First up I'll introduce Zeus, whom we adopted from the shelter in Jamestown not long after moving to Erie. We thought Jessie needed a dog friend to play with, though the cats mostly accepted her, she was awfully big to really play with them. So, off to Petfinder I went, and when we saw his picture, we fell in love. We took Jessie over to meet him, they got along, and he came home with us. He was at least 6 years old as far as the vet could tell. For the first several days, he observed everybody in the house, choosing one person to follow closely for a day or two until he learned their habits. He was uncanny smart, and loved to try to get away and run, run, run. The only problem we ever had with him and the cats was in the first week or so, when he grabbed Anika and shook her, but The Mate let him know in a fierce way that was completely unacceptable, and from that day forward, her never hurt a cat again, and in fact seemed to love kittens most of all. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer (in his mouth) in the fall of 2009, and succumbed to it in October. He is very missed, and will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Isis was our first rescued kitty, and part of why we started getting into rescue in general. I'd been somewhat involved with rescuing animals in the past, but hadn't realized just how much it was needed until this time. I guess I grew up a bit sheltered (I really didn't mean to make a pun there) in that area. Isis was orphaned at about two and a half weeks old, and was being bottle fed when we adopted her, which we continued with. All of us took our turns feeding her, and she was the most spoiled kitten I've ever heard of. And yes, that is her in my shirt pocket, which should give you an idea of how tiny she was. Because I worried that she would get hurt, her first weeks with us were spent living in the bathtub, with a nice little bed and food and water at one end, and a litter box at the other. It was so adorable how she couldn't even jump high enough to get out; all you would see if you went near our bathroom was a little furry head bouncing up to see over the edge. Isis came down with FIP at just barely over a year old, and did not make it through. Although it's been a long time, we still miss her quite a bit, and we'll always have treasured memories of her.
Some other pets we've loved and lost are:
- Bandit- our 'miracle' ferret. I had been talking about how much I wanted a ferret for a couple of years, and one day I left the house to find a guy and his dog checking something out... and it was a ferret! Nobody ever claimed him, and he lived out his days with us, passing away one night in his sleep. Our vet thought he was at least 6 when we got him, and he was with us for 4 years.
- Ms. Piggy Squeaks- Our first guinea pig. It's a rather entertaining story as to how I got her, but I'll save that for another time. Mr. Skunky Squeaks- our second guinea pig. He was kept separately until they moved with my kids into my ex's place, and then they produced one litter of three. He went to another friend's to live, the babies went to family members, and after several years, Piggy passed away in her sleep. I'd love to have guinea pigs again, but right now we're pretty much full with what we have, and until I can provide the best, I'm not adding pets (well, okay, we do want a male dog eventually, but that's another story too).
- Slithery D- My Mexican Black Snake (not even sure if that's the proper name). Unfortunately, he had an abscess when we got him, and several trips to the vet and treatments didn't help him, and he passed away.
- Parakeets- We've had several parakeets, as many as four at a time. I used to bring home the crippled ones from the pet store, and nurture them as much as possible. Some passed soon after, others lived with us for a few years. All are missed, but birds are not really a good match for all the cats and dogs, so we aren't planning to add any for a long time, if ever.
- Hamsters- As with the parakeets, I used to bring home the injured and sick ones, and nurse them to health as best I could. I miss having little furries around, but again, the dogs and cats aren't terribly conducive to having small pets like that. Also, The Mate refuses to have a rat in the house, so that is one animal I probably won't get to have again.
- Fish- We've had many fish over time, and eventually would like to set up a big tank to have more. I find aquariums to be quite relaxing. At some point, we might even consider a saltwater tank, but I think I need to learn a lot more about them first.
Yes, I get a little carried away talking about the animals, but I just wanted to share that, as they all have a place in our hearts. I could go on for hours and hours and hours, but I'll try not to bore anybody to death, if I haven't already.