Sunday, November 5, 2017

Eleven Eleven

We know Duncan was born sometime around the beginning of November, but we don't know the exact date. I explained to him recently that his biological mother didn't keep detailed records (she was a big ol' mess and I don't think she actually knows who the father is). Duncan took it surprisingly well, probably mostly because I told him on Halloween right before trick-or-treating started so he was distracted at the moment.

I adopted my baby at the end of January and at the time a lady who smelled like dog poop and who handed him over to me said that they thought he was about 12 weeks old based on his teeth or his eyes or the number of rings around his core or something. Then she took all of my money and forgot to tell me that I wasn't going to get a full night of sleep for the next four months.

I pulled out my calculator and did very complicated math to determine that Mr. Doodle entered the world in early November. Sometime after that I decided we would just celebrate his birthday on 11/11 because it's memorable and it will look cool if we ever decide to tattoo it onto his clavicle.

We texted Adam the other day to make sure Teddy and Renley had it in their calendars. Adam responded that he saw them putting it into their phones.




Then we texted Matt for the same reason. He responded that Toby was over at his house playing with Ollie and so he reminded both of them but he wasn't sure if the message sunk in since they were both high as a kite at that moment thanks to Broome Bungalow's latest paint project.


Sorry for all of you who thought Halloween was over.

Also, Toby pretty much always looks like that. Every time I see him I want to apologize for everything.

I can't believe Duncan is already turning one year old. Around the time Duncan was born I was going through an extremely difficult few months. I look forward to being able to tell you that whole story sometime, but unfortunately I can't just yet thanks to attorney-client privilege and a few other things that are somehow even less interesting than attorney-client privilege.

Hashtag vauguebooking.

By the time November closed out, I was experiencing burnout and emotional fatigue to a level I had never before known, and for the next couple of months I sort of felt like a zombie, trying desperately to stave off very regular panic attacks and to just function.

Really awesome timing to launch Strangerville Live and plan, organize, and execute our first show, by the way.

Right when I was hitting the bottom of the burnout and starting to try to figure out how to pick up the pieces, Matt Sent Me A Very Important Text.


It was a puppy.

There was no way in Hell I was about to bring a pooping little animal into my life at that time. No way. Uh-uh. Nope. Not going to happen. That was the LAST thing that I needed. The absolute LAST thing.

But then.

But then I just kept going back and looking at that picture. And thinking about how this little baby needed someone to love him. And how maybe that someone needed to be me, even though at the moment I didn't feel like I had a lot left in me.

So I went and met him. And a lady who smelled like dog poop handed him over to me and forgot to warn me that I wouldn't sleep for four months.

And I took him home. And he became my baby.












He used to wake me up five times a night to go out and go potty. He would cry whenever I left the house. He would snuggle up to me on the couch and fall asleep on my lap. He would follow me around the park and try to hide between my legs if a bigger dog scared him. He would wake me up every morning by army-crawling to the top of the bed and licking my face.

It took about five minutes for me to fall in love with this amazing little creature who unconditionally loves me back.

I know you aren't all dog people, and I totally get that. For a long time I wasn't one either. And there are probably a few of you who have rolled your eyes all 7,459 times I have posted a picture of Duncan on Stranger this year.

But whatever. It's Duncan's birthday. And this week, I'm celebrating that by being grateful for this amazing little guy who sort of saved my life.

At the beginning of this year I was convinced that bringing home a little puppy was the last thing I needed. I was wrong. It was exactly what I needed.

Mr. Duncan Doodle, I love you more than I ever knew it was possible to love a dog. You were born exactly at the time when I needed you most. It's cliche; it's cheesy. But I don't care. I'll say it anyway. I was supposed to step in and rescue you, but looking back I can see clearly that you actually rescued me. And I'm going to give you eleventy billion kisses all over, every day, for the rest of your life, whether you like it or not.

To help me celebrate Duncan's birthday, tell me a quirky thing about a pet you have now or a beloved one who's already gone on to Jesus.

~It Just Gets Stranger

42 comments:

  1. I lost a coworker in February. I lost my best bud of 13 years (a feisty orange fluffy cat named Jake) in March. Jake was my steady companion through family sickness, friends issues, breaking up with boyfriends... He was the only one who was always there for me, even when he'd steal my underwear and hide them all over the apartment.

