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Everyone Should Have A Pet

Source: http://www.dogcatbird.net

Everyone should have a pet.

I grew up with dogs. We didn’t always have them, due to our living circumstances. But, when we had the opportunity for a pet, we had dogs. I like dogs as much as the next person. But what I always found fascinating were cats.

Both my parents hated cats.

My mother had a dog when she was pregnant with me–a little miniature Dauchsund. I don’t remember anything of it but my mom tells me I would always pull it’s tail as a toddler. I don’t know whatever happened to that dog when my father received orders for Germany. But I could warrant a guess based on my history with him and dogs.

We had to give him away.

After we returned to the states, we got another dog. Although my dad surprised me with it, Dusty became his hunting dog–his tool. Although he was never allowed in the house, I spent a lot of time with him. I loved him like he was part of the family.And then, my father came down on orders for England.

The military would not pay to move a pet, and the amount of time and money we would have to pay to keep him in quarantine–my father would have none of it. My father has only ever considered animals as just that–animals. They have their purpose but it’s never a part of the family. Mom, well, she just sees more of a mess she has to clean up. Me, my heart always attached to them. Dusty was really the first one. I hated leaving him behind with one of my father’s friends. And spending 4 years without a pet ended up being lonely.

Maybe it’s because I am an only child I grow attached to them so easily.

When we got back to the states again, my parents decided to get a Cocker Spaniel AND a Cockatiel. Again, our dog was a tool. She was sent out for breeding purposes. But at least she was allowed in the house now; although Mom confined her to a certain part of the house. And, again I went out of my way to include her in my life.

The bird, was just a bird. He remained in the cage most of the time, with occasional outs. But I think he grew on my parents more than any of our previous pets. After I left home, my parents gave away the dog but kept the bird.

He lasted nearly 20 years.

As for me, the day I moved out of my parents house, my husband and I went to the SPCA and got our first pet–an 8 week old kitten!

GoofyKat was our first child (he had the wrong name nearly the whole time, until our son renamed him). We saved him a couple of days after we were married. We happened to go to the SPCA and just as we did, someone brought in a box of kittens. Jamie wandered over and took a peek. She opened up the door, and the first one to wander out was the one we took home. Jamie said he was the bravest of them all. Boy, were we surprised! StupidKat is black with a white belly and all four paws. So, his name started out to be Mittens. But, as time progressed and he did all the silly little things a kitten did, we kept saying “Man, what a stupid cat!” And it just stuck. He will NOT answer to mittens. He only comes when we call him by his name–StupidKat. He learned to play fetch. He loved to climb up people. But the silliest thing of all–he played, what we called puss-n-boots. StupidKat has foam golf balls. He used to put them in Anthony’s Army boots. Then he would stick his head all the way in the boots and bat at the out side of the boot like he was playing with the ball. Then, he would pull his head out and put his paw in the boot. And the whole process would repeat. Every time we witnessed this all we could hear was StupidKat saying to himself “I can see the ball, but can’t feel it. Then, I can feel it and not see it. What’s going on!” You tell me that’s not a stupid cat!

After a couple years, we decided he needed a “friend”. We went back to the SPCA and brought home another cat we completely fell in love with.

MikeyKat got his name in about an hour from the time we got him home! It was about lunch time and Anthony made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The grey cat just looked at him crooked and begged. So, Anthony offered it to him. The grey cat not only sniffed and nibbled it; but, once he caught a whiff of that peanut butter, he snatched the entire sandwich out of Anthony’s hand and RAN! About an hour later, we had chocolate cake and the cat did the same thing. So we set up an experiment to see what he DID NOT eat. Wasn’t much! He seems to like peanut butter the best, then chocolate. He eats vegetable oil, pickles and coffee grounds (found one morning when the trash was knocked over and the grounds were nearly gone), he practically eats everything (hence the name–Mikey) We discovered he will not eat anything he cannot smell–i.e. plain yogurt and sour cream. So, needless to say, he has gained quite a few pounds since we first got him.

Jan 16 2006, we took our oldest cat (GoofyKat, 16) to the vet. His insulin will be discontinued and we wanted to get a new prescription. Well, before the blood work came back, the vet offered us a new insulin along with a diet of prescription food (much like the Atkins diet). We would have to make the transition over the next couple of months. After the blood work came back, however, things didn’t look so good. His blood sugar levels were actually quite good (212). But there were about 5 or 6 different things that came back very wrong in his blood. He had kidney failure. The vet gave us some options, but had little hope. Because he’s diabetic most of the treatment for liver failure would actually end up hurting his sugar levels. And, if we continued with the new insulin and diet, it could aggravate and speed up his kidney failure. We could also do dialysis and clean out his kidney. Nothing is guaranteed and the added diabetes complicates things even more. The vet also said we could just take him home, change nothing, and spoil the heck out of him these next few months. He’s 16. He was our first baby. We got him a few days after we got married. This is so hard. It’s going to be even harder when he gets so sick we cannot help him and will have to put him down.

GoofyKat passed over the Rainbow Bridge, 19 Apr 2006 at 2:30pm.

He crashed hard on that Monday. He refused to eat or drink. He couldn’t walk anymore. He had been hiding. And when he did come out, he would not move, raise his head or anything. We knew it was time. We tried everything that night to bring him back. We’ve had him refuse to eat before and brought him back with canned tuna, salmon and chicken. But not this time. This time he refused all the good stuff. We knew. We went to go take him in to end his suffering, but it was after-hours and it was an additional $100. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford this so we tried to make him as comfortable as possible on Monday night. We stayed up with him most of the night. We had to break the needle off his insulin needles to force water in his mouth. He was so dehydrated. I had to go to work, which was really hard being up most of the night. I had a hard time driving. DH, took a nap. And then, later, he took GoofyKat to our Vet, who agreed it was time.

