I mentioned as part of my challenge posting about the special animals in your lives, so I thought I would give you a run down of mine. These are all the ones I have lost recently, I will post about my three surviving cats in another post. This is a rather long post... I have had a lot of animal deaths lately.
It's about time I got around to posting the pictures of all the various animals that I have been talking about lately. On the right, we have Snowball. When she was put down a couple weeks ago, she was 14 years old. We got her from the animal shelter when she was about a year old. I picked her out and named her. She was not a 'lap' cat for most of her life, but the last few years she became very friendly. I was very blessed in that all the animals in this house liked me, they would jump on my lap when I was sitting down or come and sleep with me at night. I was always covered in white fur from quality time with Snowball. This is my favourite picture of her.
On the left here, we have Sam. It is very interesting that I named Sam before we got Snowball. Sam is much more original than Snowball. Sam was my first official pet, but he was the cat that everyone liked all through his life, so I found myself competing quite heavily for his attention. My parents let me get Snowball after I got tired of never officially having a cat because he was always off somewhere. That is not to say that Sam did not like me, he knew where to find me if he was hungry or needed to be let out. We spent time together too, he was a bit of a brat when he was a kitten, but for the rest of his life he was the most lovable cat ever! When we put him down he was 15. He was the lap cat, always was. He was also the hunter, although Snowball tried but never seemed able to catch anything. Sam would come home crying for attention with some present in his mouth. Actually, he left us a present a few days before my mother put him down.
Mittens was the annoying cat of the bunch. He was too lovable, he would not go away and he would get annoying sometimes. He would have his face in your face with the most delightful kitty breath for you to experience. (ha) We got him the same time we got Sam. He was supposed to be my sisters cat, and when he was younger he was, but when he got older he adopted me. My sister is not an animal person, really. She likes them when they are small. He got very thin and sickly when he got near the end, but I still held him and he spent many hours in this very room with me. He was meek as anything, but he LOVED Sandy. I have so many pictures of him with Sandy. It was the cutest thing ever, Mittens would give Sandy baths and rubbed up against him all the time. And, when I was looking for some pictures for my frame I found pictures of Mittens and Shelby sleeping together. I think Mittens was a year older than Shelby, so they were both pretty little and curled up together. Cutest thing ever! The picture is Mittens and Sandy. Shelby died before digital cameras appeared in my house. We put Mittens down at the end of last year.
Shelby was my first dog. I loved that dog so much. When my parents got divorced my father decided that he could not seem to get at my mother, so he decided to get at me. He took Shelby away with him. I was devastated, and one day I went outside and saw him kick Sandy because she was barking. I fought for Shelby, but all I ever got was visitation. My father rather lacks in the parenting skills. He used to make Shelby pick who she wanted to come to. Needless to say, when she died I felt like I had all ready lost her. The official story is that she was outside and slipped on some ice and went out in front of a car. Whether or not that is what really happened, I will never know. Shelby was developing arthritis, so her injuries would have been too much for her to live with. I have to scan a picture of her, I do not have any on my computer. She died, I would have to say, about 7 years ago. She was only 7 or so. I never got enough time with her at all. Sandy always missed her big sister too. (Same parents, different litters, that makes them sisters, right?)
Shelby was interesting. She was very quiet and she seemed to age quickly, she was an adult very quickly. Sandy still has puppy moments in her double digits. Shelby was the more responsible dog, if you will. She did used to steal Sandy's food, though, because Sandy was scared of the noise her food dish made if it was scraped across a hard surface. I shared Shelby with my father because officially Sandy and Shelby are his dogs, but he always liked Shelby better. While I loved Shelby and I still miss her, Sandy was more my dog. My father abandoned her, and my mother used to mention giving her back to him after Shelby died but I absolutely refused. I might not have paid for her, but I refuse to let anyone tell me that Sandy was anyones but mine. I played with her, spent time with her, fed her, took her for walks, slept with her, read with her, and everything else you can possibly do with a dog.
Then, me and Tom decided that we were going to start getting animals. He is the cat person, I am the dog person. Do not get me wrong, I love cats, but dogs are my first choice. Cats are also easier to move around and find housing for, so we got Lana. Lana was the most expressive and active cat I have ever met. She had a personality that was amazing in a cat. She was Tom's cat, though. It's what happens because they see him more than they see me, so I am just a source of food to them. I normally am also the one that yells at them for getting sick everywhere, missing the litter box, or knocking things on the floor. Tom has adopted the strategy of ignore the throw up unless I point it out, only clean the litter box when he has to, and leaving things on the floor unless they are important. (This is why I think the cats are devils and he thinks they can do no wrong. hehe) Lana was taken too soon, though, she had a presence and you can still feel it in Tom's apartment. I have noticed that Tom is trying to teach Tolkien some of Lana's tricks. I am back to thinking we have a devil cat, he is back to thinking that everything bad that he does is cute. Tolkien was exactly what we needed. Lana will always be missed, though, we put her down in January.
Then, another recent loss was Maggie. Maggie was the princess. She was the last animal that we brought into our house, and for that reason she was special. We were older, if she was still alive now she would be about 11, so we remember her better. She loved cheese, she would climb up your leg for a piece of it. Thinking of her is sad because she was put down for the same thing as Sandy. It was just before Christmas, almost two years ago, and I noticed she was acting strange. I picked her up and when I put her back down she almost fell over. Her walk was weird. Sandy was outside on Sunday and when I saw her walk it reminded me of something, but I was so concentrated on her that I could not place it. Yesterday when she was put down and I learned what was wrong I remembered. She hated the snow. Actually, she pretty much hated the outside. She was the reason we had to get a litter box for the first time because instead of going outside she would pee in the furnace vents. She always loved my room for some reason, in both of the houses that she lived in with us. I have tonnes of pictures of her in both, and it is moving back and forth from my book room to my bedroom closet that she spent her last days.
All of these lead up to Sandy. Today was long, last night was long. My house is so quiet. In about two years I have gone from having 4 cats and a dog to having nothing. There are no animals sleeping on my bed, no animals jumping on my lap, no animals looking for food or to be let out. I went to Tom's last night for a bit because we still have three cats there, but none of those cats are lap cats. They just wanted me to feed them and let them out, so I really did not find any comfort there, it was just nice to have animals moving around me. I feel so lost without Sandy, though. I come home and I expect her to come and meet me and she doesn't. I hate the quiet, you have no idea how loud a dog breathes until you can't hear it anymore. I honestly do not know how I am going to do the no dog thing. When Shelby died I still had Sandy, this time I have nothing. And, I am glad that my animals spent so much time with me, but I seem to be taking all of this a lot harder than my mother and my sister. I honestly do not know how they do the no animal thing, it seems so foreign to me. If you did not notice, the last three animals that we were put down were all mine... they might have been family pets, but I picked out and named the cats. Sandy, well, you have heard a lot about her lately.