Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I am Never Getting a Pet

Well, I would just like to start by saying that I love animals, I really do. I like dogs, cats, rodents, and sometimes fish, but I never want to own any for myself. It is too much trouble for me. Perhaps I like them too much, because when something tragic happens, its hard to even get out of bed, for my family and I.

My ode to Penny:
Last night, my mom had to put one of her cats down. Penny. I have a pic of her somewhere, but we shouldn't dwell anyway. My mom and my step-dad saved Penny from the outside. When she showed up at our house about three or so years ago, she was a beautiful Persian cat, calico in color. But, her hair was everywhere and she had debris all over in it, as their house was one of the very few that had been finished being built on their street. I told my mom that I wanted to name her, and so I decided on Penelope, but Penny stuck. She was very scared of us at first. She scurried away when we would try to pet her. When we decided that she could actually live inside the house, she warmed up a little bit. But, she did, love to cuddle. She would get up right in your face. If you slept with your door open, forget it, she would come in and claim the space of your head. She had an issue with eating and drinking. Her face was so flat that should could barely get anything in her mouth. We had to experiment with different sizes and shapes of cat food till we found one she could actually eat, although it took her a half hour. She would get up on the counter top and crane her neck under the sink faucet and we would turn on the tiniest stream so she could lick it, still though soaking her entire flat face. My mom would have her shaved in the summer. It was so cute. She would be so skinny under all that fur. She would still have a little fur on the bottoms of her legs and her head. She was a good cat. About a month ago, my mom had to take her to the vet. She had a bloody polyp on her colon (preventing her from going #2) and cancer cells throughout her body. A lot of money, and a trip to the ER for pets later, she is gone. I will miss you Penny!

About having pets. Well, I have gone through six cats, two dogs, a few hamsters, one rat, and numerous fish since my life began in 1982. My mom, needless to say, is a cat lover. Tisha died when I was an infant. They suspected an angry neighbor poisoned her. Misha ran away when I was a child. We suspect she wanted to get back to the house we had just moved from. Gaby, I'm not so sure what happened there, I think maybe we had to give her away. Louie was a stray who traveled with us from Tempe to Chandler but didn't quiet make it because of a faulty heart. Groucho was one of Gaby's kittens and she was with us for about 20 or so years. I cried my freakin eyes out when she went. My mom put her down. She was extremely old. When we moved into my step-dad's house, she lived in my room exclusively. My mom, my sister and I, all had some sort of a relationship with her during different stages of her life. And now Penny. We had to give away two dogs, one being our treasured family dog and was very hard to accept. One rat died, and I know you think that is weird, but it wasn't weird, it was cute. We had Fritz and Heidi, two of many hamsters, buried in the backyard of our Orem home. And the fish-don't even get me started. We had a fish disaster of 1998 when we left our 12 or so (including a whole family a puffer fish whom we dubbed Puff Daddy, Puff Mama and Puff Baby, a couple frogs and various others) fish with family friends while we went to Mexico for vacation and returned to their pump being unplugged. My mom was depressed for two weeks following that tragedy. And lets not forget about Harry, the goldfish won at a carnival who lived for 5 years, and Ben, the black fish who was white one day when we returned home and realized Earl, the sucker fish, had sucked onto Ben.
Perhaps it would be better if we didn't name ALL of our pets including each and every fish. Because we get SO attatched to them that it is unbearable when they go. Heck, I even get distressed when my friend's pets die. And oh, reading about it in the news, that's bad too. Its so sad to me when anything dies. And duh, I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I just don't know what I would do if it were one of my own. I mean, my cats were mine, but in reality my mom took care of them.
In december, I was wanting a kitten. I got one too. My sister found a stray and we took her in. I gave her the name Minnie and she was feisty. So feisty in fact, that we ended up having to give her away because she was biting a lot, and she didn't have any qualms about biting or scratching the baby, or Jason and I while we tried to sleep. I gave her to one of my best friend's parents, so I am able to hear about how she is doing and see her too from time to time. She is still very feisty, but they spoil her rotten, so as guilty as I felt, I know she is in good hands.
And it's not over. At my mom's house still lives four cats: Duma, Tiger Kitty, Bandit and Chloe. I've moved on from the fish, but I know I will be very upset when it's Chloe's time. We have had her over ten years now and I still consider her my little Baby Cat because she is still tiny.
I know that one day, my kids will probably want to get a dog or so. Jason and I have talked about the fact that while that sounds appealing at first, it is not in our best interest. Pets are trouble. They are expensive and unruly like children, but they don't listen as well. So I have vowed to never own another pet, unless I absolutely have to and will go to hell if I don't. But I would really rather not. I have to live my life for me, and while animals deserve a chance too, the only chance they will get from me is the fact that I am a strict vegetarian.

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