I'd like to hear your favorite/most memorable pet/animal story.
No other specifications.
I had a really pretty girl over for dinner last month. I made everything from scratch, she's a vegetarian so I went all out and make black bean & sweet potato burritos, hummus, and some kind of dessert. It was a really lovely date.
After dinner, we were sitting at the table, talking about whether olive oil or coconut oil would make for a preferrable after dinner rub-down, and Mark, my cat, jumped up onto her lap.
No big deal, she loves kitties. After sitting on her lap getting all the cuddles ever, and purring ridiculously loud for a really long time, he jumped back to the floor. That's when she screamed.
There was a POOP on her lap. A nasty, cat poop.
Sufficing to say, I helped her wash her white jeans with a tea cup full of OxyClean, and no one got a sexy coconut massage.
My second job after high school was at a pet store. I mostly was a cashier and stocker, but I also sold animals: skinks up to pure-bred puppies. (This isn't much of a story.) The only specific dog I have any strong memory of was a cairn terrier pup we referred to as (but wasn't officially named) Peanut. He was about the size of my hand. He never barked. I'm not usually into tiny dogs, but Peanut was the best. I was sort of amazed that no one was buying. We put him in a big cage right on the front counter. He must have stayed there for two months. If I'd had the means, I would've taken him. Someone bought him, eventually, after several mark-downs. He was the only animal in that place I ever missed seeing.
Well, I can go the heartbreaking route - but Otis was my first bulldog and *my* first real dog. I grew up with dogs, but he was mine. Really, he was everybody's. He had a lot of love to give. When I moved to Boston, I couldn't bring him with me, it just wasn't going to work. But I hated being in my hometown and I had to leave, so I made the tough decision of leaving him behind with my parents, who provided for him the home he needed and more love than any one dog could receive.
About a year or so into it, my good friend was diagnosed with cancer. So I'd drive back down from Boston to PA to spend some time with my family and visit my friend in the hospital during his bouts with chemo. During this time, Otis had become ill and couldn't eat. He was taken to the vet where he had to stay for a week. He was diagnosed with a form of Inflammed Bowel Syndrome but it got him pretty bad.
I went to the U of Penn hospital and spent some time with my buddy watching football and watching the chemo drip. After the game, I hugged him goodbye and drove to the pet hospital where I met my folks who had been visiting Otis every day. The vet took us aside and said he wasn't responding very well and it may be time to consider putting him down. He was only 5 years old.
I went in to the "visiting room" and a tech walked Otis in. His face was gaunt and he was visibly depleted. He peed on the floor and sauntered over to me. My parents said he had a little more pep than he had in previous days. We all cried. Then we were able to take him out for a short walk. He was looking pretty haggard but he found a tennis ball, and it made it fucking day. He had this little glimmer of play in his eye. We tossed the ball back & forth.
I went back to Boston the next day. I told my friends & my parents not to call me at work in case my friend had taken a turn for the worse or if Otis had. I was new and just didn't want to be crying in front of a bunch of new people. My mom called and said, "I know you said not to call you at work, but I just wanted to tell you, Otis is home." I cried anyway.
Within a year, the cancer had taken over my friend and he succumbed to the disease. At the funeral, I could barely hold it together as I approached the casket. As I began to break down, my friend's brother hugged me and whispered into my ear, "It's ok, Jay. He's up there with Otis. They're pain free."
I didn't have the heart to tell them Otis was still alive. A year or so later was the charity golf tournament where his brother & I laughed about it. I told him Otis was still kicking around and doing the best he could. Within a few months, Otis was gone too. My parents emptied out their bank account to give him a platelet transfusion. At 2am, the vet called to say it didn't work but they could try one more transfusion, of which the chances of him surviving were slim. In the moments my parents agonized whether or not to do another transfusion, he passed away quietly in his sleep, sparing them the decision.
