In my house growing up, there was no shortage of animals. I don't remember having any less than four cats at any one time. We had dogs, one named Kitty even. We had birds, snakes, rats, hamsters, etc, etc. All manner of living creatures. I remember always feeling grateful that we had animals and I can't imagine the amount of crap my parents had to clean up. We even called our food pantry the "cat room" since it housed the litter box. Yep you got it, a box full of cat crap in the same place we stored food.
We had this monster black and white tuxedo cat named Moosie. I think he pushed 25lbs. Maybe he was 40lbs, my childhood memories make him larger than he likely was. This cat is a legend! Moosie had one eye, can't remember how he lost it, he just always had one eye. Moosie also walked with a severe limp which was the result of a shoulder injury he endured after being hit by a car and my parents chose not to pay for the surgery to repair it(maybe the eye went in that accident also). Even with all his gimpyness and that one eyeball, Moosie loved life! There was nothing this cat wouldn't put up with from us five kids in the house. He had the loudest purr ever, like ever, look it up in Guiness. We could sit on him, aggressively snuggle him, harass him to no end, and that loud purr just kept on going. Even just walking by, Moosie would purr. Moosie loved love.
|The legend himself, Moosie. With baby Alex.|
Moosie also had a girlfriend, a life partner, if you will. That's right, Moosie loved love from humans AND other animals. Noodles, a fluffy calico we also had, was Moosie's girlfriend and these two cats were inseparable. Completely enamored with each other, these kitties could be found cuddling together any time of day. It was heartbreaking for everyone when Moosie passed away at some super old age for cats. However, none of us felt his loss like Noodles did. Noodles was inconsolable and passed away just a few weeks later. We found her under the bed, cuddling alone. To this day, we are convinced that she died of a broken heart. We buried her next to her beloved Moosie. Noodles and Moosie, like Sid and Nancy, together until death, except without the heroin overdose and murder charges.
As I became an adolescent, I took on my very own pets, bought with my own money. Mickey and Zoey, my rat couple. I would breed them and the lil baby rats were too cute for words. When the babies were old enough, I would sell them for $1 each to pet stores to then be sold as pets. All these years later, I realize many of them likely became reptile feed. Snakes gotta eat too I suppose.
I had the rats for a few years and I'll never forget the day I realized Zoey was very sick. I bawled all the way to the vet to have her put down. I knew she was suffering greatly and I had to say goodbye to a tiny creature who had brought me so much joy and taught me so much responsibility. I had Mickey for a while longer, along with the lone baby from his and Zoey's final litter they had together.
The luster had worn off after years of caring for rats, and one day I took the last remaining offspring from my rat couple and "released" him into the field behind my house. I don't know if I ever admitted that to anyone. I literally took a domesticated rat that probably didn't know how to fend for himself and abandoned him in a field thinking he was now free. He probably didn't last the night. I still have some guilt over that.
Throughout my adulthood, I've traveled and moved so much that I have never made the space in my life to have an animal. I have longed for it and came close to getting a kitty in Denver until I moved into the most perfect apartment... that wouldn't allow pets. I currently live with a kitty but he is the definition of a scaredy cat, runs from everything and will barely let me pet him. The feelings I've been having lately of isolation a loneliness are pressing me again. I mean, I'm almost 40 years old and I've never had a cat or dog of my own, even though I've ached for it for years, but feared the commitment.
|Lil Tucky, a beast who has made a difference for me.|