Jun. 10th, 2017 01:25 pm
stevenpiziks: (Default)
I've realized we don't talk about buying pets much anymore.  Have you noticed that?

For some reason, everyone has decided it's wrong to say they bought a dog or bought a cat.  You have to say you adopted it.  Shelters don't charge you--they ask for an adoption fee.  Animal rescue groups ask for compulsory donations.  Neither groups say you're buying a pet.

Fifteen years ago, the last time I got a dog, we answered an ad from a woman who had puppies.  She asked for a twenty dollar "donation."  She clearly felt like she couldn't charge, even though that's what she was doing.  We bought the dog and brought him home.

I don't feel entirely comfortable with saying I adopted a pet.  After the difficulty and heartache I went through to adopt two children, I have a hard time with the idea of applying that word to a cat or dog. 

Requiring a donation is a misnomer anyway.  Donations are given freely, with nothing accepted in return.  It's a complete fiction that you hand over $100 to an animal group as a "donation" and mysteriously receive a pet in return.  Would the organization give you the pet without the donation?  They certainly wouldn't.  You have bought a pet.

People have no trouble saying they bought a chicken for a farm.  Or bought a horse, or a cow, or a pig, or a goat.  But dog and cats?  They have to be adopted, for some reason. 

People are strange.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
New Kitty, now tentatively known as Ceiling Cat, has gotten up into the basement drop ceiling and refuses to come down.  She sneaks down at night to eat and use the litter box, but that's it.  We can't get to her--she retreats to the plastered ceiling over Aran's room or over the bathroom, where there are no drop tiles to pop. 

This is getting serious.  Ceiling Cat clearly intends to stay up there forever.  Up there, she has no way to acclimate to us or the rest of the house, and since she has food and litter, she has no reason to overcome her shyness.  I think she would live up there for the rest of her life if we let her.

I thought about this long and hard.  Then it occurred to me that I've run into this problem before, more or less.  Back when I was renting a townhouse, we got a raccoon in the attic crawlspace.  The landlord called a critter removal company, who came out and set humane traps for the animal.  Within a few hours, the raccoon was trapped in the cage and whisked away.  Why not do the same thing for a cat?

And I also thought, why hire a company?  The humane traps can't be that hard to use.  Why not buy one and trap the cat myself?

A bit of web searching turned up the fact that my local hardware store does indeed sell humane cage traps for less than $50.  The raccoon size would do nicely.  I popped out and bought one, assembled it with minimal fuss, and put it in the basement with Ceiling Cat's food dish in the bait section:

Now we wait . . .

stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Bernard--Mr. Bitey--is having trouble again.  Bloody urine, litter box mistakes.  He's not moping or meeping in pain like before, though.  I'm going to change his food again and hope for the best.  Frankly, we can't afford thousands of dollars in vet bills for him.  The thought of putting him to sleep upsets Darwin hugely, but there's no way around it if he doesn't get better on his own.

We're watching him closely.
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
And since it would be unfair to leave our canine friends out . . .

My family also usually had a dog or two.  After I went off on my own, I didn't have one for years because I always lived in an apartment and didn't want the hassle of a dog I'd have to walk three times a day.  When it's raining or snowing or just early on Sunday, I like being able to boot the
dog out into the yard to do his business.  I don't ever want a dog unless I have a yard.

I haven't had a dog in a few years now.  Darwin is adamant that we don't have one because he want to be involved in the care of one in any way.  I haven't pushed it because we do have the cats, and a dog would be more work than I want.

Anyway, here are the dogs from my life:

Soft (I named her when I was four for obvious reasons; hit by one of the cars she liked to chase)
Barney (a big, stoooopid St. Bernard)
Cinnamon (one of Barney's puppies; hit by a car)
BJ (one of Soft's puppies; hit by a car)
Snowball (a white husky; hit by a car)
Motley (a pretty black-and-white mongrel with one ear up and one ear down; hit by a car)
Snowball II (a white Samoyed; hit by a car--you may be noticing a pattern here)
Anubis ("Nubi" for short; ran away when we moved)
Shadow (Nubi's daughter; I don't remember what happened to her)
Nubi II (lived to a ripe old age--at last!)

Here's where I moved out.  My mother's had a couple other dogs since then, but I didn't "know" any of them.

See, until the Nubi years, we lived on a road that ran parallel to one of the local freeways, and people would barrel down the pavement at 60 miles an hour.  For some reason, most of our dogs loved to chase them, and this often sealed their fate.  Nubi I and Nubi II were smart enough not to indulge in such idiocy and lived rather longer.  :)

How do you name your dogs?
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Are your cats named whimsically (Puffy Paws), seriously (Bast), traditionally (Patches), or something else?

The cat names in my family have run the gamut from mundane to unique.  We always had a cat or cats from my earliest memory, and, just for the heck of it, here they are, in order:

Henrietta (named after Henrietta Pussycat from Mister Rogers)
Midnight (all black)
RC ("Rat Catcher," which she was extraordinarily good at)
Lightfoot (from the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books--he also had two white socks)
Benvenuto (from a book about a dragon, except the cat was female while the dragon was male)
Joe Cool ("Joey" for short)

Here we had a gap when I went to college.  Joey was always my cat, and I had planned to take him with me when I got out of school and had a place of my own, but he ran away and disappeared just after my parents moved.

Addison (named after MOONLIGHTING's David Addison because he liked sleeping on women's chests)
Ranadar (a name with a complicated origin; it shows up again in BONE WAR)
Poltergeist (because he was loud, demanding, and liked to knock things over)
Sirius Black (another black cat, named after the Harry Potter character)
Omen (born on 06/06/06)
Alec (a shelter cat who was given that name for reasons unknown)
Dinah (named after Alice in Wonderland's cat)
Bernard (another adopted cat who came with his name)

During the Henrietta/Midnight/RC years, we had a few litters of kittens, some of whom we named.  But these are the cats we kept.  RC gave birth to Lightfoot and Benvenuto.  Benvenuto gave birth to Joey.  Lightfoot died of feline leukemia, and he was one of the first cats in the country to come down with it.  No one knew what it was then.

How do you name your cats?


stevenpiziks: (Default)

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