    I fell into a pretty dark hole. I have always wanted a Husky dog, but the life I live isn't one that can easily support a dog. I ended up coming across, completely randomly, a grey 2 year old cat> He was labelled as a beautiful feisty but loving and snugly-butt with the markings, and name, of Husky. It was May. People kept telling me "it's too soon" for me to get another pet. I kind of agreed. But I went with my gut and my "This may be what I need right now" feeling. I went to meet him. And he claimed me by coming over and immediately sitting on my lap.

    Best decision I made.

    The fluffy grey beast is sitting next to me, head butting my arm as I write this. I've lost a lot more since I've gotten him, and life has changed so drastically, and he's been there with licks, snuggles and purrs through every moment. I agree with you - I may have been the one who brought him home, but he's the one who rescued me.

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    1. Emily --- I am so glad you have your Husky. HUGS to you.

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    2. Beautiful. Will you please send me a picture of him? I would love to love him in photo.

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    3. Awww that's really sweet! I have had several friends adopt huskies and many of them are woefully unprepared to meet the needs of their husky. In fact my friend Caitlin posted this after living with her very active adopted husky for a year and her friend told her how beautiful she thought huskies were and how she wanted to adopt one: https://i.pinimg.com/236x/fd/cb/01/fdcb015c3b4b7cbcc2ab25aa57e21bbe--husky-humor-siberian-husky.jpg

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  2. My most memorable pet was a cat named Mandy. (If Amy Rose is reading this, Corky is close behind.)

    We moved to Brazil when I was eight, and I handled the transition pretty well, but I desperately wanted a cat. To just love me. And be mine. The answer was no for quite a while, but then one day when my mom was in the Walmart parking garage, she saw (or heard?) a tiny, dirty, feeble little kitty cowering next to a pillar. An impossibly small kitten all alone. On impulse, she put it in the trunk of her car. Then she went inside and purchased kitten items. It took a number of veterinarian visits for this kitten to be healthy, but she lived and was amazing. I named her Mandy.

    We left Brazil when I was twelve and moved to Indiana; Mandy moved with us. She helped me adjust to this new environment that was so different.

    When my senior year started, I was all set to follow all of my older siblings (I'm the baby) to attend Purdue University and have an awesome time with them. Then the year was surprisingly hard. On the exterior, it probably seemed great, but there were a lot of issues with friends and some depression, and it was just hard, and somewhere around April I decided that I had to get away from certain people or I was going to get dragged down. Conveniently, my father had "encouraged" me to apply to eleven universities, so I had options. And last minute, I switched to BYU.

    But that was scary, too, because all of my siblings had stayed in Indiana, and I only had extended family in Utah. At the time though, I had a cousin at BYU and a cousin at what-is-now-UVU, and they said I could live with them. I actually applied for and received a waiver to live in off-campus, non approved campus, claiming, among other things, that I was emotionally dependent on having my cat with me and no campus approved housing allowed pets. And thus, Mandy went to BYU with me, helping me with a difficult and lonely transition. Both of my cousins were nice, but I didn't know them super well as they'd grown up in Texas, which is rather far from Indiana, and they both had serious boyfriends and actually both got married at the May at the end of the school year.

    But I made friends in Provo and a few friends from Indiana were there, too, and I had Mandy. Again she helped me through a transition.

    She would come into the room and listen to me when I would sing. She would snuggle with me at night when my basement bedroom in Provo was just so cold, and she would rub her face on mine when I would cry.

    She was beautiful, inside and out.

    Sophomore year, my cousins were already married, so I couldn't live in their off campus house anymore, so I had to move into campus approved housing with my friends (Shout out to Cinnamon Tree), but that meant that Mandy couldn't come back to school with me, so she moved back in with my parents.

    Fast forward a few years later, I had my diploma, I was married and pregnant with my first child, and we were ready to move back to the Midwest. But Mandy had lived an amazingly long life for a kitten who started her life alone in a parking garage in one of the largest cities in the world, and she had fought the good fight, and in my opinion, won, and was ready to rest. She was just too old and was put to sleep in February 2009 at fifteen years old. Then in April 2009, I had severe preeclampsia and almost died myself, and on the same day that my daughter was born, my grandmother went into the hospital, and she died two weeks later. And we moved back to the Midwest in May and started all over again. A new start without Mandy. But I'll always have her memory.

