For those hesitant to read this--Don't worry, it has a happy ending.
Every human knows, when they get a pet, it won't be forever. We know, with a few exceptions, that our pets won't live more than 10 or 15 years. Some, far less. It is the price we pay for unconditional love.
This is Pearl with her first rat, Snickers. Yes, a rat.
Goodness, he was smart and friendly.
We've always said that rats are really just like little dogs. Pearl and Snickers could sit and watch TV or read a book for hours. He was content to sit with her, wander out and then come back to her lap. When he died, after three short years, we were all very sad. She would visit his little grave and cry and visit for some time afterward. As sad as that was, she knew he loved her. He loved her when she was happy, sad, snotty and every emotion in between. I believe he taught her about the nature of God.
Here's our Lucky. He disappeared in February after 10 wonderful years with us. I think he lived quite a wonderful life. He was primarily Pearl's cat. I think he loved us all, though. He was the object of much affection, whether he liked it or not. Goodness, we miss him. We'd never owned a cat before him. Lee and I grew up in 'cat free' homes. The only cats I'd ever met were sort of mental. I always wonder what Lucky's life was like before he found us. He convinced us that cats can be great pets.
Speaking of the circle of life......we get a giggle out of this picture of Lucky. He's drinking out of the fish bowl. I think he was positive we made fish-flavored water, just for him. He never bothered the fish, one bit.
This chicken is Sophia. She lets our rooster, Tuesday, think he's in charge, but all the other chickens know better. She's at the top of the pecking order. Tuesday can go in the coop to roost at night and sit there by himself for a half hour or more. I've been outside to hear him carry on from inside the coop, "girls, it's time to come in, girls it's time to come in, girls it's time to come in.......". Only when Sophia heads in, do the other hens come in for the night.
Sophia will be 6 in October. Pet chickens, ones not destined for the crock pot, can live 10 years. I think that number is the outside limit.
It has become clear that Sophia is ill. She's just not right. I believe in the next day or two, I may have to put her down. It is a gift I can give her for all the years of glorious eggs she has given us.
"A gift?" you say? Yes, a gift.
We as humans, have one last bit of love we can give our animals when it is clear they are suffering and dying. It is our duty. That last bit of love we can give them, as crushing as it is for us.
But wait, didn't I say this would have a happy ending?
Yes, it does.
While Lee is not convinced we need another cat, he has decided that it might be okay. He, understandably, is worried that a new cat might not be so considerate as Lucky regarding the rules of the house.
No cats on the counter (eewwww).
No scratching the furniture.
No pulling the loops on the oriental rug.
No pottying anywhere but the litter box.
No biting or scratching the humans (unless you leave the cat locked in your closet all day--another story, another time).
I believe cats can be trained, the same as dogs. Goodness knows, Seigfried and Roy had that figured out. I know there was that little "try to kill Roy" incident, but we won't be getting a tiger. