Thursday, January 24, 2013

Have You Ever Lost a Pet?

I've lost pets before, but this is the first time in my adult life that I have, and it's no fun. Growing up, we had a couple of beagles, Molly and Max. They got lose one afternoon and never came home. I think I was like 8 or 9 when that happened, and it didn't hit me that hard, mainly because I thought they'd come home eventually. Then we got Beau, the mentally challenged beagle. This dog was strong and stupid - bad combination. My parents gave him to a nice farmer who was going to train him to hunt after a couple of years. It was much better for him. I remember being upset, but again, got over it quickly. Then we got Dallas, a sheltie. After a couple of years, we didn't have time for her either, so we gave her to a nice family.

Then we were done with pets until I was about 20, when my parents got Sadie. I'm happy to say, Sadie is still kicking, although, she is turning into a crotchety old lady as of lately. But she's still a happy dog with a few years left.

Then when I was 25, I lived in an apartment that did not allow dogs, but allowed cats. I desperately wanted a dog, but decided I would instead get a cat and treat it like a dog. I had no experience with cats, but figured it couldn't be THAT hard. So, in April of 2009 I welcomed Wrigley Fransisco to my home. At first he was a kitty, unafraid of anything. B and I had started dating a few months prior to that and he had grown up with cats. He thought it was odd that Wrigley was unafraid.

Time went on and I treated Wrigley like the puppy I couldn't have. I bathed him and even taught him to play fetch! It was great.

Awhile later, his true colors started to shine. He would attack my leg with no warning and was just stubborn in general. That is when I figured out he was half Siamese  who are notorious for being mean and stubborn. He hated to be picked up and definitely did things on his own time. I am told this is how most cats are.

About a year later, after B and I had moved in together, we got JD, our beloved chocolate lab. At that time, the cat definitely became more of a pest to me than anything. However, I still held a special place in my heart for him.

Over the years, that cat and I definitely had a love/hate relationship. He peed in a bag of brand new clothes one time and I threw him in the garage for the night. I would put up a beautiful Christmas tree and he would strip all the ornaments off by the time I got home from work the next day. We would order a pizza and be sitting on the couch digesting what we could, and he'd come prancing out of the kitchen, dragging a piece of pizza with him.

Oh, that cat was smart though. I wear daily disposable contacts and therefore, throw away contact cases on a daily basis. He loved those cases. So much so that he'd drag them out of the trash can. So I put our scale on top of the trash can to keep him out. He figured out how to knock that off and still get to them. So we got a trash can with a lid, he figured out how to nudge it just right and still get to them. Then one day, he figured out where I kept my new ones, figured out how to open the cabinet door and came walking out of the bathroom carrying a whole strip of them one afternoon. The bathroom door was just closed after that.

He also figured out how to escape our house. He figured out if he batted at the screen long enough, it would become lose and he could get his paw under there and pop out the screen. You can imagine how shocked I was to come home and find him sitting in the window with no screen. He then figured out how to open doors that are not shut tightly, using the same methodology.
Oh that cat was a pain in my ass. And for some reason, I am going to miss him. I came home last night to a house covered in yarn. Our dear cat and found my bag of yarn I was planning on using to knit the baby a blanket and strung it all over the house. Didn't think much of it, until he started throwing up yarn late that night. B tried to tug on the strand that he had managed to get out of his mouth, but it caused him more pain. Turned out, the yarn was wrapped around his intestines. We had two choices, put him through a painful and extremely expensive surgery, with no promises that he'd make it, or put him down. With a new house in the works and a new baby on the way, we chose to put him out of his misery.

This is the first time I ever had to put a pet down, and I don't think it will make my list of top ten fun things. Leaving Wrigley in the cold, sterile vet office knowing in a few minutes he'd be gone, completely broke my heart. I was in so much shock that this was actually happening, that I opted not to be in the room when it happened, something I fully regret now.

I know "these things happen" and I didn't leave my yarn out in a place he could easily get to it, he had to work to get it. It still sucks though. Isn't it amazing how these furry little creatures find their way into your heart?
Rest in Peace Wrigely, I know you're in Kitty heaven now with lots of contact cases, catnip and windows with big plush ledges for you to snuggle on.

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