Folks for over a year I have enjoyed countless wonderful stories about pets; about cats, dogs, parrots, and all other manner of “pets.” To a one, these stories have been heart-warming carefully crafted, tributes to your wonderful pets. I must have seen maybe a hundred different pet video’s and seems like it is a push between cats and dogs as the top (get it) dog of pets. Being honest I have had 4 pets during my brief time here on earth, btw this count does not include gold-fish, I am sorry Gold Fish just don’t count. Also, before you get the wrong impression I LOVE PETS, I love yours; I love the one’s I have had. They are a wonderful addition to the family. They bring warmth, fun, some protection, love, and just a totally unflinching friendship, and they are totally forgiving. We humans could and would learn a lot from this alone.
As I mentioned earlier I have had 4 pets during my life, I doubt very seriously if there will be another. So I do want to talk about the 4 I have had. The 1st pet I h had was Snowball; she was a stray, a mutt, and as cute as she could be. Whatever her lineage, it included a lot of short long dogs. She came to us went I was in the 3rd grade living in Easton Maryland. At the time my dad was the manager of the local McCory’s 5&10. About 2 weeks before Christmas that year he brought her home from the store. She had been either; left behind, lost or abandoned. Dad posted signs at the store and ran an ad in the local paper for the required 2 weeks, and we got to keep her. She became a part of the family about 3 days before Christmas, that year. She had the run of the house and ate leftovers. Snowball was a hunter, and would bring trophies home from her hunting expeditions. She left them at the front door. She was a runt dog; I was always surprised when she brought home something half her size. She was also a great watchdog. She would go to the door and bark and bark and bark when someone would come to the door. Her sense of smell must have been off the scale. Because once a person established themselves to be part of the friends group (and she recognized their scent, even thru closed doors she could smell them) that visited regularly, she didn’t bark, she paid them no mind. And gosh was she friendly, she was everyone’s friend. As I said earlier she ate off the table, but one of the things that solidified our friendship is that she would not eat beans. Mom would make chili with beans, on a regular basis, I hated beans then and even more so now. The leftovers went into Snowball’s bowl, Snowball would lick the bowl clean, except for the beans, she even licked the beans clean, but she never ate a bean, God bless her. Snowball was killed when I was in the 10 grade, I cried like a baby at her lost. I guess in dog years she would have been 350+ by now. I have wonderful memories of her, and she really lives on in my mind.
Within a year of Snowballs death, my parents got a new family pet. Pepper was a 100 pure breed Dalmatian. Her complete name was Rustic Rails Suzette Ann Pepper Pot. One of the prettiest animals I ever saw, dumb as a bag of rocks. We didn’t have Clydesdale’s or a beer wagon, and the firehouse was miles away, but that doesn’t matter, Pepper was dumb. Pepper wasn’t a replacement, she was the next pet. The folks had hopes of making some money from her litters, and I think they made enough to pay for her. Pepper was also a house dog, she also ate scraps (and anything else she could get her teeth into) like furniture or rugs or lamps, she would eat anything. She didn’t hunt; she just kinda sat around and looked good. She wasn’t much for being a watchdog, she would bark at anything and everything, including family. Eventually she became my sister’s dog. My sister and Pepper had a good long relationship. Hopefully I told you she was dumb, and yes she was quite friendly. My sister has become the Dalmatian lover of the family, and even today some 40 yrs. after Pepper she still has 2 giant Dalmatians.
My next pet was a black lab, his name was D – O – G, if you let it roll off your tongue, and don’t think about it, it’s a damn good name. I was in the navy (stationed at Saclant (shore duty)) at the time, and living with my 1st wife. I should have had better sense, I was not in a position to take care of a dog, and my 1st wife while enthusiastic in the search for the “perfect” dog, didn’t have clue as to what having a pet would entail or any desire to take part. I assumed (yes it made an ass out of me) that she (the wife) knew there were going to be responsibilities involved. We had D-O-G for several months, and the longer we had him, the less involved my wife became. I was months away from deployment, and realized a problem was quickly coming to a boil. I knew my wife was ill prepared to take care of D-O-G, and she admitted it, as well as, admitting she didn’t want the responsibility of caring for him. We had to take D-O-G to a shelter, where he was adopted into a family that loved him and could and would take proper care of him.
My final pet was a cat, for years I hadn’t been fond of cats, when I was a child I was overwhelmed by a litter of the little furry critters. As a boy growing up there was never a cat in the house. And, by the way, I am allergic to cats. But my present wife is fond of cats, and my daughter really really really Dad, can we get a cat, please please Dad, wanted a cat. Allison promised to keep the litter box clean, she really did promise. I’ll give Steph credit she never made that promise. So we went to the local shelter, and saw Ms. T. She (Ms. T) was skittish, she was not even close to being friendly, but she was a beautiful cat. The Volunteer at the shelter explained that Ms. T was about 7 months old, and had grown up (to date) on the streets of Washington DC, and apparently in one of the worster (I know it’s not a word, but it works), to the sound of gun fire and mean people. DC could and was like that back then. The Volunteer went on to say, that Ms. T would grow into a loving friendly playful cat. A cat the entire family would love and cherish. As it turned out the Volunteer was about 1 percent correct. Ms. T turned out to be the cat from hell. She was never playful, she was never friendly, she was a hunter and a killer. A little background here will help. Steph (wife) wanted a mouser; she had seen a mouse and wanted a hit cat around to resolve that problem. What we got was Jason with 4 paws, the Freddy Krueger of cats, the Mike Myers of cats; oh hell you get the picture. MS T (T = Terminator) was indeed a mouser, she love to torture the mice she caught, never an outright kill, but a slow evil kill. And she always left the pieces of her victory on the kitchen counter. In a short time that stopped because Ms. T had killed all the mice in Alexandria. The entire time she lived with us, she never made a personal appearance, she never took a bow. Ms. T had a very definitive way of expressing her displeasure with us, when we offended her, she would piss on the offending person’s bed, or part of the bed. No one the family was immune to her anger. After we had her for about 3 years it was discovered that she had diabetics, and we spent several hundred dollars to treat and care for her. But Ms. T’s attitude did little to change. She never got friendly, she never became playful. When we moved to Florida, Ms. T made the transition; we had to give her kittyludes to calm her enough to get on the plane. But even in Florida, she maintained her crappy attitude. None of our neighbors ever saw her. They would hear her, when we had guess’ she would hide and hiss at the guess’, once Laura volunteered to feed and clean her litter box while Steph and I were away. Laura would come each day to put out fresh water, food, and clean the litter box. Ms. T would make those horror cat noises the entire time Laura was here.
We had Ms. T for about 8 years, her diabetics became so bad, we were tasked with giving her daily insulin shots, that was more than either Steph or I could handle. Thanksgiving week 2003 we had Ms. T put to rest. As nasty as Ms. T was we still loved her. But the decision was for the best.
But both Steph and I admit that we would have another cat into our home if we thought she or he would be the kind of cat we see so often at other folk’s homes.
That folks is the story of the Pets that I have had. Please take care, if you have any thoughts or comments you want to share please do so. Take care, and be safe. — Bill