Monday, March 1, 2010

Pet Craziness

Breda has a good rundown on how having one pet can quickly turn into having multiple pets.

I got Koshka shortly after Girlie Bear was born.  Our previous cat had recently died, and I have always had a cat when I was allowed to.

After Girlie Bear and Little Bear's mom and I split up, it was just Koshka and me. She was home alone all day, and was making a hobby of getting into everything and destroying anything left out.  She was bored, and needed something to keep her out of trouble.

When a co-worker at Fort Campbell mentioned that his cat had had kittens, I agreed to take one as soon as they were weaned.  So I got Annya.  She was young enough that she still allowed Koshka to pick her up by the scruff, give her baths, and basically mother her.  So my pet had a pet of her own to keep her busy.

When I met the Irish Woman, she was petless, but was thinking of getting a dog.  We eventually got her a yellow English Labrador puppy.  Bluegrass was as cute and fuzzy as you could ask.  She definitely fit in with our new family.

But as she got a few months older, she became harder to handle.  Puppy energy in a package that was getting big and muscular was hard to control at times.  Our vet suggested getting her a companion to play with.

So the Irish Woman came home one day with a black lab mix that was about Blue's age.  Shadow was very shy at first, and let Bluegrass bully him while they played.  Eventually, he got over his jitters and asserted his equality with her.  Basically, she nipped him one too many times, and he showed her who was boss by body slamming her and sitting on her for an hour or so. 

So the Irish Woman had a pet, and her pet had a pet.

We stayed at that balance of two cats and two dogs for several years.  I'd like to say they were blissful, but Annya decided she didn't like dogs, so there were continual yowling fits as the dogs tried to live in peace with her.

Eventually, Annya and Koshka reached middle age, and started getting fat from lack of exercise.  They had apparently gotten into some kind of "I leave you in peace to nap, and I'll leave you in peace to nap" deal with each other.  Since I didn't want to lose them to obesity, I thought having a younger cat around might help.

So we adopted Timmy.

He did exactly as I expected, and more.  His energy and outgoing personality kept the other cats on their toes and shed some of their weight.  Of course, he himself doesn't subscribe to any philosophy of eating right and exercising, so he's gotten a bit rotund.  As he's slowed down, the other cats are exacting their revenge on him.  He'll lose those pounds if he wants to survive being ambushed.  So my two cats have a pet to keep them active.

Last summer, I heard a quiet meowing from a bush in our yard, and found a small kitten.  She wouldn't let me get close enough to capture her, but she would eat if we left food out.  I kept putting food out in hopes that eventually she would come to me and I could take her to a shelter.  No luck, and after the neighbor caught her and took her to get spayed, he released her into the yards again.  No idea why he didn't just take her to a shelter, but now she won't come very close to us at all.  She does, however, love our dogs.

She spends her days playing with Shadow and Blue in the yard, and gets her naps cuddled up with them.  I continue to put food out for her, and she's been keeping the mouse population down in our detached garage and woodpile.  So our pets have another pet.  The kids named her Patches due to the pattern of her coat.

So here's the chart:

I have one pet, Koshka.

Koshka has one pet, Annya.

Koshka and Annya share a pet, Timmy.

The Irish Woman has one pet, Bluegrass.

Bluegrass has a pet, Shadow.

Shadow has a pet, Patches.

So I can honestly say that Irish Woman and I only have one pet apiece.  But our pets have pets, and those pets have pets.  That rounds out our managerie.

Yes, I live on the edge of madness.  Why do you ask?
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