Cats and Dogs and Hamsters and Turtles

My Menagerie

What is a family with a pet or two? Yes, yes, I hear you--a sane family, a wise family, a family with money to spare. Sometimes I agree with you.

Most of the time I am enamoured with my little furry friends, and can speak no ill of them. Of course hubby doesn't always feel the same way, especially not when the pipe he so laboriously buried is unceremoniously dug up by our playful Retriever (who brings a part of it to him, pipe between her teeth, tail wagging, just begging to play!)

We have gone long stretches of time without pets, it often depended where we lived and what we were doing at the time. Invariably once our kids were older than four years they'd start begging and we'd give in and get something. We've lived through hamsters (who ate their newborn, yuk!) and turtles, beetles, spiders, stick creatures, cats and dogs and probably some others that I have forgotten about.

I grew up in rural Tasmania, Australia and were surrounded by animals. Hubby lived on a farm and milked cows morning and night while he was growing up. We are aware that animals are wonderful companions and responsibility. Our kids have had to learn the 'responsibility' part, oftentimes the hard way.

Because animals are such a part of my life, I felt it only fair to share it with whoever is interested in reading about it. Also, because I have had a fair bit of experience with animals I hope I can provide some useful information from time to time, and not only 'puppy stories' :-)

Crazy Cats

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Prisca, our three-legged wonder cat with a story to tell. She's affectionately called "Leg-o-less" by some.Tabby would have to be the laziest cat in the world. Sleeps all day on my bed, eats at night, prowls around a bit & is back on the bed at 5 a.m. Our mutt and our cat,they're all good friends.Tabby, caught in one of her waking moments!
Prisca, our three-legged wonder cat with a story to tell. She's affectionately called "Leg-o-less" by some.
Prisca, our three-legged wonder cat with a story to tell. She's affectionately called "Leg-o-less" by some.
Tabby would have to be the laziest cat in the world. Sleeps all day on my bed, eats at night, prowls around a bit & is back on the bed at 5 a.m.
Tabby would have to be the laziest cat in the world. Sleeps all day on my bed, eats at night, prowls around a bit & is back on the bed at 5 a.m.
Our mutt and our cat,they're all good friends.
Our mutt and our cat,they're all good friends.
Tabby, caught in one of her waking moments!
Tabby, caught in one of her waking moments!

Cats and Dogs

Currently we're down to one cat and one dog. We just moved from the country to the city, so left one cat and one dog behind, with a good master taking care of them. We still think of them as 'ours' and will take them back if and when we have the space.

We brought the two most dependent animals with us, and left Miss. Independent Cat (Prisca) and Mr. Roving Guard Dog (Dexter) behind.With the typhoon season coming up soon, we're currently looking into building a kennel proper, dog run flooring and that type of thing.

Making a Choice When it Comes to Animals

Knowing we could only bring two animals with us, and making the decision which two they would be was very difficult, especially for the kids. When we announced we were moving the first question out of both girls lips was "what about the animals?" Never mind where we were moving, or why, or when!

We moved from a big country property, which was perfect for keeping pets (we even had a pet goat at one point) to a smaller house closer to the city. In deciding on which pets to bring with us we based our final decision on the actual personalities of the pets themselves. We left the animals that were the most indendent behind. They are well cared for and happy to roam. We brought the two less independent with us as we knew they'd need more care and attention.

The kids weren't so pragmatic. We had tears and weeping, and were asked, "how can you be so mean? How would you feel if someone just left you behind?" No amount of explaining could help, we just had to leave it be for a time. They dealt with the reality of it in their own way and are perfectly fine now. We get to see the animals we left behind often as we visit them, and they're fine.

With each new animal the kids would bring home we'd always explain the responsibility factor, (Yes, yes, mum we know all that...) and we'd give a warning that while we were able to sustain a small zoo at our present location, were we to move we'd likely not be able to take our entire menangerie with us. Preparing them in advance helped, but they were still emotional about leaving a couple of pets behind.

Taking care of animals provides great training and is a wonderful experience for children, if handled properly. They learn all about the birth-life-death cycle and learn how to make decisions about their pets based on facts rather than emotion. They learn the responsibility of training, cleaning up after, and feeding pets -- and what happens if you omit any one of those things. And best of all, I think, they learn to love and respect animals.

Comments 2 comments

scarlton profile image

scarlton 6 years ago from Boonville, NC

Nice Hub.


Pet Stuff 3 years ago

http://www.plentifulpet.com is a good one too!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    More by this Author

    • Dog Kennel Insulation
      3

      Years ago you could not find an insulated dog kennel. They were often rather hastily built structures, triangular shaped constructions made out of weatherboards or, later, out of gypsum boards. Not a lot of thought or...

    • What Size Dog Kennel and Run for Your Dog?
      5

      Not every dog is fond of being enclosed in a dog kennel and run compound, and many dogs never need to be restrained in this way. Having had dogs all of my (long) life, I have been in many situations where being able to...

    • Decorating with Blinds and Curtains
      1

      Redecorating your living room or dining room can be a lot of work.  It's very challenging to redecorate, especially as you need to not only decide what you want to change but also come up with the money to make...


    Click to Rate This Article
    working