Thursday, January 13, 2005

Adding to the zoo

We joke that we have the zoo. Until Sunday, we owned one cat, one dog, 2 hamsters, 1 cockatiel, and 2 budgies. Then Sunday, we went to see my grandparents on the farm, and one of the barn cats had brought its kittens out to the house. My daughter started playing with a cute kitten. A lot of begging and a look from My Lady, and we brought home O'Malley.

The funny thing is that we finally have a cat who likes people. This cat plays with the kids, plays with us, and even plays (through the cage, of course) with the hamsters. It would even love the older cat if the older cat would have anything to do with any of us.

I have gotten a promise that this is the absolute last animal to join the zoo from everyone else in the family. I am just not sure I believe it....

The list of animals that we have had since starting the family:

  • Matilda: The Chocolate Labrador Retriever we got when we moved to the farm. She was VERY nice, but she hated to stay in the truck. I p ut her in my grandfather's truck when we were moving to our current house, and she jumped

    out into an intersection & was run over. It didn't kill her, but we couldn't afford to have her hip reconstructed, and were too young and dumb to realize that the vet was blowing smoke when he said she might get better. I will NEVER go through that kind of experience again.

  • China: Female Cairn Terriers are the sweetest animals until they hit puberty. Ours loved everyone and was the friendliest, well-balanced dog I've had. Then the hormones hit, and she turned psychotic. She would pee on herself every time we turned on the hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, or any other electrical device. She finally picked up the habit of running at an open door, and disappeared one day.

  • Sue-y:This is our oldest animal, the older cat. It wasn't the most loving, cuddly animal anyway, but China power groomed it as a kitten every time one of the kids touched it. The kids also were so young they'd ye ll and chase it. It now will actively hide during the day, and runs from any attempt to pet it on anything but its own terms.

    (Yes, Sue-y is named for Steve Irwin's dog.)

  • Dylan: While My Lady's father was still alive, a German Shepherd mix pup came up to the house, and my wife fell in love with it immediately. He was smart, and had a good personality. I also washed at least 200 fleas and uncounted ticks off his poor little body. And then he barked. He barks through his nose. If Bob Dylan were to magically turn into a dog, he'd sound just like this dog (it's arguable whether you could tell the difference, but that's another post....), so we named it Dylan. As best we can tell, he is a German Shepherd-Border Collie-Hound mix, because he herds like a collie, has colors and head like a Shepherd, and barks like a hound.

  • The budgies: At first we bought Toughie and Sara for the kids. They were nice birds. Then Sara got sick and died. We bought Jade to make up for the loss, and to be with Toughie, and we ended up with two males. Then Toughie died, and Toughie was alone. Finally, one of Number 1 son's friends gave us the budgie he just HAD to have, and we have Jade and Shamrock. They're a mated pair, although I do sometimes catch one of them cheating with the hanging string toy....

  • Sunshine is our cockatiel. Number 1 son begged for a bigger bird, when the budgies made a mating pair. It still likes Number 1 Son, but Number 1 Daughter and her best friend have pulled so many tail feathers that it doesn't like most kids any more. It talks a bit, especially "Pretty Bird", and My Lady thinks it's starting to mimic my office phone.

  • The hamsters: The kids insisted on buying BF ("best friend") and HH(I forget exactly). Being hamsters, they love their floor wheels and eating. We are looking for a good source of that hamster cage tubing, since they need more area to play in.

  • Of course, I have mentioned O'Malley above.

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