Pets as Part of the Family

JMJ  *For a while we had a coyote family in the front yard, which was kind of freaky and sweet at the same time.  Apparently, a couple of coyotes had set up a den in the bushes in front of our house.  Friends would come visit and tell us in alarm, “Hey, did you know you have a coyote in your front yard?”

Ring the School Bell 86/180 days

After a morning of academics, we headed off to an animal shelter.  Melissa’s friend, Jazz  has a new bunny, Kaya, which she adopted from there.  We accompanied her family to the shelter, and ourselves fell in love with a little terrier.  How can you not fall in love with those big, pleading eyes?  It was difficult not to be impulsive, but thought we should at least go home and think about it.  We decided to wait for the time being.

John had the misfortune of backing out his Honda in our driveway, right into the van. He was anxious to get an estimate and so he did.  $628 for a ding!  A bit depressed and distracted at the thought of coming up with that much cash for what appeared to be little more than a scratch, he then left his keys in plain view, inside his car, at the office.  Of course, I came to the rescue, with a spare set of keys, and was rewarded with a long-overdue chiropractic adjustment as well as warm traction therapy.  That totally, completely, and thoroughly relaxed me for the rest of the day.  Maybe a visit to my chiropractor should become a daily ritual!

Pets as part of the family

Cats for stress-relief.  Dogs for play.  Bunnies for laughter, and birds for sweet song.  We love our pets.

We own all of the above pets, except for the dogs, which we enjoy at our friends’ houses.  Pets are great.  Consider one, if you haven’t already.  Here is how they have become part of our family, and given us memories to last a life time.

The Cats

Princess and Leah the cats, have their nocturnal instincts turned upside-down.  Since all of us, or at least someone, is home all day, there is an ongoing competition between the two cats, to find a lap to sit on, or a textbook on a lap to sit on.  The kids welcome a respite from their studies when they do so!

The problem is that the cats, once they are on a warm lap, will likely not move for hours, unless they are prompted to do so.  To get them off, as the kids eventually do need to do their work, I lure them with a treat or a “shoo shoo”.  The cats and I have a warm relationship, but since I often need to shoo them, I am regretfully not their favorite person in the house.

Both cats were spayed at an early age, a requirement of the shelter, but Princess still has a maternal instinct, and regularly sings a sweet song to the toy mouse.  They have the run of the house, and they love it.

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Sabrina trying to study with Princess
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Melissa with both cats

The Bunny

We have had Suzy the bunny, since she was a kit. (yes, that is the formal name for a baby rabbit)  When our children each turned 8 years old, it was the custom for them to take on the responsibility of a pet.  They waited in anticipation until that 8th birthday, and took much care in choosing just the kind of animal they wanted.  Melissa decided on a bunny, but for some reason I can not remember, I was reluctant about the idea, and she instead chose a turtle.

Then I met a dwarf bunny named Marshmallow at another family’s house.  That was it.  We found a mini-rex, with the softest plush fur I have ever felt on a rabbit, at the pet shop, put her in a box of hay, and surprised Melissa on her 8th birthday.

Suzy loves rainbow chard, and so we planted it right next to her hutch.  She loves it when the weather cools down so that she can dig tunnels everywhere inside her enclosure. Watch this video to see a “Day in the life of Suzy”!

The Birds

Tiki, a love bird, bonded with Sarah at a very young birdie age.  Tiki loves me also, as I feed her each morning, but if Sarah enters the room, she is the one.  She was hand-fed by a family who raises love birds.  Sarah bought her with a piggy bank full of money, as soon as she turned 8 years old.  She dumped out her savings right in front of the seller, before taking Tiki bird home.  For a few years, we also owned Little Man, who was a relative of Tiki’s, but Little Man tenderly groomed so many of Tiki’s feathers out, that he became a hazard to her.  It was sad to see them part, but we found a great bird-loving family to take Little Man.  Tiki does have many wild bird friends outdoors, where she spends most of her time, in a large cage.  Thankfully, her feathers grew back.

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Other Quasi-pets

Coyotes

For a while we had a coyote family in the front yard, which was kind of freaky and sweet at the same time.  Apparently, a couple of coyotes had set up a den in the bushes in front of our house, to have their coyote pup.  Friends would come visit and tell us in alarm, “Hey, did you know you have a coyote in your front yard?”  We did nothing to encourage the coyotes to stay, and the authorities surprisingly said not to worry about it.  (We did bring the bunny and bird indooors during this time!)  Finally our canine “pets” moved on after a few months.

Neighborhood cats

Over the years, we have befriended neighborhood cats including Mr. Collins, Mr. Bingley, and Emilie. We have no idea what the neighbors call the same cats!

I would love to hear about your special pets!

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette

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Sarah

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