Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Animals I Have Known

I've had many pets throughout my life. I grew up on a dairy farm and we had cows, calves and horses on occasion. The first dog I can remember was an old black dog that belonged to my grandparents. That dog hated me, probably because I was a toddler at the time. He was old and grumpy and I probably tried to ride him one too many times.
My great-grandparents had a chihuahua named Old Bill. Old Bill had a brown spot on his back and if you touched it, he would snap at you.
The first dog that was strictly my pet was a dachshund named Sweetie. We lived across the road from my grandparents' dairy farm and next to a pasture. I would hang out next to the fence and try to "talk" to the animals. There was a black cat named Tiger, then a German Shepherd named Lady. Lady had a huge litter of pups one spring.

How about that Dorothy Hammill haircut?

There was a long period of time when I didn't have any pets because my Mom and I lived in apartments. When Mom built her house, we had two little white dogs named Elvis and Jerry Lee and a little cat we tamed named Wild Bill. Elvis turned up dead one night as I was coming home from work. His little body was thrown in the ditch, presumably after being hit by a car. I carried him up to my Mom's porch, crying my eyes out. My stepfather buried him the next day. Jerry Lee and Wild Bill escaped a similar fate and lived for years on the farm.

My roommate and friend Esther brought home a kitten one day. He was a tailless Siamese we named Gremlin, shortened to Gremmie. We called Gremmie our "dumb blonde" because he was pretty but he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. I came home one day and heard a loud thump. Gremmie came tearing down the hall straddling a full loaf of bread.

Gremmie liked to hang out in the sink. Like I said, not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Gremmie had a little sister named Mousel who came to live with us. She had a little stubby tail and was smarter than Gremmie. Gremmie bullied Mousel most of the time, but Mousel would put him in his place every now and then.

Gremmie lived with me for years then went on to the Kitty Summerland. I was animal-less for a bit, then my sister-in-law gave CatHead to my husband and I. She had to find CatHead a new home because her boyfriend at the time (now husband) was desperately allergic to cats. CatHead was grumpy and anti-social but she eventually grew to love us (we loved her from the start, of course). CatHead moved to Austin with us, meowing hysterically all the way. Like most kitties, she was not fond of riding in the car, or vets for that matter. The vet had to put her in a pillowcase because she would growl and hiss. She was our kitty for 12 years then cancer took her.

We've always felt that a house without animals is not a home, so later that same year, we found Dinsdale through a Craigslist ad. Dinsy is queen of our home. Her fur is velvety soft and although she's not a cuddle bear, I subject her to that humiliation regularly. She usually tolerates it for a short time, looking at me like "OK, you can put me down now, stop kissing me, I'll puke in your shoes if you don't put me down right NOW".

Dinsy also tolerates my stuffed animals.
Dinsy has a couple of Beanie Babies that she treats like kittens. We'll hear her dragging one of them down the hall, trying to meow with her mouth full "meaooorrrf", then in the morning we'll step on said "kitten" on our way to the bathroom.

Dinsy was only a few years old when we got her, so hopefully she'll be with us for a while. She has two outdoor friends named Fat Albert and Tillie Levene. All three cats have a tenuous understanding about pecking order, so there are no fights, only some butt sniffing and a few hisses.
I still try to talk to squirrels, by the way.........


Misty said...

Say, I LOVED that Dorthy Hamill haircut!!!! Wonderful Post.

tracey fields said...

Dinsy Rules.