We have a new addition to our menagerie of fur-babies. Toby (pictured below) is about 6 weeks old. He was born to a couple of “outdoor” cats and we took him in when his mama dropped him at Jeanne’s feet a month ago. He has grown quickly, and is a feisty little guy, curious and wide-eyed.
We were only going to foster him, but after bottle feeding him and teaching him what a litter box was for, the bond had been set and we decided he could stay. Me-thinks he will be trouble with a Capital T, though!
Even though he checked out as disease-free, we have been keeping him separate from the other animals until he grows a bit. The other two cats, Mocha Lisa and Louisville Slugger, seem to accept him with no trouble and the 10-year-old Lab mix, Hannah, is so mellow, she hardly notices him when we do have him in the family room.
The miniature poodle, Jackson, is a different story. Unfortunately, Toby is just about the size of his chew-toys, only with the capability of being chased around the room. And Jackson has enough energy to chase anything for long periods of time. So we can only have them in the same space when we are here to referee – at least until Toby gets a little bigger!
We have been animal lovers for many years, but having a kitten is a new experience for us. All of our other animals (including the ones who have passed away) were “used” – we acquired them from other people after they were at least one year old. Beauregard, a handsome buff and white cat, was a kitten when he first came to live with my family, but I was in college at the time and I didn’t take full ownership of him until he was several years old. He was the first pet that was “mine” – he lived about 15 years and I still miss him.
Missy was the next cat to join the family – she belonged to a co-worker’s mother who could no longer take care of her. We lost her to cancer earlier this year after 14 years. After Beau died, Jeanne’s niece and nephew offered to fill the void with their cat. Turns out, they wanted another dog and their dad said no more pets unless they got rid of one. Next thing we knew, Mocha Lisa was ours. That was 11 years ago!
Hannah was about a year old when a friend found her at a rest area on I-40 in Arkansas. We were only going to keep her until we could find her owner or someone suitable, but as these things happen, we got attached! Jackson was another side-of-the-road rescue at about age two and a half. He has been with us for just over 3 years now, and is still as hyper as ever!
Louisville Slugger (Louie) was a “gift” from a client of Jeanne’s who lives part of the time in Kentucky. We also had Molly, a toy poodle, for about 10 months. She was old and cancer-ridden when she was found wandering the streets of Memphis. We took her in, had her tumors removed and nursed her back from the brink only to have the cancer take over again.
So with the count going up and down several times over the years, we are currently at (have you kept count?) 5 pets. 2 dogs and 3 cats. I think I am going to draw the line here. No more until we lose another one. And that will probably be Hannah, since we learned recently that she has early kidney disease. In the meantime, we are surrounded by the unconditional love of dogs and the passive aggressive disinterest of cats. But we love each and every one of them!