My friend didn't make it nearly as long as he should have, dying within a year of being diagnosed. He had "the cancer you want to get if you're going to get cancer." It was aggressive. Otis made it about two years from the time a vet suggested we consider putting him down.
I don't know what the moral of this story is except I saw my dying friend and dying dog in the hospital on the same day and I miss them both.
Well, so glad I did this. Because now I've cried.
Sorry - that's what came out in a fury instead of me doing work. But for what it's worth, I have a bulldog named Karl now.
I like people names for dogs. Lots of people can't say their Rs in this region. So Karl is kind of my subtle "fuck you" prank to my adopted home. People ask, "Kahl? Kahl? What kind of name is Kahl for a dog?" It's the gift that keeps on giving. And it's just generally a great fucking name for a dog.
Hopefully now you've at least giggled.
This one got brought up at dinner with my family the other day. I was around 8 or 9 and it was my mom's birthday. I decided to make her a cake. I assume the babysitter helped me, but I got it made, iced, and it looked like someone took a sparkly rainbow shit of sprinkles on top. I set it out on the dining room table waiting for her to get home. A few hours later when she gets home I go to show her what I've done. Now there's a giant hole in the middle of the cake. My first reaction is to ask my younger sisters, "GIRLS! Did you guys eat this cake?" at this point my dog Freckles comes strutting by licking her chops, which are covered in frosting. My parents saw this and thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen. Fucking dog just dove right in, didn't even have the decency to take a bite from the end. This story still gets brought up way too often amongst my family considering it happened around 20 years ago.
I have two male cats: Midnight and Matches. Midnight is a 19 pound black cat who is a bit lazy. Matches is a gorgeous, wirey cat with muscles. He's strong. They love each other but they fight. They lick each others ears, then burst out fighting. No one is ever hurt, though. However, Matches used to win all the fights. He would come away with a bit of black hair in his mouth. He was clearly the winner. He prowls around like he owns the place.
One day i left the hall closet open and noticed Midnight had jumped on top of my black suitcase. He blended in with the black case adn the dark closet. A few minutes later, Matches saunted down the hall and POW - Midnight pounced right on top of him. All 19 pounds of black cat practically crushed Matches, and Midnight won the firt fight ever.
Now Matches shows Midnight a little more respect and Midnight sees himself as the Alpha cat. Big muscles don't always win. Sometimes it is battle strategy.
The summer before my junior year in high school, I was at the park with my best friend. A cat wobbled across the parking lot towards us and I picked it up. It was tiny, barely old enough to survive without its mom, and it was dirty and scratched. I immediately drove home with it tucked in my lap beneath the seat belt. Its head, barely the size of my palm, barely poked above the seatbelt and I wound up driving without it to make sure it didn't suffocate the cat. I named it Echo (yes, after Echo from Rant) and took it to the vet to get it de-wormed and vaccinated. It slept in my bed and loved me.
A week later, my grandmother got into a terrible car accident and I had to go to Tennessee to clean her house. She would be coming home in a wheelchair and she was an impressive hoarder, so we had to make the entire house wheelchair accessible. I was there for three weeks.
When I came home, the cat was vicious and hated me. My mom and sister had accidentally trained it to be mean -- they played rough and scared it sometimes, which made it jumpy and frankly evil -- and had renamed it Kierda. Kierda was only comfortable with my mom and it broke my heart, because I didn't have a pet.
Fast forward to my junior year of high school, second semester. My house catches on fire. They try to make us wait in the ambulance because it's fucking freezing and no one is wearing more than pajama pants and a t-shirt, but we sit in my sister's car instead, so we can hold the animals (two dogs, one belonging to my boyfriend and one to my sister, and Kierda at this point) as they come out.
My dad ran back in the house to save that fucking cat for my mom and he shoved it unceremoniously into the car because he despised cats. It had a broken leg and tiny tendrils of blood were pooling on its paw.
My boyfriend held his dog and my sister held hers. Kierda, though, collapsed on my lap and curled up against my breast. It purred and let me pet it. I cried.
