Tuesday, June 3, 2008

1 Rabbit, 3 Dogs, 9 Birds, Numerous Fish and a Love of Cats...This Is...My Pets

Two Peas In A Pod gave us all the opportunity to wax lyrical when she chose This Is My Pet as the theme for this week's meme hosted by Three Buttons. So I'm late but I'm not missing out. Anyone who reads this blog, in fact anyone who knows me, knows I won't pass up an opportunity to talk about one of my greatest loves.

I have been fortunate to always have animals in my life. Some animal friends have stayed with me for many years and some have been shorter visits for various reasons. I can't remember much about the rabbit (including its name shamefully) but I remember having one briefly as a child and that I didn't like it.

I had around 8 or 9 birds across a couple of years, mostly finches, a canary or two and a lovebird. Every bird I had either escaped and flew away (yay freedom) or died mysteriously in its sleep. After many years we finally realised that we had a minor gas leak from our hot water service in the laundry and that this had most likely killed the birds but thankfully not us. It was all a bit 'Canary In A Coalmine' really.

I'm just not cut out for being a dog owner which I am old enough and wise enough to know these days, but certainly wasn't in my youth. We had a couple of dogs as I was growing up. There was a poodle that cried and whined constantly and went back to its owners a couple of days after we got it. I was only 5 or 6 and I didn't like the dog at all. Then we had Pip, for many years. She was a rescued farm dog who had been abused. She spent her days rounding up invisible sheep, attacking anyone male who came near her and eventually due to deafness, anyone at all who took her by surprise. We eventually had to find her a new home where she had a bit more space to run free and crazy, and luckily found a farm through friends where she retired.

My final attempt at a being a dog owner was a puppy I named Zephyr who I rescued from the RSPCA. He was a tiny sweet thing with the biggest paws I had ever seen. Zephyr started growing into those paws in no time at all and I was completely overwhelmed. After a few months of trying my best I had to admit defeat and return him to the RSPCA in the hope they would find him a better home. 17 years later and I still feel terrible about it. I hope he did find a better home. I really believe in the saying 'A Pet is for Life, Not Just for Christmas'. Anyway, I was young and stupid and knew no better. Until my early 30's I still wanted to have a dog. I've finally accepted that as much as I love them I'm just not disciplined enough to be a dog owner. Now I just enjoy everyone else's dogs to the point of being annoying. I always want to pat and chat to people's dogs in the street and often talk to dogs outside post offices and such. I've been bitter a couple of times when I've been overly friendly with strange dogs too.

Moving on to fish. I've had goldfish at various stages of my life and find them so soothing and relaxing to have around. I would love to have a tropical tank next but haven't had the time and energy since our last goldfish Stevie died about a year ago. We had Stevie for over 3 years (a good long time for a goldfish) and were a little sad when he died. So no more fish yet, but someday.

And now for my cats. Oh how I love cats. I am the 'crazy cat lady' in my soul. I think that I am somehow linked to all the cats of this world. However, the ones who have been a significant part of my life total 6. My Gran had 2 cats during my life. Tatsie was a big ginger tomcat who I tried to spend a lot of my time playing dress ups and dollies with when I was little. My Gran also had Sylvester who came to live with us when my Gran passed away. I had 2 childhood friends, Tammy - who I had from the time I was a little girl till my teens - and Johnnie who I brought home on the train in my handbag when I was about 15 and who stayed with my Mum when I moved up and out into the world.

Now we have Holden and Willow. Holden is 10 and I've had him since he was 6 weeks old. He is my friend and my companion and my guardian angel. I don't have enough words to describe how much I love him. He is loyal, funny, feral (especially at the vet), cuddly, wild, loving, naughty, a snuggler and a fighter. He is a brute, will eat anything including trying to get the milk out of your glass while you are still trying to drink, is bossy and sleeps around 20 hours per day easily.

And then there is Willow. She is 4 and was my partner's choice when I won the battle to get another cat. So technically she is my partner's cat but I still think of her as mine too. She is a princess, adorable, aloof, picky with her affections, cuddly, warm, funny and demanding. She likes 45 minute cuddles when you are trying to get ready to go to work. She spends most of her time alone in the backyard and particularly seems to like windy days that blow her hair around make her feel especially pretty. She captivates me in a way that only such an aloof and fascinating creature can.

So there you have it my friends...a little piece of my soul.


Serena said...

Glad that you're back in the land of living.. Ooh, how cute are your cats.. Holden is gorgeous..... even those pictures show he's demanding of attention. I love it. "Give me a pat, now"

Two Peas In a Pod said...

Glad you are feeling better.

Thanks for sharing all your pets.

Those are some wonderful stories. Sadly not everyone is cut out to be dog owners.... I would get one in a heart beat but Alex wont have anything to do with that. He loves our kitties, as do I but growing up on a farm with dogs sometimes makes you yearn for one :(

Your cats are beautiful. Holden looks strong, yet if he wants to cuddle look out and check out those paws...they look huge!
Willow is beautiful & somehow I can see her in the backyard with the wind blowing in her hair, smiling to herself and thinking she has the best life ever :)
Cheers Kyla

Love&Afros said...

Another cat lover! Holden is very handsome. Do you know what type of cat Willow is? She has beautiful colouring.

Danielle said...

I should have guessed with the blog name "Big Cat's Emporium" that there were cats in the family. That was a great bunch of pet memories. Thanks for sharing :)

BigCat said...

Hey Love & Afros

Willow is part persian and part bitzer. We got her for free through a friend. She was from a family of strays. Definitely has a little bit of persian in her from somewhere down the line though. The ginger is what makes her so unusual I think.


Leni and Rose said...

Saw your image allowance query over at Meet Me at Mikes. Thought I'd jump in and help out - when you upload a photo into a post, you'll see next door to the orange "upload image" button what your using. Eg: "You are currently using 47MB (4%) of your 1024MB". Hope that helps. Every Tuesday I post up tips and tricks on my blog, more helpful stuff there. Cheers Michelle

Maureen said...

BC, I can see you have no real interest in cats...LOL. Your boy has a wicked look in his eyes. Don't mess with me babe. ;-)

btw, this is an answer to your question re long and narrow banner. I figured out how to do the other size but I'll be darned if I can find something that I can change now. Hmmm...seems like there is a puter wizard amongst us...must check out the Tues info from Michelle. And ask...

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

You've had a lovely range of pets in your life. Those cats are just adorable. We never had cats because my sister was allergic, but I've always loved them.

I'm better with dogs as pets (cats would be similar), than fish or birds, because they remind me that they need to be fed or walked. I'm hoping when I have kids they're going to do the same, otherwise I can get lost in my own world and forget to feed them...

Betty Jo said...

I can't remember when I didn't have a cat(or cats) as a pet. My cats are pretty spoilt,but they pay us back with loads of cuddles and cuteness.
And like your two, they each have their own personalities.
Good luck with your new job.A good place for coffee is "Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment" up stairs at the Convent!

Sasparilla Sue said...

That picture of Holden sleeping is precious!! and Willow is such a pretty little girl! I never got to have any cats because of allergies, not mine but because of family and roommates, but I love them. Yours are just gorgeous.

Karin said...

They are great! Beautiful. That is quite a large family!! I wanted to join in on this weeks 'this is' but then I got sick darn it.

We don't currently have any pets but my 3 year old put a cat bowl in our trolley at the shops and said, "This is for the cat." "But mate, we don't have a cat." "Oh, we will.", he informs me. Ha Ha!!! He would just love your house.

Alby Mangroves said...

Hi Cathy, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me a lovely comment about my lost friend. I can see yours are very precious to you too. They choose their people, I think.