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    1. Whoa. Now that I can see the whole message I can see that I wrote a novel. Whoops!

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    2. Grr I forgot to be anonymous and my comment got eaten. Ok so I think I said something like, “we have had a lot of great pets over the years. I was thinking I might go with Sammy the Ferret this time for my special pet” A. Rose

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    3. I'm in the airport sobbing now. Beautiful comment!

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  3. And thank you a million times for all these cute pictures.

    And I remember your blog pre-Duncan (and pre-Ollie) when you were rather against pets. It's been fun seeing the flip. :D

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    1. I know right! I'm pretty sure the very first thing I thought when I read the first Duncan post was an "I told you so." Anyway, I think every Monday should contain puppy pictures.

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    2. Yes, save our Monday’s. Give us puppy pictures. Then on Friday you can give us distractions and more puppy pictures. Or hair pictures. Or Tammy. Or Paul Cyclemon.

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    3. Puppy Day Monday is an amazingly good idea.

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  4. My Lily (cockapoo) keeps me accountable when it comes to being on my phone too much. When she wants to be petted, she aggressively nuges my right hand with her head, and quite often this causes my phone to fly out of my hand and acress the room. I love her.

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  5. My first dog was a golden cocker spaniel that my family would watch while his original family was on vacation. Eventually, they let us keep him since their daughter was going to college and we still had kids at home. We had him for about 3 years before his health started failing. and we put him down. Right before my older brother took him away, all I remember is just lying with him on the carpet of my room treasuring his warm fluffy body. I loved all the walks I took him on and the talks I had with him. I like playing with puppies, but I love loving older dogs that may only have a few years of life left.

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  6. When we got my cat Copper, my husband wasn't convinced that our 110 lb Alaskan Malamute wouldn't try to eat him. He couldn't have been more wrong. The dog has the biggest heart of any animal I've ever encountered and wanted to protect the kitty and love it with everything in him. He let this 3 lb kitten have run of the house AND eat out of his bowl. Because the dog is big we have the bowl up on risers and the kitten would have to crawl up and practically sit in the bowl to the the food and the dog would lay in the doorway and pretend not to watch him eat the dog food.

    Last May we brought home a new Malamute puppy who thought it would be fantastic fun to play with the cat. The cat was not amused and for many months would just sit atop things and glare at either the puppy or me to show how unhappy he was. The puppy has aged and doesn't chase the cat as much and the cat has gotten used to the puppy a little more. Recently I walked into the kitchen and found the dogs flanking the cat at the puppy's food bowl watching the cat eat out of it. The cat has regained dominance over the dogs who are exponentially bigger than him. All in right in the world.

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    1. This is why I love cats. They live life their way, on their terms. (That said, I love dogs too, but for completely different reasons). A. ROSE

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  7. Everyone morning when the alarm start sounding it's call to let me know it is "time to make the doughnuts", My Little JJ will immediately come up and get on the corner of my pillow and start giving me grooming kisses on my beard. I have said time and time again that it is he that keeps me sane and out of jail from taking action on stupid people I work with.

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  8. Hmm what can I say about Sammy the Ferret? She came into my life just after we had moved back to the United States from living in Brasil for four years. My sister had her cat, Mandy, my brother had his cat, Bubbles (also a tiny kitten rescue from brasil), and my other brother didn’t care. But I had no one, nothing. Also, I was that super awkward 14 year old who was tall, too skinny, blonde, (I have heard every single joke about how dumb blondes are), and wore her oldest brother’s clothes, and if he hadn’t done laundry, I wore my mothers clothes. To say I was having some kind of identity crisis is probably an understatement. I was more than lost, I was almost non existent as an actual individual. Then one day my mom comes home from a trip to visit her brother in Alabama, and what does she bring me home but this long, slinky, smelly ferret. That’s just what the weird girl from brasil wearing weird clothes and saying weird things needed- the weirdest pet. But somehow, Sammy fixed me. I think she made me brave enough to not only figure out who I was, but also brave enough to not care so much if no one else really liked that girl. And because of that courage, I was actually able to make friends- close friends who I still love twenty years later. That strange little pet saved my life, for sure. (A. Rose)

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    1. Oh, Sammy. What a great ferret.

      When did Dan get Ivory? Because technically, at some point during our Indiana time, that "other brother" did have his own pet as well.