I don't know how many times I went on the Lucky Catch Lobster tours, but I think on the last time...did I tell this story before? Anyway, on my last Lucky Catch Lobster tour, there was this lady that wanted to have some local place cook the lobster we caught and she didn't want to carry it over. So being the gallant soul I was, I held the lobster in my hand and walked over with her. It was cool holding the lobster in the flesh.
The one when the dog fell out of the window
About 10years ago i lived in a squatted place in the centre of city. About 10 people were living there lives there.
On a 'sunny afternoon' a dog fell out the front third floor window. The dog wasn't pushed or was 'drunk' or whatever. The dog just took to much risk , got out of balance and fell. .....all the way down. Luckily a person was walking the street below. The dog fell on his shoulder. The dog nor the man were hurt.
Once, a Responsible and Generally Nice Person I know had just finished having afternoon sex and deposited the used condom into the wastepaper basket, as responsible, non-clogging the toilet drains/waste water management system sex havers should.
Being a Responsible and Generally Nice Person, parents arrived later in the afternoon for a lovely dinner of cornish game hens and roast fingerling potatoes accompanied by a side salad of spring greens.
During the lovely dinner with the sex partner and the parents, the Responsible and Generally Nice Person's Maine Coone entered the dining room and jumped upon the linen covered table, whereupon it proceeded to make the heaving sound cats make when they are about to be sick.
Before the stunned diners could remove the cat from the linen covered table, the Responsible and Generally Nice Person's Maine Coone vomitted up the contents of the wastepaper basket, most noticeable amongst the contents the used condom from the afternoon's escapades.
The End. Of everything.
When I was eight we went to visit my mom’s Aunt Cat and Uncle Bub on their farmland in Mississippi. The house was full of estranged relatives and a really pretty cockatoo named Slick. My mother probably told me a dozen times not to stick my finger in the bird cage and I probably told her a dozen times that I would not do that. We ate a lot of fried eggplant, and fried potatoes, and fried chicken and fried okra and fried everything.
On the ride home I picked up a toy I found under the driver seat I was sitting behind. It was one of those plastic things you get at the zoo. A long stick with a trigger and the head of a flamingo on the end. My teenage cousin Ronnie was sitting next to me, behind the passenger seat. I remember clicking that green trigger to flap that pink snout. Over and over I said:
“I-don’t-like-that-bird. I-don’t-like-that-bird.” My parents ignored me in the front seat as I continued to annoy my cousin Ronnie.
“I-don’t-like-that-bird. I-don’t-like-that-bird.” I spoke in syllables emphasizing each word. My cousin got so pissed off at me flapping that stick in his face, making stupid bird nonsense that he grabbed my toy, rolled down the window and threw it to the highway. I remember saying Owe! And then I shut up, scared that he might hit me next. My mother, in the passenger seat, turned around and yelled at Ronnie for throwing out my toy and then looked at my finger. It was puffy and swollen with a prick of dried blood. “You stuck your finger in the cage, didn’t you?” I nodded and we all laughed.
Drea, LOVE IT.
Just for the fun of it.
Here is a pet story.
This is damn near impossible because I've been around animals my whole life. Showing them, treating them, being owned by them.
I could tell you about my first cat who found me at the pound the night he was supposed to be put down, and who got sick twelve years later and lost 70% of his body weight over four weeks. How I had to put him down on the anniversary of my friend's death because he couldn't walk anymore.
Or the quarter horse I rode in barrel racing and western pleasure competitions that was stolen in the night by horse thieves.
You might want to hear about my hamster Bartleby, who loved to nibble on banana slices held in his tiny little person-hands and who was escorted on his hamster-ball outings by my cat Voltron. When he got sick the doctor said it was either a cold or a brain tumour, and that I'd find out which quick. He died in a cardboard box on top of a heating pad at my cubicle, while I was in a marketing meeting.
