Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Cats & Dogs---family or just 4 legged pets?
Many people think that our family is a little strange--after all we have 5+1 cats and 2 dogs (Gus and Jasmine); oh and let's not forget the 4 turtles that we have named (Yertle, Scooter, Billy Bob, and Fred--in order of when they've shown up) and fed for the last few years that come every few days to eat with the two outside cats. I even had someone have the nerve to ask me if we really like animals or did we just have them around the house and couldn't get rid of them.--I can't imagine having the animals we have and NOT wanting them! I say 5+1 because 5 of them (Junie, Donnie, Savannah, Oreo and our newsest addition, Jaspar--in order of age) are really our cats, the +1 is a cat that I don't remember being in the area before Hurricane Katrina, but he comes to eat with our outdoor cat every morning and every afternoon. He doesn't allow us to pet him--although we have snuck up on him and done so once or twice. But he knows us and knows the name that we call him--whatever his name is by either his current owners or the owners he used to have we don't know. But he knows that for us, he is known as Snowball.
One of these animals is very sick--Oreo has lost major weight in less than 3 days--he's gone from a nice sized cat to a cat that we can now feel his ribs and can even feel the locator chip in his shoulder (which we've never felt before). Last night we held him and loved on him and cried over him--afraid that we were going to lose him. We still don't know what has caused the major weight loss, the total appetite loss--he won't eat or drink anything. He won't play or pounce with/at the other animals in the house--his usual. He won't have much to do with either of the "real" humans--all of our animals think they are humans, they just have 4 legs instead of 2--in the house. He is currently spending the night in the vet's office with an IV in him to try to rehydrate him. He was so dehydrated that his blood was clotting almost before the vet could get it drawn for the blood tests. They are having to put intraveneous fluids and nutrients into him to even be able to run any further tests.
So the question has been posed to me, "Do you really think of your animals as pets or family?" Well, to me that is a "well, duh" answer ready and waiting. How could these 4 legged critters that sleep at our feet, in between us, on top of us, and roam between our bed and the bed of which child is actually home at the time. It is rare when we don't have 2 dogs and at least 3 cats on the bed at the same time. I guess it's a really good thing that we have a queen sized bed--we wouldn't have any room for us otherwise.
People we went to eat with the other night were talking about their pets that weren't allowed in their bedroom and others that said their animals weren't allowed in their house at all. So many that I know don't allow their pets to get on beds, couches, chairs, any furniture, any carpeting, and etc. Personally, I can't imagine animals in that way. If we have animals--they become family--and most of them have taken us over or have us curled around their tail, paw, claw or however you want to think of it within the first hour. These animals are in no way JUST PETS!!! They are 100% family! And when we lose one of our animals, the pain is the same as losing a family member.
So, it has been very hard on my husband and I for the last day or two. I can't even imagine how I will have a normal night's sleep without Oreo curled up either on me or in between my husband and I tonight. I only pray that whatever bug, virus, or whatever this is that has gotten a very strong hold on him now will let loose and he will be back up to his perky, lively, playful self very, very soon.