Friday, May 18, 2007

All the pets I've loved before.

Fred (cat): Named after Fred Flintstone
We got Fred when I was very young. I don't remember him much, except that he was the first animal that I remember feeling really connected to. My stepdad not so much. He and Fred did not get along. I don't really know what happened to Fred.

Commander (Dog): Named by my Uncle, apparently some 70s reference.
Commander was my uncle Michael's dog before he was ours.. in the 70s.. Commander had issues. In his lifetime, without seeking medical attention, and without ill effect he ate: 1 box of mothballs, 2 square feet of plywood, 3 square feet of linoleum, enough fiberglass insulation to insulate 1 large doghouse (after eating the linoleum and plywood that covered it). He dug a 2 food deep hole under his dog house and used that for his house. Commander was particularly fond of knocking me down and barking in my face. I had genuine disdain for that dog. I swear he was part Hyena.
My uncle took him back after a couple years.

Patches (Dog): She had patches of white, give me a break, I was 8.
Patches was actually MY dog. My dad got her when I was just a kid and she was just a pup. She was an English Sheppard or sommat, and like most working dogs was very smart. One day my step brother and I were up a tree and calling the dog (we were kids, and it was pretty mean) She backed up, got a running start, and ran up the tree. She was the greatest dog ever. She died when I was a teenager.

D.C. (Cat): Damn Cat. (Named by my father)
D.C. was a pain. He'd attack your feet while you were sleeping. Sit on your face. He carried a chicken bone around for 2 weeks trying to emulate the dog (Patches), and would defend the bone fiercely if you tried to touch it. She would bark far more than she meowed. She would sleep with the dog, and a few times as a kitten we caught the dog nursing the cat (though both denied it till the bitter end).

Cinnamon (Dog): Brown dog, female, seemed to make sense.
Cinnamon was really my brother's dog. She was a little terrier mix. Fast, high energy dog. After the Commander debacle, my Mom and Step-dad decided to get a puppy and not take on anyone else's problems. We brought her home from the pound when Chico was 3.. I think. Well behaved dog.. mostly. She would fight with any dog that got in her territory, no matter what the size. She would run away from home if given 1/4 a chance. Catching her was impossible. My brother could because, like I said, she was HIS dog and would come when called. You could bribe her with food if you were fast enough, otherwise you just have to wait till she decided to come home. She lived to be 20, and really shook up my brother when she passed.

Nikita (Dog): Named by Ex-girlfriend.
I had Nik in college. My girlfriend at the time got her but she bonded with me right away. As soon as the girl and I stopped seeing each other, Nik started to show her displeasure with the girlfriend.. with poo. So the girl gave me the dog, and I was so completely unprepared for it. I was gone too much, and not responsible, but Nik and I had a summer together while I looked for someone to take her on that wasn't totally sketchy (She was part Rottweiler, and that draws a rather unsavory crowd). We were more friends than owner/pets, which was a revelation to me as my father had always owned working animals (hunting dogs or Sheppards) and my step-dad demands obedience from his animals. With the girl's help, I found her a home with a family and a barn, and I gave her up.. She could still be around.

Basil (Ball Python): Named after Basil McRae.
Basil was a great snake. Loved being held. When he was a baby he'd sit in my shirt pocket, with just his little head poking out. He scared the crap out of a couple LDS missionaries who came knocking one day when he crawled out of my shirt pocket to sniff them a bit. Basil never really liked to eat, and I had to force feed him more than is healthy. He died of an intestinal blockage.

Ramona (Tortoise): Named after Ramona Quimby.
I got Ramona for my wife for her birthday. This was before we were married. She used to run around the house, and was really a major part of our lives. She was the first real gift I gave my wife, and the first thing we did together as a couple was pick her out. I bought the tank and all the stuff and put a little stuffed turtle in the cage with a bow on it. The wife came home and was so excited, we went out to get Ramona that night. The wife loved that turtle fiercely. We thought Ramona would be around for marriage (she was), Kids, and even Grandkids. She went into hibernation and got an upper repertory infection. We got her to the vet, but it was too late. I am not sure I have ever been so sad for the passing of an animal.

Tenzing (Cat):See Below.
Last October we decided that we were no longer mourning Ramona and it was time for a new pet. We went and looked at some Turtles, and a few lizards (I really wanted a bearded dragon) and at the last minute we decided to swing by a cat adopt-a-thon held by the human society. The wife was in denial, but I knew if we went, we were coming home with a feline. There were a few cats, and loads of kittens there, and we picked up a little black guy with a white "scar" on his face and mittens and boots of white. The first thing he did was climb up as high as he could on my body and look around like a mountaineer on a summit. We named him Tenzing after Tenzing Norgay. He's been around the house scratching, going up on the kitchen counters where he's not allowed and generally doing cute kitteny things. He loves it when you blow softly in his face, and it makes him drool, just a little.

Raisin (turtle): Named by wife, I liked previous name (Flash) because it reminds me of the Dukes of Hazzard.
last week the wife adopted a turtle that one of her students was having trouble taking care of. I imagine there'll be more to this story one day, but that's it for now.

There were others, like the chameleon that I had for a week before my step-mom's cat ate it, who were too short lived to be of note, or fish which aren't really that interesting, and lots of pets owned by step-family, but they're not worth mentioning.