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My Animals

Here is a rough summary of the animals I (and my late husband) have “owned.” I think I’ve got them all…

Lots of cats: Ghost (an odd-eyed white who was my kitty and only mine — she thought other people were evil terrorists), Shadowsong (a black smoke, very sweet-natured), Stormcloud (a long-hair black-and-brown classic tabby with a gorgeous ruff and a plumy tail, Maine Coone-type — the swirl of color on his otherwise black sides looked like a thunderstorm rolling in), Tigress (a little gray-and-black tabby with a bit of orange-red — she was the greatest hunter, and would tackle pack rats which were nearly her size), Scrimshaw (a Siamese-y cat with the oddest markings across her face), Bootsy (she was John’s baby), Runt (Bootsy’s last-born, whom she left on John’s pillow), Nosey (very people-oriented, this one, always had to know what her humans were up to, although she was named because of the black patch across her nose), Inky (John’s all-black kitty), Rufus (another long-hair like Stormy but in cream-and-red), Gypsy (she was supposed to be my kitty, but she fell in love with John), Buzzsaw (another gray-and-black tabby who was very energetic) and Mischief (my own silky all-black kitty, who worked very hard to earn her name). I like dogs okay (our family always had a dog when I was growing up — mine was Muffet, a wheaten half-Scottie), but they take more work, so I left them to John: Laddie (a black German Shepherd) and Domino (an abused and abandoned black-spotted hound whom we rescued), Bridget (a red-haired Shitzu-Cairn terrier cross, with all the terrier attitude), Silva (a black Alaskan husky and John’s lead dog) and all the other sled dogs in Alaska, and Babe (another rescue, this time from a woman who had to take in her developmentally-disabled nephew who terrorized the poor dog). We’ve also had a couple of ferrets: Nippers (whom we adopted as a baby but had to give to friends when we moved to Alaska since we couldn’t find a place to live that would let us keep him), and the old ferret with whom we never bonded and whose name I don’t remember, and honestly, the only pet I’ve ever disliked (I’ll admit I wasn’t heart-broken when he finally died of old age — and I’m sure the other animals were relieved). Don’t hate me — I did try to take care of him. Lesson learned: only adopt baby ferrets, it’s much easier to bond with them and train them to fit into your household.

Most of the above-named pets were lost to old age and/or illness; some were lost to other animals (Stormy and Nosey were taken by owls one night in Alaska; a mad sled-dog got loose and killed a bunch of kittens and Inky, who tried to defend them; coyotes got Buzzsaw a few years ago; and an ignore-the-speedlimit-driver took Rufus — yes, I consider that another animal — after some idiot sicced his dog on him and chased him into the street — bunch of animals in that loss). 

The airlines would only allow us to bring two cats (Runt and Rufus) and two dogs (Bridget and Silva) back from Alaska, so we had to find homes for the other cats and the sled-dogs.  I regretted having to do it, but we were lucky — there are always new mushers starting up and willing to take on experienced dogs, and the cats were all well-socialized dog-yard cats and experienced mousers, so were welcome in lots of places.

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