When I was a little girl, I longed to have a cat or a small dog, but I never had any animals except for a few turtles that somehow kept dying on me. Well, not literally ON me, but mine kept dying, while my sisters' turtles thrived. I was never very good at caring for plants either. I heard that I might have some luck with air ferns, but even they died on me.
When I turned 19 and I was living on my own with my oldest daughter, I decided it was time I got a pet for us. I figured I would have better luck with animals. And I did.
What helped was that I LOVED cats. My first cat, Layla, was a beautiful black cat who perched herself on my lap frequently and allowed me to pet her while she purred contentedly. She was also a very smart cat.
When I sat on the floor one Christmas morning, picking up wrapping paper my daughter had scattered across the room, I rolled them into little balls and aimed them in the direction of the garbage can (missing more often than not – I was no Michael Jordan). As a result, most of the little balls landed on the floor next to the garbage can.
As I was rolling yet another ball, Layla brought one back to me. Looking into her eyes, I somehow knew that she wanted to play "catch" – WOW! my CAT wanted to play catch with me.
So I threw another little ball and she dutifully brought it back to me. Over and over again, I threw little paper balls and watched Layla retrieve them again and again. It became a daily game from that point on.
Thinking she was lonely, because my daughter and I were only human and she probably wanted something from her own species, and because we were not always home, I got Layla a little friend and allowed my 3-year-old daughter to name her. SeeSaw, a little fur ball of black, had some intellectual problems. She may have been taken from her mother a little too soon, because she slept wrapped around my head and I frequently awoke to her sucking on my neck.
Some landlords don't allow animals, and when I had to move, I couldn't bring my cats with me, so I gave them to some other animal lovers. It wasn't until a couple of years later that I found myself with new kittens again though. I couldn't NOT have a cat.
Midnight was a beautiful fully black cat. Snow was pure white and had beautiful ocean blue eyes. Like SeeSaw, Snow might have been a little on the slow side. Either that or she was ornery. No matter where I placed the litter box, she found a different corner of the CARPETED bathroom to use, even if the litter box had previously been in that corner. As much as I loved her, I had to find her another home where she could stay in an uncarpeted house – on a farm.
When Boots, our dog, arrived on the scene, Midnight found a new fun play partner. The two of them got along fabulously. I didn't know how fabulously until I came home from work during the Christmas season one evening to find Midnight INSIDE the Christmas tree batting off all the ornaments so Boots could scatter them around the floor and play with them. Broken glass shards were EVERYWHERE.
The landlord heard the commotion and when I arrived home from work I was told to find new homes for my pets – again.
Now, sadly I have no pets, but I can't have them anymore anyway because of my allergies – which is fine – I have my memories of Layla, SeeSaw, Midnight, Snow, and Boots.
I'd better get rid of my allergies though. Some of my grandchildren have pets and one of my grandsons (my oldest daughter's middle son) loves animals so much he wants to become a vet. For his birthday I might have to get him some veterinary technician scrubs just to get him in the mindset of a vet ;)