Now don’t get me wrong; what I’m about to say may give the impression I don’t adore my 10 pets, all rescues. Yes, they, like humans, are uniquely flawed beings. But accepting flaws are part of any relationship, right? We take the good with the bad. Besides, I’ve determined I was meant to have each of these critters because certain aspects of their not-so-endearing qualities might not be tolerated by some.
My cat with an amputated tail, Savannah, is determined to put me in traction. When it’s time to eat, she’s like a magnet and my legs are metal. She zig zags between them like a slalom skier. Everyday I warn her she’s going to trip me but she pretends not to hear. No doubt one day I’ll be sporting a cast on a body part. But Savannah is the sweetest, gentlest of souls. Not a mean bone in that body.
Wally, my Dachshund mix, barks incessantly whenever someone walks by the house while he’s positioned on the back of the sofa with a perfect view. He’s still not entirely house-trained, even though I pretend I’ve won the lottery whenever he uses the dog door and returns triumphantly, having just relieved himself. Apparently, however, my enthusiasm doesn’t persuade him to use it on a regular basis. But Wally, like one of those poor circus bears, sits up with arms elevated when he wants my attention. It’s endearing and he knows it.
Oliver, my handsome old man, is jealous of the attention I give any of the others. He wants it all and sometimes takes a swipe at whoever he feels bogarts my time. But he’s otherwise a mellow chap with luxuriously long fur, soft as angora and never a tangle or knot. He sits at attention at mealtime, patiently waiting for his grub while the others gripe until they get theirs.
Callie, my 3-legged-old lady, is a Border Collie mix. Callie struggles with stairs now so I help her. She can’t always make it out the dog door, or back in once she goes out. Her eyes have that aging glaze and she’s becoming incontinent yet can’t wear a doggie diaper because of her missing back leg. Pee pads adorn my floors but she frequently misses them. However, Callie is good-natured, kind, and smart. In her prime, she used to keep up with my Greyhound at the dog park, missing leg and all.
Skye, my Seal Point, and Mango, my orange girl, are both semi feral. Probably always will be. To them I’m still STRANGER DANGER! They both run when I get close. But Skye meows to me now and sleeps on my pillow until I get into bed. Then it’s, SEE YA! Mango sneaks onto my bed in the middle of the night and curls up next to me while I feign sleep. It’s my favorite time with her.
Dash, my failed feral, still often runs from me; hence his name. But when I’m seated, he’ll plop down next to me, wanting pets. And when I’m sleeping, he’ll drape across my shoulder. No amount of movement throws him off; he’s like Gorilla glue. But encounter me in the hallway and I’m a leper. Still, Dash is one content, entertaining dude.
Then there’s Fat Jack, who you all know by now. I have to feed him in the bathroom, door closed, so he won’t swipe the others food. But he’s also the most tolerant cat and very forgiving, especially when he emerges from the bathroom after I’ve forgotten about him.
Taffy, as you know, was pee-pad trained when I adopted her. Trouble is, she invariably pees NEXT TO the pad, completely oblivious to this fact. She literally digs in her heels on walks when she wants to stop and recently had 18 teeth pulled due to dental disease. But Taffy’s perpetual smile (because of her overbite) gives one the impression she’s always happy (and she is). Oh, and she insists on sleeping with me under the covers.
What can I say about Skip? He’s a total character. Makes me laugh with his prancing gait, sorta like a Clydesdale. He carries his blanket everywhere, inevitably leaving it in the backyard or peeing on it then wanting to bring it back inside; subsequently, there are currently 5 blankets outside. Skip’s also afraid to use the dog door which means he wears a belly band when I’m not home. But he’s won my heart in more ways than I can describe.
So yes, it’s true my pets have their own unique, often irritating flaws I tolerate. Nobody’s perfect, right? Just like all families, we take the good with the bad. And in my case, my pet family has reached its limit. You can quote me on that. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I always have a foster kitten or two in the mix.
Just call me crazy.