Sunday, November 22, 2015


Half a Cat

Since publishing the list of pets I have owned, people (okay, mostly my grandma) have wondered how I ever managed to have half a cat. Did we have a deformed cat that only had half a body? Did we have an especially obese cat that somehow counted as one and a half cats? I told my grandma that she would just have to wait and see! The real answer is very simple - I was once invited by my very kind Aunt Carolyn to "own" a cat of hers. 

She was actually about half the size of
a normal cat, so that makes sense.

Pet Ownership

The concept of pet ownership is a little bit strange. Can you really "own" a live animal? I used to think so! For instance, when my parents would admit to people that they owned four or five dogs, they would say, "Well... we have four (or five) kids so they each have a dog of their own!" And they were right. It was always that way in my house. Everyone had one animal that they preferred over the others in the house, and which they claimed as their own. Even if the animal was clearly inferior to the other dogs/cats/birds it was still yours and, therefore, the best.

After the tragic incident with Brittany Beason, everyone was desperate for a way to get me to stop talking about Brittany Beason. Around this time, we visited my Aunt Carolyn, who had a couple of new kittens (a common theme - they love animals as much as we do). I especially liked one of the kittens, and my aunt decided that I could keep her! Of course, I couldn't really keep her, because we were all still going along with the charade that my dad had "cat allergies". But I could share her! 

Catshare Rules

How do you share a cat, you ask? Well, here are the rules as far as I can tell: 

Cat Owner Responsibilities
  1. Take care of cat
  2. Take pictures of cat 
  3. Share amusing stories of cat via phone/letters
  4. Allow sharer of cat to pet/cuddle them when they are around
  5. Pretend sharer of cat is in the owner
Cat  Sharer Responsibilities
  1. Enjoy cat cuddles
  2. Enjoy cat pictures
  3. Enjoy cat stories
I would recommend this sort of "catshare" arrangement to anyone. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

We named her Cordelia (after the character on Buffy, obviously). And she was just as beautiful and feisty as her namesake. 

A letter from my aunt telling me about Cordelia's adventures!

Kitty in the City

At the peak of their cat ownership time, my aunt and her family lived in the country. There, the cats were free to roam and interact with the local wildlife. However, when they moved to the city... things changed.

Cordelia and the opossum.
You know what they say about curiosity...
After moving to the city, Cordelia escaped the safety of my aunt's house and was hit by a car. Thus fulfilling my cousin's prophecy to all their new cats ("You're gonna get runned over"), and ending our catshare arrangement. Though I'm sure I was very upset by her death, I found that in addition to the reduced responsibility required for a catshare, I also had reduced sadness over her passing. I have not owned a cat since, nor do I have any plans to. But I would participate in a catshare again. Please contact me if you have any interest in allowing me to "own" one of your cats. (But also, be aware of the risks involved in letting me take ownership [even hypothetically] of your animal...)

I was also recently reminded by my aunt that Cordelia was a mommy. One of her kittens, Paris Dale, is now 9 years old and has lived with their family her whole life. It just goes to show - there is always hope for the next generation! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Animal Shelter

One time we were running low on dogs. We might have only had two at the time and I think we had a recent runaway, so we were trying to fill a hole in our broken hearts. My mother and I went to the local animal shelter to "rescue" a dog. 

Rescue Mission

We began by walking the aisles of the shelter and looking at all the adorable dogs. We happened across a Boxer puppy that was super cute. Having decided that we could not live without this animal, we attempted to take it home with us. As we waited in line to speak with someone at the shelter, we started thinking of what we would name him. The two of us at an animal shelter were like two kids in a candy store. I'm sure we thought of something ridiculous to name him. I remember it was a male Boxer. We had a history of ridiculous animal names, and this one would be no different. Let us now refer to him as "Box". 

Interview Time

The animal shelter conducted a thorough interview with us before allowing us to take Box home. Here are some examples of responses that we may have given to these questions. 

1. Hey, don't I know you two? 
Probably. We have had a few dogs run away and we almost always reclaim them from you. 

2. What brings you in today?
We recently lost a dog, and we are coming to find a replacement. 
I'm sorry to hear that. 

3. Do you currently have any other dogs? 
Yes, one English Setter (pictured below) and one Dalmatian. 
Oh, yes. I remember the English Setter...

Gracie, the English Setter, was an escape artist and famous at the local animal shelter!
4. Do you have any other animals living in the home? 
Yes, we also have two cats - Brittany and Sylvester. But they all get along since the dogs stay outside and the cats (mostly) stay inside. 

5. Where would you plan to keep this puppy?
Outside with the other dogs. We have a covered porch and a gate that is (usually) locked. 
(significant look from animal shelter employee)
...or we might keep him in the garage for awhile...

6. Do you have any experience training a puppy? 
...Oh, sure. We've had several dogs before. 

7. Can you provide vaccination records for your other animals? 
...Yeah. It might take a few days to get all of that together...

Mission Failure

Ultimately, we were not allowed to take Box home with us. My mother was not pleased, as she felt we would be a perfectly adequate home for a dog that might not have any other options. The shelter seemed to think that Box could do better, though. And he probably did. He was super cute.