Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ON FUN ~ The Furry Family...



Andy made a rule for our house a long time ago that says we cannot have more pets than people. It should be noted that his fish do not count toward this total. But cats and other furry creatures do.

When we first joined households I brought two fur balls with me and Andy had one of his own. They were indoor Petey and Cleo meeting up with outdoor Elvis. Petey and Elvis got along alright, but the King was deathly afraid of little Cleo, so she became the Queen. Cleo tormented that cat to her grave. Ambushes. Hissing. Downright evil. When Petey - the most tolerant and greatest cat to ever live - was alive, he brokered the peace quite nicely. And for about 24 hours after he died unexpectedly on our first wedding anniversary, Cleo considered rubbing up against good 'ole Elvis. But her loneliness passed and her mean streak prevailed.

When the beautiful Cleo - the softest cat to ever live - stunned us by getting ill suddenly and dying out of the blue, Elvis was the only one happy about it. He finally got to be King again and for once in his many lives of broken hips and missing teeth he ruled the home in peace and quiet.

When the King finally left our world at a ripe old age, clinging to his beloved outdoors to his last day, we found ourselves empty. Nothing to come home to but the fish.

Pets are more than just things that hang around to entertain you - or frustrate you. They are living creatures with emotions, personalities and needs. Generally you, the humans, go and pick them out from a shelter or from someone who has little babies to give away. Every now and then one of them adopts you buy showing up at your door. They work their way into your life and your heart by the looks they give you, the love they provide without request and the stupid things they get into which make you laugh - after the fact.

I don't trust people who don't like children or animals. They are both innocent and defenseless. Oh sure - Fido can bite you and Felix can scratch you - but if you want to harm them, you hold the upper hand. You want to kick that pet around or starve it to death you can. Leave it trapped in a hot car. Or tied up outside in the elements without shelter or water. You can place it in an environment fraught with danger. All the same evil things people can do to little kids if they are so inclined.

I wonder about those who question grief for a lost or deceased pet. Have they not ever looked into the watery eyes of a dog or cat? The eyes are where the soul resides. And when you see a soul, you welcome it in to your heart. That's when they become important in your life, a part of your family. A creature to interact with, learn from, and miss when you are apart.

Because our house was empty after so many years of cat fights we decided to take in two little fur balls. That didn't exceed Andy's people to pet ratio. They reminded us just how psychotic kittens can be. Nothing is safe. Training a cat is an oxymoron. And we are the morons who tried to train them. We lost.

But we gained another furry family. A brother and sister who drive us mad while making us smile. They move from wrestling to snuggling in one swift move. They are very different personalities who aren't happy without each other around. And more than anything else, they want to be with us. They will leave a warm lap in a sound sleep when they hear that familiar car pull in the driveway. They push each other out of the way for the best spot in the crook of Andy's legs. But most of all, they look at us with those big watery eyes and melt our hearts. Tedy and Lucy have us wrapped around their tails, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

16 comments:

LJ Ducharme said...

I could not live in a house without cats. I've had cats in my home since I began living alone in my early 20's, and generally 2 fur balls. That is until I married my husband he added one to the mix. Interesting first year of marriage. But only confirms that I will never live in a house without cats - preferably 2.

Calico Crazy said...

What a beautiful pair! We love all our animals as members of our family and can't imagine life without them. I got a laugh over your cat's names, ours are named Clark & Lucy. ~ Calico Contemplations

Sandy Nawrot said...

We lost the battle on the outnumbered thing long ago! Such a wonderful post, and said so eloquently! I could not live without animals in my life. In fact, I have a hard time not getting more. One wanders up looking cute and hungry? No problem! Come on in! I seriously want a dog, but I'm still working on my husband. Your babies are quite sweet. The striped one looks just like our Annie, the wire-chewing one. (She got her commupance last year with the Xmas tree! I think she may have learned a lesson or two!)

kaye said...

pets are furry people. Our last dog lived to be 15. We haven't replaced him as the husband says he wants to be able to travel a little when he retires and if we have a pet we have to stay home with it. The Youngest daughter periodically begs for a dog--but he is adamant. He tells her she can get her own when she moves out. Enjoy your new furry family.

McGillicutty said...

How beautiful... you're right about them being family. I love my shih tzu's even though they walk on the coffee table... they are dogs but small enough to be cuddly like cats and cute as a monkey's eyeball!!!
We have fish too and they're just not so cuddly, but fun to look at.

Diane said...

Such a wonderful tribute to our pets. Your 2 are so cute. We have 4 cats and they are so much a part of our family --they give us so much happiness.

Beth F said...

That gray tabby is bringing tears to my eyes. She looks so much like one of our cats, who died at the age of 18. We will be caving on getting new cats soon, but kittens can definitely be a handful.

otin said...

Anyone who can hate a pet has never had a cat climb up on their chest while they are laying on the couch and curl up and start purring away!

Kathleen said...

I resisted getting a pet for years because I knew I would get attached to them and then be shattered when they passed on. Finally I decided it was worth it to grieve them in the end if I had all those good years with them prior. I can't have cats because I am allergic but my little dog Bentley has given me countless hours of solace, fun, laughter, etc I don't trust people who don't like animals either! P.S. Your cats are beautiful...love the fall-themed photo with them in the leaves!

Missy said...

Beautiful post, Molly...I loved it! I have always been an animal lover, and have rescued many. They touch our hearts and our lives every single day that they are with us, and leave their permanent paw prints on our hearts after they are gone....

SuziQoregon said...

Totally agree with Andy on the people to pet ratio. We had 3 cats for several years and are still unsure what ever possessed us to do that. Anyway once our beloved Becky passed away we were no longer outnumbered and plan to keep it that way.

hmsgofita said...

Your two babies are so sweet. I once had someone ask me whether I would get rid of my cats once I had a kid and I just about died...I retorted: Would you give away one of your babies if you had another one? Losing my cats one day will very traumatic and I pray for them each night just like I do with my human child. They keep me sane and calm and I just love them so much! What a beautiful post.

And to answer your question about the library books...I take them home to read a chapter or two in each to make sure I actually want to read it later! So yes, I'm probably the person who is hanging on to books you have on hold! he he!

Brian Miller said...

just the other night our cat climbed up on my chest while we were watching a movie...dont think she has done that since her first weeek with us...

Catherine @ The Blonde Diaries said...

Your kittens are adorable. I had a Teddy who I just loved until the day he passed away. He had such a funny personality - very dog like - which was strange for a cat. I would love to have another cat but my husband is not a cat person. I think I just need to keep working on him ;)

stacybuckeye said...

You've brought tears to my eyes, Molly. Those kittens are beautiful. And you are right that there is no training a kitten!
We've had Scout for 11 years. She's my first cat and the gentlest of souls. We've lost one puppy and it was heartbreaking. I can't imagine our home without a pet (or two. Jason also refuses to accpet the +1 ratio) it would just be a house.

Susan said...

They don't call them "fur-kids" for nothing. I have 3 cats, two of which showed up on my doorstep starving to death and they are the most loving and grateful cats you would ever want to know. I adopted my dog Lucy from the Humane Society and she is the sweetest, dumbest dog on earth. My cat Cricket (well, she was my daughter's) I've had almost 16 years and she's a cantankerous bitch whom we can't let get near the grandchildren. She's sent me to the emergency room twice, but she's still here queening it over everybody.

The thing about cats and dogs is they love you unconditionally and they don't sass...well, maybe Cricket sometimes. No, actually she yells! lol