No, you probably want something funny—what about the 2.5 lb chihuahua a man brought in during our clinic lunch break one day; a man who spoke no English other than "I think emergency". The 2.5 lb chihuahua had a fishing lure hooked clean through its nose. We fixed it.
There were the trunkfuls of pitbull puppies, reeking of pot and terrified, that would arrive at my clinic in Dallas for ear crops. When I asked the vet—a tough old guy from rural Missouri—why he did it when we knew they were just going to end up in a fighting ring, he asked if I'd ever seen a home crop. They'd usually forget about them for a few days to a week, so I'd give them as much love as I could, all the exercise and sunlight they could take, the belly rubs and cuddles and smooches; I'd fit a lifetime's worth into those few days. To show them that not all people are bad, to brighten what life remained for them.
In Dallas we also had the 200 lb Irish wolfhound that was too big to fit in our freezer, so he went into x-ray to wait for the cremation pick-up. Our clinic cat curled up and fell asleep on the corpse, and nearly got cremated himself.
I could fill a book with stories about how amazing my coon dog Rikku is. How she took rat poison away from her little sister and brought it to me so I could make her vomit and get her a vitamin K injection. How she ran after a coon at the dog park and ended up two miles north and down a ravine by Minnehaha Falls. How she and I walked the gunflint trail last spring and I got lost, but she always found the trail.
And if I felt very comfortable with you, I might just tell you about my polydactyl cat Loki and how he would sit in my lap, fat and fuzzy and purring like a motorboat as I wrote. How I thought writing with a polydactyl in my lap made me like Hemingway. How he didn't walk, he sashayed. How his heart broke when his buddy died, and how he succumbed to that broken heart in a sunbeam one Sunday morning last April.
There is a story in every eye I've seen dim as the spirit passes out and the pink juice flows in. There's a story in the small, warm body of a bulldog held in the cup of your hands as you swing it up and down, up and down to get the fluids cleared. In the x-rays that show all manner of household objects at various locations within a digestive tract. In the wheek of a guinea pig that hears the fridge door open.
So in the end I think I'll tell you this one: I used to help artificially inseminate bulldogs. They do not exist in nature; they are artificially inseminated and birthed via c-section. The process begins with a catheter, a syringe, and a very excited male bulldog. One day it ended with bulldog semen in my hair (and, yes, 2 months later: puppies).
@OtistheBulldog My friends' kids name all their pets with people names. They have a Karl, too; he's a rat. There's also Jim the snake, and George Bacon the bearded dragon.
And on the "r" front, I grew up in New Jersey with the last name "Clark". When I was really young all my friends thought my last name was "Clock". Yeah.
I may have told this one before.
I grew up on a farm and we always had dogs and usually a few cats running around outside to keep the mouse/snake population in check. We had one dog in particular named Sam. He was a huge malamute, and the kindest sweetest dog in the world. Then we got a new puppy, a black lab mutt with too much energy. The new puppy would get into everything while Sam, who was 12 when we brought the pup home, would watch with that quiet wisdom only a good dog seems to have.
One day the puppy was causing a fuss in the front yard. He'd run a cat up a tree and was trying his puppy best to get at it. Sam observed this for a moment and then walked over to the barking, frenzied dog. The puppy quieted down and the two dogs walked around the house together. I don't know what was said between those two, but apparently Sam laid down the law for his new friend. By the time they reached the front yard again the cat had made its way back down the tree. The puppy looked at it, then went over to lay in a patch of sunlight. He never chased a cat again.
More to come. Next - that time Chrissy bit my friend's eye. But it was okay, because she deserved it.
@Emma, you sound as though you could be my animal loving screwy star sister.
@drea Um. Thanks! (?)
This is that dog. Sam. WhenI was a baby I would sit on his back and put curlers in his hair.
^^ IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIEEEEE!
@averydoll Oh.My.God.Sweetheart. I want to give him hugs.