Rescued Pets - The Cat Rules the Roost
Mr. Murphy - rescue cat extraordinaire - sitting calmly in his armchair. I can see him plotting right now. All the outward signs point to it - the oh-so-innocent expression, the insouciant, almost lazy curl of the tail, the ultra-relaxed posture. That cat is definitely up to something.
Cat lovers, or cat-staff, as we are sometimes affectionately called, will know exactly what I mean. We have come to recognize the signs only too well. Dog-lovers among you may be puzzled, and wondering if I am developing a phobia, or am leaning towards paranoia, having lived too long among felines. That's as may be, however, it does not alter the fact that Mr. Murphy is definitely planning some mischief.
He's up to something...
There go the ears - flicking forward, back and...ha! There goes my pencil, along with the grocery list and my glasses case...and there goes Murphy, chasing the pencil down the hallway. I knew he was after something on the coffee table.
Mr. Murphy, also known as Mr. Murphies , Murphies , and you rotten kitty is certainly a character. The phrase, "Where's you ?" when uttered by my step-daughter, his chief staff, brings an instant response. Murphy miraculously appears from who-knows-where, to twine around her legs, chirruping melodically, and begging for the treats he knows he is about to receive.
Mr. Murphy calls a meeting...
Unless he's sleeping...
Mr. Murphies is now the proud owner of three staff, since I came to live with my kids in Northern Alberta. He is now also the proud owner of two dogs, and though he is definitely the boss he graciously shares his domain.
Sometimes, when the new dog's sister visits, he owns three dogs. What new dog, you ask? Well that's quite a story.
I am not at all sure that Murphy is thrilled about the three dogs. He seemed perfectly happy, or at least contented, with only one. My kids had other ideas, though - or at least, the new doggy did.
It all started innocently enough. My daughter-in-law was searching for a new watch-puppy for her mother, who is going deaf.
Their beloved family pet, Dukie, who warned them of intruders, and barked when the phone rang, had finally passed on, and Ma and Poppa, as my daughter-in-law calls her parents, were devastated. So their girl began a search of S.P.C.A.s and animal shelters in our area.
After several months of searching online, phone calls, and visits to meet prospective pets, our girl came home one day and phoned her husband.
He was already on the road, but she needed him to think about a very important question. "Would he really start divorce proceedings if she brought home another dog?"
As simple enough question, one would think.
Peace River No-Kill Shelter
Lady at about 10 weeks
Two + two = Chaos...
The dutiful daughter had indeed found a new "watch-puppy" for her parents - Lady, as she was soon named - for her looks, not her behavior - was the sweetest little doggy imaginable. Though her contact at the shelter - the S.P.C.A. runs a no-kill shelter in Peace River - thought she was a Terrier, Dachshund, and possibly something-else cross, we were pretty sure there was a strong line of Cocker Spaniel in her, too.
Her head and her black, wavy, soft and silky fur are pure "cocker", but her body, particularly her hind-quarters, definitely conform to the dachshund physiology. Her personality is one-of-a-kind, though. She loves everybody, and joyously bounces up to meet and greet every person and creature she meets.
...and when I say bounce , I really mean bounce. Lady almost levitates off those muscular, doxie hindquarters, her little pink tongue lolling out and her soft ears flapping up and down.
Mr Murphies was not so happy to be met by the bouncing baby doggie. He was even less enchanted with puppy's sister, who came as part of the package.
When the dutiful daughter found Lady, she also met another little doggie, Lady's older sister - who timidly approached her and, as my daughter-in-law put it, "She looked at me and her eyes told me, 'I'm a good doggie, too - can I be your doggie?'" Well, how could anyone turn that down?
So home came Lady and big sister, who stayed with us, and became Bella .
Lady and Bella (foreground)
Our little Bella was very shy when she first came to live with us. The shelter had spayed her and reassured us that her shots were up to date. Raised in the same puppy mill from which Lady and a dozen other small dogs had been rescued, Bella weighed barely 7 pounds when we first brought her home. Our vet guesstimated her age between one and three years of age, and told us she had born several litters of pups already.
Ours was a very busy household for those first weeks until little Lady went off to her new home. With three dogs, one mildly fussed cat and a small house, we were a bit pressed for space. It's amazing how much room a small puppy can take up with her toys. As well, until the new dog and puppy were completely house trained, my daughter-in-law slept on a blow-up bed on the living room floor, so she could hear the critters and let them out every time one of them squeaked.
Thank goodness that phase only lasted a few weeks.
By the third week, Bella would run and play with Lady, but was still very timid with men - every time my son spoke, and he is very soft-spoken, Bella would flatten herself on the floor, shivering. The end of the month brought a different story, though. Our girl's weight had doubled, and you could no longer feel every bone and sinew in her neck when you petted her.
Bella has continued to improve, and is now quite playful with the other pets. Her favorite toy is anything that squeaks - she loves squeaky toys.
All our pets are rescued - either from our vet, or the local shelter. They are all sweet-natured, and know they are loved, and more importantly, that they are owned .
Oh, and the ruling the roost part - Mr. Murphy is definitely the boss cat of the house. He comes and yells at my door in the morning to make sure I am up on time to get breakfast for the cat, and to let the dogs out. My son refers to him as the dogs' lawyer , as he runs interference for the "girls" if we are not being attentive enough to their needs.
...and he definitely has first choice of the comfy chairs...
...of, course, now he has to share the chair with Bella sometimes...Click thumbnail to view full-size
Would you consider adopting a rescued pet?
Passing of a good friend
Since this was first published, Mr. Murphy has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. We were so sad to lose him, and Bella was bereft for a time. Now, though, another rescue pet has come to brighten our lives - more about her another time.
Whether you would take in a rescued pet is entirely a matter of choice and taste, but I know this family will always head to the nearest shelter before we'd darken the door of a pet shop. Every pet who has adopted us has been a real character and has added great joy to our lives during whatever time they have spent with us.
Of course, there's always one critter who proves the exception, rather than the rule, as evidenced in the clip below...
© 2010 RedElf