Dr. Zibbs asked us to entertain him with some of our boring pet stories. I didn't really think I had anything more than the shit I post about my dog and cats, until I started reading some other people's stories on their blogs. That Damn Expat in particular sparked off a memory, and I had already had the photo out ready to be scanned. Also, I need to liven this place up a little bit, but thanks again for all of your comments about, you know, that which shall not be named.
When I was little we constantly had animals of all sorts and varieties coming and going in and out of our house. When my father was living with us, it was mostly dogs, and their puppies, but after he moved out, it was a free for all. My mother collected stray animals and humans the way other people collect stamps. And many of us children had the same inclination. We were constantly bringing home animals and the ocassional person, hoping she would let us keep them.
I remember my very first time I found a cat that was obviously homeless. I was 10, and she was living on a horse farm around the corner and behind the house we lived in. Every time I went to visit the horses, she would run up to me and wrap herself all around me, purring. I found out from the men who lived there that she had gotten dumped off as a kitten, she didn't really have a place to stay other than the barn, and they didn't feed her. My 10 year old heart was bleeding - she had to fend for herself?! I asked if it would okay if I took her home, since she obviously loved me as much as I loved her, and they didn't seem to have problem with it. This cat was so cool that she let me carry her home in a paper bag while riding my bike. I named her Patches before I even told my mother what was going on.
I don't remember there being a problem with bringing the cat home, and soon enough she was the next cat in the house about to have a litter of kittens.
At the time, we also had a miniature red long-haired Dauchshund. His name was Maximillian, and he was one of the cutest dogs on the face of the earth. I don't know if he just knew his place in the order of things in our house, or if he thought he was a cat, but all the animals lived in harmony.
My mother was working third shift then, so she slept while those of us who still lived at home went to school or work. The story goes that one day while she was sleeping, Max kept scratching at her bedroom door, whining. She got up and tried to let him in, but that wasn't what he wanted. She finally realized that he wanted to show her something, and as soon as she took a step out of her bedroom, he took off running. She followed him to the linen closet where Patches was in the middle of giving birth. He jumped around like an excited Uncle, proud to show off the event.
For weeks after, he lived in that closet with Patches and her babies, and she was perfectly happy to let him do so. He stood guard over the babies when Patches needed to go take care of her business, and he got visibly upset when they cried. It was an amazing cross-species experience for me. Here is a warm and fuzzy picture to go with it.
16 hours ago