      Sassy showed up in high school? I don't even remember where we got her from.

      Were you wearing everyone else's clothes because I had stolen all of yours? I have memories of going through mom's closets looking for something to wear. And now my husband accuses me of "dressing like my mom and HIS mom." Guilty, I suppose. ;)

      Oh, Ames, I loved awkward you. And amazing, confident you. You were never non existent in my life.You were a driving force.

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    2. Ah yes. I forgot about Ivory so yes, everyone had a pet but me and so Mom gave me Sammy the Ferret. Now Sassy came along in high school, she was my friend Amber’s dog, but amber couldn’t keep her for some reason so we got her. By then I had managed to gain a few A few friends. I wore peter or mom’s clothes because they “hid” me. You may recall i did not like being “seen” because then people might “talk” to me. Or actually talk to me. Haha. I don’t think I had any clothes you would have wanted until i was older, and had more friends that helped me shop. Also, we all know that you are, above and beyond any other influence in my life, the one who saved me.

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    3. Ooooh right. Your friend couldn’t keep Sassy.

      I just remember the school year where I borrowed a cute shirt of yours to wear for retakes (I think my freshman/your junior year), and it turned out to be the same shirt you wore on actual picture day, so that year we had matching photos in the yearbook. Haha

      MC

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  9. Dogs are a godsend. I've had Molly the Wonder Dog for a little over 10 years. She was about 2 or 3 when we adopted her. She had severe behavior problems when we brought her home and training her has been a constant in my life over the last decade. We thought we'd never break her chewing issues, until she chewed through a lamp cord, shocked herself, and never chewed on things that weren't "food" again. She still tries to attack any dog that gets within 10 feet of her, so she can never be off leash outside of the house. She's a bolter, numerous times she has bum-rushed me or dog sitters to escape and go full Ferris Bueller in the neighborhood, one time nearly getting hit by a semi right in front of me when I tried to corral her. And within the last few months she has started to have little "puddle" accidents around the house when she has to be inside for more than 4 hours (she used to be able to hold it for 8 hours). So yeah, right now my house smells like dog urine, I'm THAT middle aged single lady. To say she has been a handful is an understatement and many people have questioned why I keep her and why I love her, but they don't get it.

    She scared off someone who was trying to break into my back door with a screw driver. When I literally could not pick myself up off the floor because of anxiety or depression or grief she would lay her head on me to let me know I wasn't alone. She slept next to me in the terrible post-divorce time to make me feel safe. She doesn't judge me when I stay home on Friday night binge watching Netflix and eating pizza. She's the only creature in this world that has always and I mean ALWAYS been excited to greet me when I come home. There are days that she is the ONLY reason I get out of bed. She is a constant reminder to me to live in the moment, enjoy simple pleasures, always be grateful and forgiving of others frailties (one I always struggle with), and to be the human she deserves. She makes me better.

    I can't imagine my life without her, and the day she passes will be a very sad day for me. I've had family members ask why I don't just put her down and be done with it. All they see is that she creates obligations and chores in my life, but it's because they've never had a furry little angel to call their own, and I feel sad for them. There will always be people who don't get it, but that doesn't matter because I get it and MWD gets it and that's enough.

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    1. Have you ever sent me a picture of MWD? I need to see her.

      All of these stories are making me hormonal!

      NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT HORMONES ARE.

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    2. Oh and Eli if you need someone to do a 1-year cake smash photo session for your fur baby, I volunteer. I just had a friend of mine ask me to do an adult cake smash session for her 40th birthday, so you know, the dog one would probably be less weird.

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  10. My first real rescue pet that was truly mine was a cat one of my crazy ex roommates brought home and then immediately decided she didn't want. For a year, we could only pet her if she was sitting above us and our hands approached from the side. I loved her almost immediately (even that time I carried her down the steps and she scratched my wrists so badly that I looked like a cutter for a solid month). She didn't love me for another 3 years, after a bad bout of pneumonia (on her part) and a bad bout of depression (for me). I had to pill this incredibly difficult twice a day every day for months (and every other day for the rest of her life). It took 45 minutes and many tears on my part for the first several weeks. But caring for her was a big part of my recovery from that black time. And I think she knew I helped save her little kitty life, and then she loved me. Plus we found out that she was 4 years older than the rescue had told us. So she had 5 birthday parties that year, complete with tuna, cupcakes with ridiculous icing, presents and kitty hats (which she even tolerated and that was when I knew she loved me. That and when she allowed me to dress her as Mrs. Claus.) Pet birthdays are the bestest. Happy birthday Mr. Duncan Doodle!

