Animal House

Our house has gone to the animals and I’ve turned into a crazy cat lady. The only thing good about it is that FMG is also a crazy cat person. I blame him for starting all of this. When I met him, I had two dogs…and some fish.

When we decided to live together, he brought two cats and a parrot into the relationship. I’ve never been a “cat person.” I didn’t really dislike cats, I had just never had any. When I was young, we had a cat named Rainbow that my mom accidentally ran over with her Ford Bronco. The cat sat in a garbage bag for a couple days until they finally buried it and that is the memory that has stuck with me throughout my life. So, I never really wanted a cat. I never really wanted dogs either.

I guess I didn’t consider myself an animal lover when I was younger. I was raising children. That was enough work, but eventually, we got a dog. And I got it under the worst thought process ever. My son was 8, he had been attacked by a large dog. I didn’t want him being scared of dogs his whole life, so I decided to get a large dog, but I’d get a puppy and let her grow up with him. I also thought big dogs don’t live as long, so I picked a German Shepherd. They live ten years on average, some a little longer, but not much. I figured by the time my son grew up and moved out, she’d be dying and I’d be kid free and dog free.

She just turned 11 and our Rottweiler Zeus who I’ve had for over 9 years is going to be 10 soon. They are getting old. Athena, the Shepherd has gone grey. She’s lost most of her teeth and she moves a lot slower now. I dread the day I have to say goodbye to either of them.

As for the cats, they just keep multiplying in this house. We started with Stella and Luna, FMG’s cats. When they moved in, they figured out how to use the doggie door. So they would come and go. Eventually, Luna went and never came back. We checked the shelter, scoured the neighborhood, posted in our neighborhood Facebook group, but she seems to have disappeared. I hope she’s living her best life somewhere. Shortly after Luna disappeared, I was pumping gas and heard a cat crying near an air machine. When I followed the sound, a tiny blue eyed baby kitten hissed at me and tried to hide. I caught her and wrapped her in my jacket and brought her home. She was a little black/multi colored bobtail cat who we named Zeta after the hurricane that was in full effect when we found her. And then we took in a calico and named her Tiki. That made 3. Then in June, we rescued a whole litter and a mama cat from an abusive human. We named the mama cat Bailey, the kittens were named Georgia, Max, and Dahli. Again, they were all free to come and go through the doggie door. Max went and never came back. We found out that Georgia and Dahli were boys and quickly changed their names to George and Salvador. That made 6. Last week, we saw a little stray cat outside. It was getting really cold at night and we decided we should probably make friends with her and see where she belongs and if she has an owner. We gave her a little food and Sal made fast friends with her and brought her into the yard. Upon closer inspection, we saw that her ear had been tipped and she had recently been fixed. Ear tipping is something the shelter does to stray cats before they release them where they found them. A person from the neighborhood can also take strays in to be fixed and then release them. Either way, she was thin and scared and her tipped ear convinced me that she had no true home. So we brought her into the house, showed her how the doggie door works so she can come and go, too, and we gave her the name Piper.

Piper seems to like being an indoor cat. She has ventured out the doggie door more than a few times, but she doesn’t stay out long and she comes back in and gets comfy in the bed or on the cat bed near the window.

According to city ordinances, I think we have way too many animals. At this point, we probably need a permit.

And I love these little cats more than I ever thought possible. Especially George. The smaller of the murder twins. He is always bringing critters in the house to kill. They are usually alive and he plays with them for a while before he murders them. Most times, I can save the critter. Sometimes I can’t. But when he’s not killing, he’s quite the loving little fella.

Every morning when I wake up, he’s either sleeping at the top of the pillow, nestled in my hair or he’s right next to me, purring up a storm. His brother Sal likes to lay right on top of me or next to my hip. And the new one, Piper, she likes to lay at the bottom of the bed by my feet. The other cats just come in to get love and pets and treats when they feel like it. I guess we basically run a cat halfway house.

But now that we have all these animals, I can’t imagine not having them, so whenever we are looking at houses near the beach now, I’m checking out if the yard and the neighborhood would be good for the cats and the dogs.

Because, after all, it’s all about them now.

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