I have always wanted a dog. Unfortunately our international jet setting lifestyle (ok, that totally sounds more exciting that it actually was) didn't allow for it.
I had hermit crabs and fish for a little while. A little while that really didn't last very long...I think mum had to flush the toilet a few times...
I finally got a cat when I was 9 years old and we were living in Perth. I was ecstatic. Sooty was amazing! We got him from a litter of kittens my sister's bestie's family cat had. I saw him when he was only a few days old and couldn't wait to take him home when he was old enough. We came up with the original and unique name Sooty because he was white with black patches everywhere.
Sooty used to sleep on my neck when it was cold and would wake me up by licking my hand or my face on school day mornings in time to get up and get ready (I never knew how he could tell the time). We even took Sooty camping with us one and put him on a leash (I love my mother for engineering that!). I was in love with him and his nature.
Unfortunately Sooty also like sleeping underneath the neighbour's car. I still remember that day with clear devastation. We'd been lucky enough never to have any sort of death in the family until then (I'm sorry Whitey the fish and Harry the hermit crab just didn't count). I don't think the neighbour had any idea that she had run over Sooty as she was backing out of her driveway.
I remember finding him and wondering why he wasn't reacting to my calling his name. I went up to him and he was still breathing. I screamed for mum. I didn't know what was happening, only that there was something wrong. Mum came and my sister and my step-dad. Mum lifted him up and we scrambled for the car. I remember holding Sooty in my arms while we were racing to the vet with Mum and my sister Liane and I all bawling our eyes out.
I remember the last breath he took. Gosh, I'm getting tears while I am writing this. We were too late. There was nothing the vet could do when we eventually arrived. It was hard and there was a massive hole in my life.
A few months later, we got another originally named cat we called Snowy. I know you'll all be surprised to find out that she was white. She was a bitch. Quite snooty and I remember being attacked when I came downstairs in the middle of the night. She had this habit of hiding behind bits of furniture and jumping out to scratch and gnaw at your legs. Always fun when you're half asleep.
Snowy lasted a long time. She only passed away a few years ago in Perth. She would have been around 17 or 18. Snowy gave birth to some kittens as well. One of which we kept. Liane called her Lightning and then when we moved overseas and came back my step-dad had renamed her Charlie.
Snowy and Charlie had great lives together. When mum sold the house in Perth to downsize to a smaller townhouse, it was stipulated that the cats went with the house (thankfully I was overseas or I would have had a bit of a tantrum about that one!). Amazingly the new buyers were American missionaries with young children and they loved the idea of the cats.
That house was known locally as The White House (because...surprise...it was white) so it suited having Americans in there. We kept in touch with them and they told us a few years later that they had renamed the cats Hilary and Monica. Who knew they'd have such a great sense of humour.
When they were moving back to the States, we got to have Snowy and Charlie (we couldn't call them anything else!) back.
Just after that time, I was moving to Melbourne to live with my Dad. I forgot to tell him a small detail. When I arrived at the airport and got my luggage, he went to go and I said "But Dad, we've got to get Charlie!". Haha, mum hadn't told him. We had a great 7 months in Melbourne together, before I moved back, with Charlie, to Perth to finish high school.
Dad is hilarious with animals. He never admits that he loves them but he totally secretly does. When we were in Switzerland for Christmas just now, we'd ask him if he needed any bread or milk or ingredients for the evenings dinner. No, he didn't, but he needed bird seed and cat food for the neighbourhood animals that came to visit him...
I've been living in Sydney for about 11 years now. I managed to finally live in a place where I could have a cat (at least secretly...). So about 5 years ago, I imported Charlie back into my everyday life. She is nugget of love. She's 20 now (which is about 1 million cat years old) and still going very strong. She just can't jump as high as she used to and she doesn't care about birds like she used to (displayed very well by her 'couldn't care less' attitude towards a pair of minor birds that constantly eat her food right in front of her).
Charlie likes to sleep with her tongue sticking out of her mouth. Have you ever touched a cat's tongue?? It is weird. Seriously. But addictive.
Her paws also cover her cutie pie face when she has a snooze (which is about 22 hours of the day. the other 1 hour is made up of meowing for food and conning anyone who walks in the door that she hasn't been fed twice already and the final hour is made up of gorging herself )
The basket I bought for her is actually a bit of a tight squeeze so she spills over the sides. But hey, it is cute, so I didn't buy her a bigger one.
Those are the two evil birds that eat her food. Charlie doesn't move from that position. They just go around her.
Well...this didn't really end up being a post about dogs did it?? Sorry for the false advertising, I kind of ran out of steam before I got onto the canine species. Perhaps the next one will actually include my story about puppies.
How have pets changed your life?
Make it as you wish SSSs!