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!