Friday, May 22, 2009

The Spin Cycle: Pets

small cycle
My family has always had pets. My parents' first "child" was a mutt named Danny. I don't really remember him very well since he died when I was about 7. I do remember the day that he died, though. We were getting ready to go somewhere for some type of family fun and my dad had just found that Danny has just laid down and died. He was an old dog but that didn't mean that my dad wasn't upset. We were all waiting in the car and my dad walked over with a very solemn look on his face and told us girls that Danny had died. The words were barely out of his mouth when one of us - I truly don't remember which one of us sisters said it - asked excitedly "so does that mean we can get a cat now?" How nice of us to be so gentle and caring to my mourning father. We did get a cat - 2 actually - but I'm not sure how much time lapsed between Danny's death and the arrival of Patches and Willie (named after Willie Nelson) (we lived in Texas at the time and my dad wanted to name the cat something that would remind us of Texas once we moved along).

Willie was one homely cat. He was an orange tabby cat with really big ears, but boy did I love this cat. Willie was with us for about 8 years before he was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia and we had to put him down. I remember that trip to the vet quite well. Patches seemd to live forever. I think she was with us for about 15 years - through a couple moves halfway across the country, countless camping trips, and lots of mischeif.

I had a hampster once. I forgot to give it water and it died.

I had a crawfish - a souveneir from a middle school science class - and on the first night at my house, it somehow escaped the tiny little cage (which was actually a tupperware container with some holes poked in the cover) that was on top of my desk, crawled under the door, down the hall, down the stairs and into the kitchen. My mother discovered it in the middle of the kitchen floor the next morning. Following the instructions of my science teacher, she scooped it into a Ziploc bag and stuck it in the freezer. How weird is that? My science teacher actually gave us instructions on how to euthanize the thing. We disposed of it in the trash later. Maybe he defrosted and crawled away. Who knows?

Fast forward many years and I had Jesse, the best cat in the world, also an orange tabby (trying to replace my beloved Willie? I'll have to mention that to my therapist). He was mine and only mine. I got him at a pet store the day before I left college and he rode from VA all the way to Massachusetts in my car with me. I carried him around all over the place, scared to put him down for fear of him getting stepped on. He was so tiny. Many years later, some friends began to refer to Jesse as "Spalding" (Cast Away had recently come out...remember Wilson?) because they thought he looked like a basketball with legs. Jesse grew up to be a HUGE cat, tipping the scales at 22 pounds, which is more than each of my kids weighed on their first birthdays. Jesse will spend eternity in Kodiak, Alaska near the Buskin River where we buried him after he died.

Currently, my family has one dog, one cat (read more about him here) and two fish. I'm not a huge fan of Max the cat, but I must give him props for being the most tolerant animal on the planet. Megan flings him around, carries him by his paws, sits on him and just generally terrorizes him, and he just sits there and takes it.

Our dog, Piper, is much more tolerable now that she's not really a puppy anymore. Those first several months made me just a leeeetle bit crazy. But.....I digress. She's an extrodinarily smart dog and the kids love her. Recently, a couple home security system companies have stopped by soliciting their products. After I corral the dog, I tell them no thanks - I have Piper! Not only does she protect me from coffee makers, but now I can rest easy also knowing that she will warn me of an impending aerial attack:

Click on over to Sprite's Keeper and check out the other spins!


Sprite's Keeper said...

You can euthanize a crawfish? I hope I never have to do that! My own pet record is very small, just the hamsters (which kinda count as one altogether), a dog when I was growing up, and my two dogs now. Great Spin and love the video! You're linked!

Anonymous said...

A blimp? How funny! I haven't totally caught up on your blog but saw this video:)