Last night I was with some friends, all of whom do not have children (yet), and the night before that I was with some other friends, one of whose children are grown and out of the house. The conversation moved to pets, and the change of lifestyle and status the pets enjoy after kids.
Before kids, we had pets. I had a passel of cats and a beloved dog. None of these pets are alive now, but they remain quite fixed in my memory. So here's a story of each of my first babies. None of them ever moved to the new house, so all these memories are from our first house.
Rocky: was our childhood dog. Didn't last long - we moved cross country and didn't take him with us. He was cute and small but lived outside so wasn't cuddly and sweet. So he doesn't really count.
Scooter: my first cat, purchased from a pet store in 1989, before my sophomore year of college. Why did I pick her? Because she came right up to me and bit my finger. She set the bar VERY high, and no other cat has come even remotely close to her awesomeness. Smart, gorgeous, and had attitude for miles. If she were human, she wouldn't be my friend, because she was way the hell too cool for that. But she was very sweet to me (and later, to my kids) when I was sick.
He walked and walked and walked with me, with me and my neighbor, with me and my husband. He was there when I was in labor the first time, walking the neighborhood at 10 p.m. when we were trying to figure out if it was time to go to the hostpital. And when we brought her home from the hospital, he sniffed her gently, but thoroughly, then gave her a lick on the head, and that was that.
Susie learned to crawl chasing him around. She pulled up on him, grabbing handfuls of golden fuzzy fur to balance herself. And somehow, in her first year, she figured out that he was different (blind) and that she could totally play tricks on him. He was so patient with my toddlers. So sweet. And then, when he was about 10, he started getting lost in the house. More and more. And he got cranky. And we knew that we couldn't move him to a two-story house with no fenced backyard and he was old and tired and we put him to sleep the day we moved out of the old house, when he was about 12. And many tears were shed and I still wonder if I did the wrong thing.
Our current "crew" of pets are all about the same age, but also have different stories.
Buffy, the cat, arrived the Christmas after Frida died. She was a replacement cat. I wanted a blonde tabby. That's what she is. Not a lot in the personality department, but she is very snuggly and she adores Susie and mostly sleeps with her. She's also astonishingly fat and frequently knocks down the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs when she's trying to go upstairs.
|From New Year's Day|
Gravy, the other dog, was The Boy's sixth birthday present, but we waited until we were in the new house before we picked him up.
|From New Year's Day|
So those are the pets. I'm not counting the various kittens we've fostered because they don't count as pets. They were temps.