Pets, Part 1

Kippy
A few days ago I commented on a post of Fern's and mentioned a cat I used to have. That made me think back to all the pets I've ever had. I can't really say I've had a lot and some I don't remember because I was too young.

I only know Kippy through pictures and she had to stay behind when we moved when I was only three. She looks sweet though. One of the first few pets I remember was a little frog. We probably got it as a polliwog and it didn't last long. I buried it under a bush and unearthed it several times  just to see if it went to Heaven. I was only about 5, so give me a break ;-)

The age I acquired pets is questionable but we had a few cats along the way. I'm not sure how we got them but when my dad didn't want them anymore he would either dump them, or kill them. More on the last part later. We had one cat and instead of trying to find it a home, he took it out in the country and left it at a friends' house, as a mouser I guess. Well, it found its way home so I think we kept it for awhile just because it had the chutzpa to come back.

My favorite cat was a beautiful long haired black one, named Mama Kitty. I'm not sure how long we had her but at one point, she would start getting pregnant and then miscarry. As with many small towns a Vet doesn't exist, so traveling the 45 miles to get an animal fixed was nonsense.  I don't know if she was really that sick or my Dad was just tired of finding her dead babies. His answer was to take MY cat out in the country and shoot her. But the kicker is, he waited until I got home from school so I could watch him stuff her in a box and carry her out to the car. It would have been so easy to do it while we were all gone and then just play dumb when she didn't come home for dinner that night. I must have asked what he was doing but why I didn't protest I'm not sure. I was scared of him and probably thought it wouldn't do any good anyway. And where was my mom when all of this was going on? I have no idea. I remember not speaking to him for a long time and crying myself to sleep for even longer. I never really got over that and still cry when I think about it. My mom told me once that he had nightmares after that, hearing her scream in his sleep. Good!

In high school I had a kitten for a very short time. She was too young and not even weaned yet, so my Dad (of course) made me give it back. I had named her Alice Cooper, AC for short.

The first dog I remember was a Dachshund named Coco. She was a dog of a friend of my parents. She was already an adult and I'm not sure why they were getting rid of her but we took her. She was a great dog and loved us kids a lot. She's follow my younger brother and I out to the baseball fields to be with is when we played Little League. Sometimes I'd yell at her to go home so she's have to trudge all the way back home with her tiny little legs. She went on vacations with us sometimes and we'd end up carrying her when she got tired of walking on the beach. Other times when we went on vacations without her, we'd leave food inside the house and the back screen door open so she could come and go. That's small town for ya, you can leave your door wide open for a week at a time. As with many Dachshunds they develop back problems and she got to the point where she couldn't walk down the front steps by herself. Mom and Dad took her to that Vet 45 miles away to have her put down. When I got home from school that day they were both on the couch crying. Wow, he did have a heart. I searched and searched but couldn't find a picture of her. I'm sure my mom has plenty but can't really get to them right now.

I can't forget about my pet rat that I had in high school. A big Albino rat with beady red eyes. I got it from a girl at school. She was really an odd girl and I suppose I was even odder for getting a rat from her. I don't remember what I named it or even how long I had it. I used to put it in my coat sleeve when we went outside, it was kind of cool. She was kept in a cage on the back porch along with Coco. It got out one day and hid behind the dryer. It never did come out and I think essentially my dog just scared it to death. When I did find it, I took it out behind the football field to bury it. That was my only interaction with a rodent.



To Be Continued.......

Comments

bill said…
This is a sad commentary.I was going to say something about the pets who have graced my home but they no longer seem important. I'm sorry and saddened by the experiences you have had. Your memories were all unpleasant and will remain with you. It saddens me.
When your Dad was behaving in what you thought was a callous way, I suspect he was only doing what lots of people did with unwanted pets in the old days. As you say, not many vets around. Even today in country areas suffering pets are shot rather than going to the vet for euthanasia. Some would say a bullet in the head is the preferred, more humane option.
Controversial, but circumstances incline me to agree.
Grumpy said…
I have held two cats and a dog while they were put down by a vet and you can't convince me a bullet to the head is more humane.

This all makes me sad too. We had a succession of dogs throughout my childhood and I have fond memories of all of them.
kden said…
I agree that that's how things are done sometimes in rural areas but the way he did it was just shooting blind into a cardboard box. It must have taken several shots to do the job.

And Bill, if your pets brought you happiness, then they are important no matter what. Maybe you could do a post about them. I'd love to hear about them ;-)

Part 2 will be somewhat cheerier.
Anonymous said…
We have been lucky enough to have all of our dogs into fairly old age, and we have been with them all at the end. It has always been peaceful and I know that they are aware that we are doing what is best for them. It doesn't make it any easier for us, but it's the last kind thing we can do for them.
D. Duplessis said…
Kden, I can feel your pain and empathize completely. My a**hole of a step-father, when forced to move from our home because he lost his job, unceremoniously grabbed our dog, and my beloved cat (that I had rescued, nurtured back to health and truly loved) walked out back and shot them both...despite my pleading. Just another reason in a long line of reasons why I loathe that man. I'm looking forward to your "cheerier" part two!
Grumpy said…
I am beyond words. I never knew so many people grew up in households where someone would shoot a pet.
Mr. Shife said…
Hi there. Thanks for sharing your pet stories with us, and I look forward to the second part. Sorry you had to deal with that terrible trauma from your dad. It is sad how we treat animals in general in this country. We could do such a bette job. I liked the picture of your first dog. He looked like a good one. Take care.
Peruby said…
My mom and dad both told me stories of their pets "suffering the same fate as yours had". When they began to have children and pets, that tradition stopped cold. Both my parents were very sensitive and we took in so many strays. It was just the way their folks were brought up back in the old days and in the country. They barely had enough to feed themselves let alone a pet. It was not considered barbaric back then.

But man am I glad we don't have to resort to that any longer.
fernvalley01 said…
I have no words that would not be hugely inapropriate in regards to your father. I suspect he followed "the code" of his generation but it seems that he hit the wall over your momma cat. Hugs to you , and I hope there were better memories of animals to come

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