Okay, so where were we? Let's see, when we left off at my last blog post, we had thankfully avoided adopting Not-Oscar (aka Puddin' 3). Things were quiet for awhile and drifted from Fall into winter, when, lo and behold, this showed up on the day after Christmas:
This dog wandered around in our neighborhood for a couple of days. He had a collar on, but no identification. After seeing him narrowly miss becoming nothing but a greasy spot in the road, the kiddo insisted on letting him into the backyard to avoid creating a new speed bump on our street. We put out flyers, made sure he was well fed and watered...and...nothing. No one called to claim him, no local Vet's office recognized him. I didn't want this dog...and honestly, he didn't seem to really want us. He was an older dog, and whatever language he was used to hearing, it apparently wasn't ours. Nothing we said to him: "Food" "Stay" "Come" "Go" produced anything but a blank look. He ate our food, drank the water we gave him, but wasn't really interested in any other interaction. He had zero personality and zero interest in becoming anyone's friend be it human or animal. Oh...but he did have a remarkable ability to somehow squeeze through the cat door on the back porch and somehow find any source of electricity available and shock himself into a seizure. I'm not kidding. We found this dog behind the counter on the porch where there was this 2 1/2 inch gap and he'd dislodge the cord for the heater and try to fry himself. The lights inside would dim and we'd find him on the porch convulsing. This happened at least 3 times. We tried three different barricades before we could stop the idiot from doing that. Naturally, we took to calling him "Sparky". Not that he ever answered to it, or anything else we said...but it was descriptive and more polite than "Damn dog."
Sparky was with us for a couple of months when one day he slipped out of the fence...I saw him rounding a corner of the across-the-street neighbor's backyard. I yelled for him...he never flicked an ear. We honestly scoured a half mile radius looking for a dog that everyone in the house (other animals included) were completely ambivalent about for days but never found a trace of him. Our hypothesis is that he finally remembered whatever non-English-speaking home he had come from and high-tailed it back.
The equilibrium of our household returned. But only momentarily. These next couple of entries, I'm afraid, are all on me.
The place where I work is very close to the county animal control center. Animal. Control. Not Animal shelter. This confuses a lot of people...they assume that this facility is there to help find homes for animals. You can adopt there...if you move fast enough. Sometimes this place doesn't wait a full 24-hours before putting the animals it collects (or are dropped off) down. Also? There had recently been an investigative piece in our local paper where they uncovered all kinds of atrocities going on there. Not kidding...I'm talking criminal indictments were made. But folks CONTINUE to drop animals off in this horrible cage right outside the gates. Several of us at work had taken to stopping and rescuing any animal we saw in there while driving in to work and putting out a call for someone to adopt them, or at least finding a no-kill shelter to take them. One day, one of my co-workers stopped and got this little lady out of the Death Pen:
She appeared to have recently weaned a litter of puppies. She was some type of Chihuahua/Dachshund mix. She was sweet as pie and stank to the high-heavens. My co-worker was about to leave for the weekend, but thought that on the up-coming Monday, she could probably find a place for her in a no-kill shelter if I could foster her over the weekend and run her by the vet's office that we'd been working with that would give our rescued animals a once-over and basic shots for a very discounted rate. I took her home, bathed her a dozen times and took her to the vet. He assessed that she was about three years old and would never weigh more than ten pounds. I brought this "foster" dog home for the weekend. The hubby had her in his lap the whole first evening. The next morning, after she climbed off of our bed, she went to curl up with all three of the cats. By that afternoon, she was Simba's best friend. By the second night, the daughter had named her Libby. Sigh.
(For those keeping score:
Inside cats: 3
Outside cats: 1)
I once again declared: "No. More. Animals! This is it! Period!" Even though I was the one who had brought the latest one home.
A few months later, there was Maxx. This too was all me:
Maxx, when I still thought I was "fostering" him.
Maxx today. He's ginormous, BTW
I had never, ever intended to have FOUR cats inside.
However, sometimes we get what we need, whether we intend for it or not. Not long after we formally adopted Maxx, we started to notice Baby (Jeff's funky old yard cat) failing. While going through the long, long fight to get Baby to rally, I am so thankful that we had Maxx. He was loving and playful and just what all of us needed while we faced the inevitable with Baby.
We had our 3 dogs. We had four inside cats (Maxx was getting so big, you almost had to count him as a cat and a half.)
And then what happened, Marianne? Well...the kiddo was out selling ads for the upcoming year's football program (she's a cheerleader...also known as free labor for anything football-related). While making her rounds, she came across this tiny, precious, helpless, wee little thing:
"Absolutely not!" I said. "Right Jeff?" as I walked into the living room to find her perched on his shoulder, purring her little kitten purrs into his ear.
"Um, yeah, of course not."
I addressed the child using her first, middle and last names, "You'll have to take her back where you found her tomorrow!" I said this while the little poot hopped down to run and play with Simba who immediately turned her into a little white and black spitball (she was clearly having the time of her life...as soon as he quit, she'd rub around on his legs until he did it again).
"I don't care how cute she is! Five cats in the house is crazy talk!"
"Mew!" she said to me in her little kitten voice.
"But I can't take her back there! I'll try to find her a home. We'll just keep her until I find her a home!"
And here we are. She's still not named...but I've been out-voted on this one. She IS the most precious little thing you've ever seen. Everyone loves her. The other cats don't even get in her way at feeding time. And usually, they act like a bunch of psychotic, furry piranhas that haven't seen food in a week at dinner time.
For the record, names that have been suggested and rejected at this point:
Also for the record, the count is
Fine. Her name is Daisy. Daisy Fay (as in the Great Gatsby). Daughter wanted something literary and she DID read the The Great Gatsby recently (she's also a sucker for anything Leonardo DiCaprio in it)