest of us wrapped around her little paw for years.

My mother always told me (in her most exasperated tone - using ALL of my proper name) that some day I would have a child just like me and it would serve me right.  What a scary thought!

15 comments:

  1. I now have greater insight into your farming logic...

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  2. I'm still laughing at the guppy parents eating the babies, but I can understand it could have been traumatic for a little kid! Totally enjoyed the post :-)

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  3. It is tough to have this animal loving gene isn't it. Your pet mouse family cracked me up. But you left out a huge part. How did you get your mother to go from guppies to a wiener dog? What was the magic trick?

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  4. Melanie - IF you could call it logic.

    Dr Momi - It's a cruel world out there...someone should have warned me!

    Jane - It IS a burden, isn't it? Much pouting, temper tantrums and stamping of little feet. Weeping and wailing helped, too. Loved that weiner dog.

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  5. What IS it with those cat harnesses?? We had the exact thing happen to TWO of our cats when we put them on. Harness on, cat flops over on it's side. At one point we'd just drag the cat along the kitchen floor. And he didn't seem to mind! The other cat, however, did NOT enjoy it as much.

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  6. CR - I think that cats totally hate being controlled. I would have dragged Tippet, but I was afraid that she'd be full of splinters and hate me if I dragged her across the deck.

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  7. I truly do NOT believe you weren't an adored child with a wonderful upbringing, but can you imagine what you would have been like if you had been raised on a farm where you could have raised all sorts of animals and been involved with 4-H?? Loved, loved, loved this post. Keep 'em coming.

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  8. LOL, I can identify exactly. I miss my weenie dog somethin terrible. Lost her a year ago, cancer. It seems I git attacked to any animal than people. Thanks for sharing your story. We're more alike than I magined.

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  9. I meant "attached". I best read before submit ;-0

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  10. When I first worked at a vet hospital back in the dark ages when female spays wore belly bands after surgery and stayed overnight, it was a source of endless amusement that the cats would not use the portion of their bodies beyond the belly band, dragging themselves around the cage as if they had a spinal injury till it was removed. We used to tie kerchiefs around kittens when my kids were small and laugh uproariously, though they weren't allowed to apply them themselves. Must mimic some sort of neural deficit.

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  11. Mama Pea - I am sure I was the reason that my parents stopped at 3 children - they had planned on 5. But, in my defense, life was never dull in our house!

    Nancy - They just get right under your skin and next to your heart, don't they?

    Kay - You know, I am tempted to kerchief Slimmie - but he'd never forgive me.

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  12. "My mother always told me (in her most exasperated tone - using ALL of my proper name) that some day I would have a child just like me and it would serve me right."

    Wait a minute...did we have the SAME mother?!? What a great post, thanks for the laugh!!

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  13. My mom used to say the same thing to me which is probably why I don't take her threats too seriously, ha!

    I would say your determination to have many pets has paid off. But mice under the bed???? Oh no thanks :o)

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  14. Hi Susan, what a great post! Just found you today via Candy C and scooting through landed on this which caught my eye on a particularly traumatic day. My Betty (namesake & pictured top right at BettyWestern) underwent emergency surgery this morning for bladder stones, ouchee! You KNOW they are right under your skin when you not only let them sleep on the bed but when you awake at 5am to find 12 little (and not so little) stains on the duvet, your very first emotion is desperation that she may be in dreadful pain, and you pray it's nothing terminal.

    I have many a cat/pet tale to tell and you may have been the inspiration I've needed to tell a few on the blog - something I am long overdue on.

    You are now firmly fixed up there on the favourites bar - thanks for the good read.

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  15. Betty - Welcome! Ooh, that sounds painful and frightening (for you both)! I love that Betty is a black cat - I am partial to black, white and variations of same. My Tippet was a white and tabby stripe. She was a small, fidgety, picky, crabby thing - and I sure did/do love her. Miss her every day, along with her brother, Woody. They sure do get under your skin.

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