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  11. About a year ago, someone made a comment to me about how it looks like my son wants a baby brother. My response was "a brother or a puppy depending on the day you ask him." I, like you, was not at all a pet person let alone a dog person. If my life depended on a pet, I would have chosen a fish or turtle or something low maintenance (a rock) over a dog any day. My husband is the complete opposite and has had pets of the canine variety all his life. Flash forward a year later, we welcomed a sweet little puppy named Teddy into our family and 3 weeks later, my son also got a baby brothers God works in mysterious ways...
    And on the same note, Teddy has done wonderful things for my daughter who was SEVERELY afraid of animals, especially dogs. One week into having Teddy, she actually pet him (which is a big deal because she would never even get near an animal). And about 2-3 weeks after we got Teddy, she began holding him and feeding him and he became her best friend. Dogs are wonderful.

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  12. I swore I would never get another dog. We have a dog - an anxiety ridden fluffy yellow floofy dog. He watches my kids, sleeps at the top of the stairs every night, and, growls at anyone who comes bear the kids in any manner he perceives as threatening. But then, one night, I was lying on the couch idly scrolling through Facebook, shortly after Christmas, and I came upon a puppy picture of a 6 week old newly rescued Husky puppy. I commented that he was cute, and the next thing I knew, I was at the top of the list of new owner possibilities. We made the trek to get him 2 days before the New Year, in the middle of one of the coldest winters on record here. Schools were closed constantly because of the temps and wind chills, and I literally caught pneumonia, after standing outside day and night in whipping howling winds that were -30f. That dog refused to potty train, and wanted nothing more than to stand outside in the snow. I nearly gave him back, truthfully. Four years later (almost) and, he's become my best buddy. My walking partner. The craziest, fluffier, most talkative, steady adoring buddy ever. After working my high stress job all day, and then going home to mom mode at night, thus dig has become my stress relieving antidote. He follows me everywhere, and can walk for miles, while my brains and body wind down. I love that dog so mich, I can't even describe it.

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  13. When my husband and I got married 16 years ago, he had a two-year-old springer spaniel and I had and an 8-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old daughter. The dog's name was Libby (short for Liberty because she was born on the 4th of July). Libby was clearly the alpha female of the household once we were all living under the same roof. Libby was a beautiful liver and white springer spaniel with big brown, expressive eyes and she was FULL.OF.SASS. Also, she hated children. The day we moved mine and my daughter's belongings into Libby's house, Libby jumped right up on our youngest daughter's bed and christened it by peeing on it. She chased said daughter up the stairs nipping at her heels every step of the way for years. If said daughter tried to make nice and pet Libby, Libby would bite daughter's hand. They were like oil and water....there was NO mixing the two. They finally found a way to coexist by ignoring each other. Really, the only person Libby truly loved was my husband. She would cuddle with him and follow him all over. But if anyone else tried to pet her she would snap at them. So we all gave Libby her space and life was good. Unfortunately as Libby got older, she started having seizures and her quality of life deteriorated to the point where my husband had to make the decision to put her down. It was gut wrenching for him, but he couldn't watch her suffer any longer. So on a freezing cold January day in Iowa we took Libby to the vet and he peacefully helped her pass on while my husband cradled her in his arms. The vet cried, I cried, and my husband sobbed. Libby had been his constant companion for 14 years. Then another dilemma quickly popped up. The vet gave us the option of having Libby cremated or buried. My husband wanted to bury her on our property....but it was in the middle of one of the coldest winters we have had and the ground was frozen solid. So the vet gave us a nice burial box and Libby went home with us.....and straight into our chest freezer until the ground thawed out enough to give her a proper burial. Eventually in the spring we found a peaceful final resting spot for Libby on our property and we had a proper funeral for her. Someday we'll get another dog, but none will ever fill the void in my husband's heart that Libby left. And for his sake, I really do miss Libby.

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  14. My grandma, Dorothy Dell (Haney)Moxon passed away on 11/11/11. She was spirited, loving and sassy. I miss her every day, I’ve started canning peaches and making strawberry jam to “preserve” her memory. I’m the only one who does this right now, but I’m hoping to teach my nieces someday and tell the stories about the woman they barely knew, their great-grandmother.

