Thursday, June 7, 2012

For the Love of Animals

Yesterday my sisters and their families lost a great dog before his time.  He was a "beast" of an animal.  I don't know how my family does it but when they get pets, their pets become mutants.  This mutt became a monster in both size and attitude.  Personally, even though he was willing to chew my foot off every time I visited California, I adored the big guy.  I made it my mission by the end of each stay to walk through the yard without the brute baring his teeth.

He was good for my family; a bunch of women and girls looking out for one another. They live in a rough part of town on a private, secluded street.  They needed a snarly, snarky dog like Maverick.  No ill-intentioned stranger was going to approach their gate without losing at least a finger or two.

I've never made a secret of my love for animals.  Big or small, gentle or ferocious - they all have something wonderful to offer and teach us. 

Thank you, big feller for looking after the girls and my mother as long as you did.  You left them too early but you're in a better place now.  This blog is dedicated to the wonderful pets we've loved and lost well before their time.

For the Love of Animals

"What the Hell is that?!",  came a question from one of the concerned customers in my uncle's veterinarian's office. 

"This", I said proudly referring to the shaking, bouncing crate on the floor, "is my cat."  One would never have guessed it by the snarling and hissing, but yes indeed - it was a massive, 24 pound, long-haired tabby named, Spontaneous and he was all mine.

I've had many pets in my life; cats, dogs, hamsters, goldfish, lizards, and assorted bugs, but Sponsie -- he and I were connected.  The moment our eyes met at the pet store and I was dared into buying him spontaneously - (hence, his name) - we fell in love with one another.  We were inseparable.

At the time, I was still living at my parent's house and not permitted to have pets but the moment my mother saw the kitten's big, green beautiful eyes peek out from my arms she acquiesced.  "He can stay but only outdoors."  That was ok with me.  Sponsie was home.  Everywhere I went, he followed me.  It didn't matter that I'd developed severe cat allergies.  I made due with swollen eyes and asthma attacks.  Nothing would separate us.

When I would lie out by the pool, he'd be perfectly content nesting in my hair. I taught him how to play Hide-n-Seek in the front yard.  This was great fun until he thought he could play it with everyone.  Imagine guests carrying plates of food up to the door and being "surprised" by an enormously fat cat.  This was not so good - especially if the guests were my aunts or grandmother.

He was very protective of me as well.  He never liked my boyfriends and always let them know it when the car windows were down and we were "parked" in front of the house.  Sponsie would climb into the car and let my boyfriends know what they were doing was thoroughly "unacceptable".

Spontaneous was also a "Tom Cat".  He could be heard at night caterwauling around the neighborhood.  All I'd have to do was give a special call, he'd stop mid song, and I'd hear the bells on his collar come running from wherever he was to greet me.  Usually there was an onion ring from a local fast food restaurant waiting for him at the end of his efforts.  Once, as he came towards me, I saw something dangling from his mouth.  It was long and moving.  "What the...?  Oh My GOD!  It's a RAT!!"

I started running for the garage; however, Sponsie thought it was a game AND he wanted the onion rings he clearly smelled.  He chased me into the dark garage and dropped the dammed rat.  Have I mentioned, dear friends and blog readers, that I'm terrified of rats?  Have I further mentioned that the rats where my parents lived were as huge as small cats?

I heard squeaking.  The rat was loose.  I couldn't find the light switch fast enough.  Laundry baskets and bikes were blocking my way.  The rat was getting closer.  Sponsie tripped me.  "OH MY GOD!  Where was the HORRIBLE THING!!  GO AWAY, SPONSIE!!  RAT!!"

Open the door!!  Freedom!  Deep breath, BREATHE!!

The next morning I looked out and found Sponsie's love letter to me.  The rat head.  Ugggh!!  I removed the gruesome thing and replaced it with the cold onion ring I'd saved for him.  That was the least I could do for his efforts.