Phoenix is now fifteen. We got him when he was just a kitten. We thought he was a girl. A friend of my son's brought him over and said he was a girl so we just assumed that he was. Then my kids went off to camp and while they were gone our sweet girl kitty's balls dropped. I wrote to my son at camp Phoenix has balls! It took a while to remember that he was a boy after that...
Speaking of balls, we had a pet rat once, too. Well my daughter did. The daughter who, after we got her the rat said wanting a rat is more fun than having a rat. This rat was one of our last pets. Except for the three other dogs, a snake named Scratch and Phoenix.
Well this rat, he was very sweet. She named him Sweetie. And she would play with him a lot. Then one day his balls dropped, too. For anyone who does not know this, teenage boy rat balls are about the same size as their head. My daughter wouldn't hold him anymore. We had to get him neutered. It costs double the cost of buying him in the first place.
Many of our pets ended up costing us - it was worth every penny but still worth noting.
Scratch, our snake had a respiratory infection. That was a huge vet bill. I didn't realize he had this, I thought he was making noises when I came in to feed him because he was hungry and happy to see me. But then I was told that snakes don't make noise. I left the vet with a ten day supply of syringes filled with antibiotics that I had to inject in his neck - which looks just like his body but closer to his head. He got better but then escaped from his cage and got lost in the walls of our house. We found him a year later.
As I write this I am remembering that all of our pets were a bit quirky. Like our first pet, a Standard Poodle names Ruckus, he had a problem with drinking water. He drank incessantly and was really sloppy about it. I brought him to the vet, I was worried he had diabetes as a symptom in dogs was drinking a lot. The vet called me and said he's not diabetic, he's inefficient. Turns out his tongue was not attached correctly and he couldn't lap the water. The vet told us to let him drink our of the toilet. Which we did, and which all of our other dogs - and our two cats - learned to do, too.
Ruckus also ate socks and underwear and tubes of diaper cream.
Then our second dog, Gabby, she was blind in one eye, which we did not know until she turned a year old. Weimeraner's have these amazing blue eyes when they are puppies that turn a golden color at around a year. So this first year both blue eyes looked fine and we just thought we had a goofy puppy who fell off curbs and ran into fences but then her eyes turned gold and one was not right.
We brought her to the vet to get her eyes checked. You may ask, how does a vet check a dogs eyes? Well, they cover one eye and drop a dog biscuit in front of the other eye. With one eye she looked down as the biscuit fell, with the bad eye, she just sat there. I called her breeder. She's blind in one eye, I said. This very strange woman offered to take her back and give me a new dog. I was like, what the fuck????!! No thank you, I said. I love my dog. Just pay for all the vet bills.
Then we had Ophelia, our Ragdoll kitty who we hoped to breed but she had a flipped uterus. She also almost died when she had her first rabies shot and we learned she was allergic to most vaccinations. More vet bills.
We had birds. We got a bird named Jill. She loved my son. But we wondered if she was lonely so we got her a boyfriend. His name was Buddy. Jill wanted nothing to do with my son after that. Our cat, Ophelia, would sit on their cage and swish her tail back and forth when we weren't home. They lost their feathers due to stress and we gave them to our babysitter. A much calmer life for them both.
And we had bunnies. First Calm who was this lovely black bunny that was so sweet and clean and well behaved and would hop around our house and never make a mess. Until he hit puberty and we HAD to get him a girlfriend. We named her Whore Bunny but called her Clover. They had babies. She taught him bad habits. They eventually went to live with friends.
We had giant goldfish. This was a miracle really. I never cleaned the fish tank. A massive fish tank. With cats and dogs and bunnies and birds and a rat and, which I haven't even mentioned until now, an aquatic frog and gerbils ...well, those fish just had to make due. They did more than that, they thrived. Their names were Conan and Raphamon. Every now and then we'd see a bit of orange swim by against the glass and then disappear again into the mucky water. When they died we finally got to see their size. They were basically individual salmon steaks. We kept them in our freezer until we could give them a proper burial. A whole separate writing.
Our first Doberman, his name was Mac and he was huge. His quirky thing was terribly sad, we thought he was just this easy going, didn't care that he was a Doberman kind of Doberman but, in actuality, he had a heart condition and died right before he turned seven. Broke my heart.
When he was one and a half he dated the girl next door and they had twelve puppies. She lied to him and told him she was spade. Bitch.
We took a puppy, A dog named Tank. I thought she was going to look just like her dad, my Doberman, because she was the biggest puppy. But she ended up looking like her mom - an Australian Cattle Dog. Except a much fatter version. My theory is that she was a Doberman in a cattle dog body. A big, massive Doberman stuffed into a small cattle dog body. You get the idea.
And of course we have Nava, my perfect Doberman.
But back to Phoenix. The incredible hunter-who-could-probably-kill-a-wild-boar if-need-be cat.
So his hunting. We have been feeling really badly about this lately because he has been bringing in a lot of birds and we realized that we are kinda helping him with this. You see, we have this fountain outside, a really cool one, very modern looking, square and low to the ground. And our cat, smart cat that he is, he crouches very quietly right next to the side of the fountain, his body pressed up against the concrete. And he waits. And the birds, they come to drink and play and flap their wings in our fountain because it is hot where we live and so this is so great for them and then my cat gets one. So basically we are setting up these birds for slaughter.
He hunts quite a lot. And not just the birds we are supplying him with. Mice and Rats and geckos. He is amazing at it. He sometimes brings them in dead. I do not consider them gifts and since he eats them pretty much completely, I am thinking they are not gifts as far as he is concerned, either. They are meals. My nephew believes he has a trophy room.
Usually, though, what he catches he brings in live. And then gets bored and we are left with a traumatized mouse running around our home while our now not interested at all kitty is sleeping on the couch or on the table near the salt lamp. He loves being near the salt lamp. Good chi I think.