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    1. I love this idea! You could even print up all your memories and jam recipes and send it to your family for Christmas/birthdays/graduations/weddings. Both of my grandmothers passed before I was born and I cherish any little story or momento that my aunts share with me.

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  15. Our dog, Trixie Boo Yepsen, is a rescued 5-year old pure bred mutt. She rocks a white mohawk and everyone loves it. My husband and I challenged one of our daughters if she got an A in math, we would get a dog. Trixie had been abandoned at the shelter with 2 babies, and they assumed she was only about 1 year old. The babies got adopted right away, but she stuck around for a while. One of our daughters wasn't sure about her, but she showed us her one and only trick, sitting up on her back legs, and we immediately fell in love. At first she wouldn't even look at my husband, but now she is his little snuggle bug. I love her with all my being and cannot imagine her not being in our lives.

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  16. I'm due with a baby this week, ON ELEVEN ELEVEN! Actually, they kept changing the due date to earlier but so help me, I've sworn to this child that she'd get 11/11/17 as a birthday. I mean, prime numbers. And easy to remember. If she and Duncan share a birthday, she'll even have that legacy to hold on to. Never mind all of these contractions I'M HOLDING HER IN!

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  17. I got my Malu (a boxer) when she was only 10 weeks old. I was finally moved into a place where I had a yard and the ability to care for a dog and I'd wanted a boxer for years. Little did I know that 8 months later I'd be moving to a city where I knew absolutely no one and she would be a life saver. Seriously, it was a rough few months and to have her so excited to see me every day made life better. And because boxers have so much energy, I was forced to walk her, find dog parks, etc. that helped me meet people. I honestly don't know how I would have coped without her these past almost 10 years (9 of them in this new city). My sister referred to her once as "such a faithful companion" and that's exactly what she is. She is happiest when we are on our long walks or when she can cuddle up to me (or even better, one of my nieces and nephws - kids are her absolute favorite) on the couch. There have been plenty of moments when my frustration at something she has done has made me wonder what I was thinking getting a dog, but then she makes me laugh every single day and I go right back to being so grateful for her. She's getting old for a boxer now and I dread losing her. But for now, I'm just enjoying the sweet, funny, ridiculous creature while I have her.

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  18. We got our basset hound Jeremiah when our son was three and our daughter was six. I wanted a "sturdy" dog that would be excellent with children. Jeremiah came home with us all tripping over ears and feet that were too big for his little body. He loves everyone that he sees, but his most favorite is his boy. They began sleeping together first in a toddler bed. When he moved to a twin bed, Miah of course slept with him there. Then the boy began growing. Even when boy became a teen and almost six foot tall, I'd still go in to get them up in the morning and Miah would be curled either at his feet or sharing his pillow and no matter what kind of fancy pet bed I bought both ignored me when I'd suggest Miah using it. Miah can't get up on the bed easily anymore with his arthritis, (he's going to be 13 this month, ancient for a basset) but has his own fluffy mattresses beside boy's bed complete with one of boy's pillows and one of his blankets and boy lays on the floor with him all the time. I know we don't have a lot of time left with Miah, he's slowed so down these last couple years, but he has been the biggest blessing of a dog, the best of all that we have ever had, the biggest love bug of a dog.

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  19. I adopted a non-cat friendly greyhound. No worries. I don't have cats. Asher was the most awesome and regal dog I have ever owned (he is with Jesus now). He was beautiful, aloof, a lover, and fast as hell. He killed 4 stray cats that came into our yard to mock him. He showed them that he could bust ass out the back door and catch them faster than they could leave (the cats went to Jesus-if cats can go to Jesus). I don't do good picking up after cat killing greyhounds. Thank you Jesus I had friends that could or Asher wouldn't have made it to old age. And lucky for the neighborhood cats, we moved to Alaska after Hurricane Katrina. Not many stray cats there and none that made their way to our small back yard. I miss my boy. And I miss my other two dogs-- neither who killed cats, but certainly barked at the cats going by outside.

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    1. Wow. That's quite the dog dog to have retained such impressive hunting skills.

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  20. Also, TOBY!!! Those eyes see right through to my soul!!

