Sophia says: "My son's tiny beloved lizard, Elf, is looking and acting strange this week. His skin/scales are quite dark, and he is lethargic. We are adding vitamin drops to his lettuce and spinach and hoping and praying that he is just getting ready to shed his skin--but it's too soon to tell. Others in the ring have also been worried about beloved pets this week. And, in the saddest news of all, Songbird has had to bid farewell to her precious Molly, the amazing dog who is well known to readers of her blog as a constant sacrament of God's unconditional love. So in memory of Molly, and in honor of all the beloved animal companions who bless our lives: tell us about the five most memorable pets you have known."
- Well of course no discussion of animal companions would be complete without Maggie the Peke. Her picture appears on my blog, and she frequently has appeared in posts. She is a good companion, somewhat of an introvert and contemplative as dogs go. Someone once said of her that the batteries were not included. But she is an ideal dog for me, very low maintenance for the most part. She has very few bad habits of the doggy variety. She does not chew or dig or bark excessively. She cohabits well with the kitties. Her only flaw of late has been to express her displeasure with my spending more time with a new human friend than with her in the best way doggies know how. She has been leaving me little gifts....always in the same place, about the same time. Yes it is a message. Yes, Maggie I hear you, but R is not going away.
- There was another Maggie in my life before this one. The earlier Maggie was a cat, Persian persuasion. And, sad to say, the ugliest of that particular breed I had ever seen. She was a non-descript gray, she was always a matted mess and she loved to sit on the gas stove because it had a pilot light where her old arthritic self could stay warm and comfy. One day of course the inevitable happened. Maggie caught fire. Her tail somehow got where the tail should not be and there was a terrible stench and she took off running and howling and we took off chasing before she could set the whole place ablaze. What, after all do cats know of tuck, drop and roll? We did manage to grab her and get a towel around her and put her out before too much damage was done. Mostly it was tail hair that was lost and a few superficial burns. Before long she was happily back...on the stove.
- Then there was Khodi the WonderDog. One day I went with a friend to get a puppy. It was a sad sad tale. The mama dog had been homeless and this nice lady took her in. But the lady could not keep her as she had another dog, so hapless Kate took the homeless mama dog. And oh did she have issues! She was not housebroken, had never been on a leash and apparently had some kind of serious anxiety issues about being left alone that made her eat anything consumable left in her path. She ate a comforter, a pillow, and part of a couch. Why did you not kennel her, you ask? She ate that too! Then of course it was a steel cage, and even in those she could not have blankets or rugs, even rubber mats were no match for her. It was clear that living with someone who went to work every day was not going to be a good thing for Khodi, so we found her a great home on a farm where she was much happier.
- Cats. I have lived with more cats than I can number or name. Most of them have passed through my life as foster cats in the care of XDO. This was a passion that got a little out of hand. At one point I felt a little like the crazy cat lady. People would say, "So how many cats do you have?" and I would develop a sudden cough or hear my cell phone buzzing in my pocket and have to flee the room. We had special needs cats, cats in diapers and cats that needed nebulizer treatments. We had cats that sneezed green stuff and cats that failed to thrive. We had feral cats that were seen only as they passed through the house and were holy terrors if you had to catch them to medicate them. With the departure of XDO I was left with "some" cats. I am now down to my own three and one semiferal inside leftover and one feral outside leftover who lives in the garage that XDO pretty much comes and cares for.
- Bridget is one of my own three cats. I've had her for thirteen years when she came to me from a friend who found her as a stray. She is a gorgeous dilute calico girl with beautiful green eyes. When I got her the vet said she was probably about four or five. This makes her a senior cat citizen these days and she is acting the part. She has always been a strange kitty. She came with me when I moved across the state "for company." Ha! She lived under the bed and the only time she ever came out was if I had company or there was a repair person in the house (preferably male). Bridget has always had an unabashed and clear preference for men and she expresses it clearly. She made friends with R right away and makes for his poor allergic to cats lap every chance she gets. She also has some mental health issues. For periods of time she will pull out her tail hair and the hair on her back till she is bald. Then she will stop. And she's fine for a long time till she starts again. The vet can find no organic cause....it's psychosomatic! She is very arthritic and at seventeen or eighteen, I don't know how much longer she will be with us. Right now she is back in full coat and looking good. I'm grateful and loving her in all her quirks.