Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011

For the love of Pets 

I’ve always had pets. I don’t think much time has ever gone by in my life that I didn’t have some kind of critter in my care. We had dogs, cats, fish and a sky blue parakeet  while I was growing up. When I got married, there were more dogs, cats, fish and an aviary of rescued and bought birds, and the usual assortment of pets for my children.

That last fifteen years have been filled with cats. My hubby had one when I met him, then I brought home a loaded stray. She was a sweet little bob tail that seemed to love us both. Then she had her kittens in the bedroom closet. For awhile we had 7 cats at once! Crazy, but they were soon part of the family.

My youngest was born when the kittens were 2 years old. We had sent the momma to the SPCA and managed to give away one kitten. So, we were a family of hubby and me and baby makes 3, plus 5 cats to entertain us. Every step of my young son’s day was punctuated by the love of a cat. One slept with him for naps, another chased balls he would kick from his walker, one tried to share my lap during feedings and story time and one would lay with him until he fell asleep each night. They were there when he cried and never hurt him, even when I would find his fist full of cat hair.

Today we are down to one cat and a gerbil. The cat seems to have adopted me. I am the only one who can pet her just right. She chases me down when I try to stay up too late. She checks on my son to make sure he is in bed, but no longer lays with him each night. The gerbil is very sweet, but has clearly lost its shine. My son usually checks on her each day and even holds her for a few minutes. But he forgets more often than not to secure her cage or check the level of her water. I guess that’s what moms are for, to remind or to fill in so the poor critter doesn’t die.

He wants a dog. Actually, we all do. But I have had a hard time justifying it since we are gone from the house 10-12 hours a day. Seems like it would be cruel for them to be alone all day. I already know that the cat is terrified of dogs. When we got her, she stayed in the spare bedroom, literally, until the last of the other cats died.

But, every boy needs a dog, right? I guess the silly cat can stay in my room during the day. I started reading about therapy dogs for Aspergers kids and how they help in social situations. But my boy has no trouble talking to people at all. Usually, he can’t tell when to stop talking J

Then there are the plans to get more chickens. My son fell in love with the black chicks at the barn. I don’t even know what they are, but the owner has told him he can have one. But the coop is still not built and I am not sure I am ready to bring them into the kitchen every night again. I hope to finish it soon, since I think I have everything I need.For now, the critters at the barn will have to do. It’s wonderful to be around the horses without incurring the expense. But I have a feeling that when we go to ride this Saturday, we will be coming home with a new feathered friend.

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