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  21. I wasn't a dog person either...until my brother convinced my parents that they needed Captain Irby the explorer in their lives. Now I see any dog and squeal "puppy!" because Irby taught me that dogs are just gangly, uncoordinated bundles of love.

    I'm still a cat person though; my childhood cat and love of my life Oscar died last year. His favorite activity was methodically pushing my glasses off the nightstand to make me get up and feed him. If the glasses didn't annoy me enough to get out of bed, he moved to smaller and smaller items knowing I'd have trouble finding them without my glasses. As a final resort, he'd paw at my face with his claws out juuuuust enough to irritate me. I miss him like hell.

    I just adopted two kittens toward the end of October. Neville walks all over my face at night while his sister Luna curls up down by my feet and behaves. I'm taking them with me to my parents' house this weekend to meet Captain Irby (and his cat companion Neko). Irby loves cats, who knows how the babies will feel about him!

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  22. My husband and I picked our 2 oldest kittens up after a month of waiting for them. The rescue had a sign out that said, "If you like it then you should put a kitten on it." I couldn't resist, and convinced my then-boyfriend that I wasn't going to fall in love with a cat, and we'd be fine. I did and we still we're, but the next day those kittens ended up with a case of ringworm that lasted 4 weeks! We chose Xi Shi, our Siamese, because she sat on my shoulder, and Icarus, our ginger, because he nibbled on my husband's beard. When I came home sick a couple weeks ago, Xi Shi insisted on sleeping with me the entire day, and Icarus curled up at my fee for a long time. A month before our wedding, we ended up with Zwart, our little black kitten.

    We're considering going abroad for a time and I have to say that moving 3 kittens overseas is daunting, but it would be so sad to be without them...

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  23. My Youngest Brother adopted a kitten who legitimately thinks he is his mother, or something, and he hates everyone else in the world. Kitten meows/whines for hours when Youngest Bro is gone and enjoys being carried around the house like a baby (but only by him). This kitten’s name is Fred. When Fred first came home, Youngest Bro shared a room with my Middle Bro. Fred decided that he HATED Middle Bro. He peed all over all of his things. So it was decided that Middle Bro would stay in the bedroom, so he could keep the door shut and Fred out, while Youngest Bro moved his bed into a corner of the dining room (this wasn’t the first time we were forced to use non traditional sleeping arrangements, haha). This worked fairly well, until one day Middle Bro fell asleep on a recliner in the living room. Fred seized the opportunity and peed ALL OVER HIM. Middle Bro will testify that being peed on by a cat is NOT the best wake up call. Haha!

    I am more of a cat lady myself, though I 100% get the dog thing :) I grew up with a tiny, timid kitty who was scared of everyone but me. We got her and her brother when I was about 4 years old, from a family friend who found them abandoned inside a wall in her house! Her name was Samba. She slept next to me every night. We moved across the US when i was 15, and shortly afterward Samba’s kidney’s started failing. We put her to sleep 3 months after we moved. I was heartbroken, especially because my Mom said it would be quite some time before we could adopt another cat for me. Fast forward 6 months later: on my 16th birthday, my Mom surprised me by bringing home an amazing, fluffy, tuxedo kitten (black and white). I named her Fandango and I loved her!!!! She was smart and seemed almost human at times. She accidentally killed my pet goldfish while we were on vacation once - the bowl was spilled but the fish hadn’t been eaten. My guess is she was trying to drink the water and accidentally tipped it over. As soon as she saw me walk in the door, she bolted and avoided me for days! She felt so guilty. Haha.
    It was sad when I left for college, though. Fandango was SO SAD. She attached herself to my sister, but every time I came home to visit, she would sit on top of my suitcase and cry real tears. My sister left for college a few years later, and she totally lost it. So despondent and sad, no matter how much my remaining sister tried to love her! She stopped eating and ran away from home, only to show up a week or so later, still alive but miserable, with a look in her eyes like “I tried to die. I want to die. It didn’t work”. My parents decided to put her down and let her rest. <3 I so wish i had been able to take her with me somehow. Her heart was too big for her own good.
    I can’t wait to be reunited with both of my lovely kitties one day! Especially since my husband has terrible allergies and asthma so pets of any kind are out of the question while he is around. That’s true love I guess ;)

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    1. Oh, that going to college part of the story is so sad. These pets really love us. —MC

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