When I came home from work, there Anthony sat on the couch, next to the cat carrier. GoofyKat was inside, wrapped in his quilt I made him when he was a kitten. He is buried in that too. It is so sad. We had him for 16.5 years. He was our first baby. And Joshua didn’t understand. How can you expect a 3 year old to understand?! Though, he did try to comfort us. The words out of his mouth last night were amazing. “It’s ok. He’s safe with God now”.

It wasn’t even a year later when it was Mikey’s turn.

Within 3 weeks, MikeyKat went from 17 lbs to 11lbs. He wasn’t eating, he couldn’t walk. He was sleeping too much, hiding and such. At first we contributed it to his hearing loss. But, when he stopped eating….and Mikey never turned down food….that’s when we knew something was horribly wrong. When I took him to the vet yesterday, his temp was 96 and the vet did the blood work. His test came back renal failure. The vet said with his temperature the way it was and how he was acting, he didn’t have much longer. I brought him home and spent one last night with him….my MikeyKat….and now, I don’t have him anymore. He loved everyone, unconditionally.

To this day, I still call out for him. On occasion, I call one of my other cat’s his name, sort of a Freudian slip. Little things Theo does reminds me of him. I still cry for him.

Both of these cats were a part of the family. They were our first children. So much so, they went on vacation with us and even moved when we moved. They went from Virginia, to Germany, to Texas, and finally Florida. They were worldly. And they were loved.
I refuse to come home to an empty house, with no cats! We now have 3 more!
Sofius-Katus Ear-NonFoldus
We knew we wanted to get a Scottish Fold. We had seen them so much at Cat Shows, researching their personality and their character. Besides a true folded fold is so adorable! After much research we had determined that MikeyKat was really a non-folded Fold. When we decided to get another cat, after GoofyKat passed, we looked around for a Scottish Fold Breeder in our area. There was a breeder about 80 miles from us that we see each year at the Cat Show. Luckily, we found on closer, in our home town. Ironically, she and Linnea (the one 80 miles from us) were corroborating together.  Lizz did not have a litter at this time, but she was working with Linnea . She had paired up one of her girls to one of Linnea’s boys and was hoping within a few months to be expecting. It didn’t take long, thankfully, and on May 10th, a litter was born. Of course, the breeder gets first pick and Liz wanted to see how many, if any, folded back down. Nine weeks went by and unfortunately,   not a single kitten’s ears folded.
When we went to visit Lizz and her kittens, it was amazing. Joshua was trying to get all the kittens to play with him with string and balls. It was only Sofie who pounced out from her hiding place to attack the little pop pom Joshua has just threw. It scared him so bad he squealed. Lizz was so flabbergasted. She said Sofie was the only one in the litter who did not have a personality. Apparently, she was waiting until her human came so she could shine! She picked Joshua that day. And every night she watches over him from somewhere in his room. When she thinks he needs to be awake, she will head butt him or stuff her whiskers up his nose. She puts up with so much from such a rambunctious little boy. She is definitely his kitty, and he is definitely her human. But now, she’s come around to Anthony! He is now her favorite pillow! 🙂
They are our Oxymoron Cats. 🙂 Non-Folded Scottish Folds.
Theo-Katus Ear Non-Foldus
Theo came from the same litter as Sofie. He is our tender soul.  It was such a sweet gesture when Lizz said we could take him along with his sister. But when we came to pick them both up, Theo freaked so bad he tore Lizz up. We were so afraid he would not work out. But we were determined to make it work. We met on neutral ground the second time. Lizz brought him to the cat show with her and he stayed in his carrier. We met her there and did a quick change up and brought him home. It wasn’t as bad as the last time. When we got home, we just opened the door to the carrier and let him come out on his own terms. He had been without his sister for a week or so. Lizz had said when she left, he cried for her every night. But when he saw her at our house, it was like he didn’t remember her. After a few hours, Theo had ventured out and made his way to his “safe spot” in our room. It didn’t take too long for him to get used to us, but he freaked at any sudden movement. I don’t think he really likes Joshua much. 🙂
It’s been a few years now, and Theo has warmed nicely to us. He’s not a lap cat, he doesn’t like to be picked up much, and he still freaks at any loud noise. But he is such a loving cat. He has such a tender soul. We love him and will take care of him forever.
We saved Itty Bitty from a house full of bully cats. She’s a Folded Fold, but the physical characteristics make her look more like a regular American Domestic Short Hair with mutated ears.

Itty Bitty

We got her in March, and she was so skittish–worse than Theo. Poor baby! It has taken her from March until now to finally warming up to us. Sometimes she will tolerate the others. But there are times she will  hiss at them still. I am not certain if she will ever completely accept them, even though Theo and Sofie attempt to play with her from time to time. But, she is safe from the bully cats. And she is well loved.

We love all of our cats. And they are a part of the family. Not tools. Not animals left outside.



  1. Ping from Sara @ BestPetReviews:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. That is too bad that your parents were so hard on the dogs, but great that they liked the bird! And that is so great of you to now be a haven for cats!

  2. Ping from Lieve Gwynn:

    Cool writing. And we love our husky the same way you love your cats.

  3. Ping from booneyhead:

    Nothing like living with cats….love them..!!! Cool writing !!

  4. Ping from rddenton:

    Beautiful animals, both past and present, Jamie. I share my love for cats, too. I have one that I didn't ever really want back in the day — I was afraid of getting that close to something — but now I can't imagine a day going by without my little feline buddy. She's one of my best friends.It's hard to lose animals, but it's also impossible not to love them! Thanks for the smile and the reminder of how much I love my Tinkerbell!

  5. Ping from Angela Brown:

    Sounds like your home is a wonderful haven for pets. That is so awesome.

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