Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Animals

Our family has quite the menagery.

We have two dogs, Blue and Shadow. Blue is a purebred yellow English lab. She's a good dog, but she's as dumb as a bag of hammers. She's also built like the proverbial brick house. She runs like a thoroughbred, and has been known to take a running start at me from two yards over and tackle me when I'm trying to catch her. She is the Irish Woman's dog, but loves everyone.

Shadow is a black lab mixed with something big, possibly newfoundland. He's a great porch dog. His favorite activity is to lay at someone's feet and stay in contact with a human, no matter how slight. He is Little Bear's dog, but will take attention from anyone.

Of the two of them, Blue is the barker, and Shadow is the guard dog. As laid back as Shadow is, I'd hate to have to fend him off in a fight. He's the friendliest creature I've ever met, but he protects the house and the kids very well. Blue would probably annoy a burglar into leaving, but Shadow might just turn the guy's leg into a meal.

We have three cats, Koshka, Annya, and Timmy.

Koshka is a Siamese, and she's as chatty as they come. I rescued her from a pound in Arizona. She is the alpha female in our pride. She is my and Girly Bear's cat.

Annya is a very small tiger-striped tabby. I got her as a kitten so that Koshka would have someone to play with. She and Koshka are very close. They'll take naps together and do a lot of social grooming. Annya is the Irish Woman's cat, even through she claims to not be a cat person. Annya also has an undying hate for the dogs. Shadow either ignores her or plays with her (Swat me, OK, I'll swat you!). Blue, who ways about 80 pounds, is terrified of this little 5 pound cat. Annya tormented Blue when she was a puppy, and seems to have kept the attitude now that Blue is much bigger. I've seen this poor dog backed up into a corner with this little cat chewing her out at the top of her lungs.

Timmy is our newest pet. He's a black cat with a white blaze on his neck. He's Little Bear's cat, but will take love and treats from anyone. We got him a couple of years ago as a kitten when Koshka and Annya started getting older and more sedentary. They were putting on weight and not exercising, so I thought a younger cat would give them some healthy fun. And it worked. Timmy is now fully grown, and spends his time stalking and pouncing on his sisters. He then runs for his life because they want to throttle him.

That's the domesticated pets. The Irish Woman has also made pets out of some of the wildlife. We've already discussed the frogs and fish in the ponds, but she also likes the squirrels in the neighborhood. Two in particular, Peanut and Corny, have become members of the family. Peanut gained his name because Irish Woman puts out peanut butter crackers for him, and he's become so accustomed to the treat that he'll come up on the porch and wait for them. Corny gained his name from Girly Bear when she saw him munching on a cob of corn the Irish Woman put out for him a few winters ago. There are lots of other squirrels that come and go, but these two seem to have set up residence in our trees.

So, we have two adults, 4 kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 20 frogs, 40 fish, and 2 squirrels. Is it any wonder that I'm crazy?

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