Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 312

Today is a day of reflection. About pets.

They are in our lives for such a relatively short amount of time but they tend to make maximum impact. Look at Max the hip gyrating lab for example. It took years of swearing over him ripping up the watering system, swinging off my clothes on the line, burying my undies and having to pull undigested rope from his arse, to really settle into loving him, but now I can't imagine Langdown family life without him and I dread the day we'll have to say goodbye. He's 10 years old. It's going to come up quicker than we'd like.

Then I look at Millie the little white fluffy who was my Grandmother's purpose in life after my grandfather died. She is what helped Nanna get up each day despite her illnesses or pain. Well, that and the need to do her daily chores of carpet sweeping, dusting, stoking the fire and bringing in fresh water from the tank outside. Millie still completes Nanna even though she now only sees here once every few months when we take the time for a road trip. Luckily Nanna's life in the aged care facility is far too action packed (bingo, the piano man, excursions) that she's having too much fun to worry too much about her dog and carpet sweeping. Besides, she knows Millie is in good care.

I recall my childhood cats. My first was a ginger kitten called Mittens rescued as a "just been born" baby as he and his siblings were dumped at the school. I don't know how long we actually had Mittens but it wasn't long. We came home from a holiday to be told by a neighbour that our ginger had been run over. I remember throwing myself on the front lawn and hammering the earth with my fists. Nooooooooo. It wasn't fair.

My second cat was a tabby cat called Tibbles. He was my everything. As an only child he became my play mate. The poor cat definitely lived his full 9 lives after being bitten by a poisonous snake, falling off the top of a swing set as I tried to get him to tight rope walk across it, getting into fights, being locked in an old fashioned school desk for a few days when I forgot where I'd put him. The list goes on. I really did love him. It was a truly passionate love as I tried to contain him so he would play with me. I was already at uni when he got sick. I came home to say goodbye to him as he started to die from kidney problems. I sobbed all the way back to uni and for a few days afterwards. My friends didn't quite know what to do with me. It was only a cat wasn't it?

The final pet I've had that had such a great impact was my house rabbit Gizmo. He was a dwarf lop. Although there was nothing dwarf about him. I had toilet trained him to use a kitty litter box and he would roam free in the house. The only complication was that he liked to eat electrical chords but once we rabbit proofed the house we got that sorted. (Except for the day he ate through the chord on my water bed. I was making the bed and accidentally grabbed the raw end of the severed chord and got 240 vaults shot through my arm. How the hell did a rabbit survive that? Super bunny.) Gizmo liked his food. He would run to the fridge when he heard it open and demand goodies. He got very fat. So fat that he could no longer clean his own bum. That became my job. But I did it with love and affection. He was a great pet. When I was pregnant with Tahlia Gizmo got sick. He had a series of strokes/fits within a one week period and ultimately went into a coma. I remember being at work when Derek rang to tell me he was back at the vet and I needed to say goodbye. I raced over and held Gizmo in my arms as they gave him the goodbye injection. I sobbed and wailed. I had snot hanging from my nose and gunk plastered to my eyes. I was a mess.

There have been other pets of course. Prior and since. But these are my heart pets that became part of me.

So why the big pet memorial? Because my step daughter Chelsea's kitten just died. He was only a new addition to their lives but they had cemented their bond. She is very sad.

I watched an episode of The King of Queens last night where Doug went home to visit his parents and his childhood dog. Cary couldn't work out how at the age of 38 Doug would still have a childhood dog. The dog was 27. Obviously he wasn't but his parents were never able to tell him the dog died so they kept replacing him. Doug was none-the-wiser. Ignorance is bliss and he loved his dog(s).

Today I celebrate our pets (past and present) and acknowledge the part they play in building resilience, understanding life and death, learning how to become a carer, and experiencing unselfish love.

Long live pets!! Well, metaphorically speaking.

It's Friday! You know what that means. Time to Flog Yo Blog.


3 comments :

  1. I sympathise. I grew up with a cat that was more like a sister to me. She was special. I will never forget her.

    I love your rabbit. Poor Gizmo!

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  2. oh, what wonderful stories and tributes! That's fantastic. I hope that your stepdaughter finds comfort soon.

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  3. I love my pets. They are part of the family. Our lovely old long haired shepherd died last year. My brave girl stayed with Hubby while to dog went. I had to sit out with our inconsolable son.
    We have other pets, and a rather hyper puppy now, but we still miss the old boy.

    Pets bring such joy.

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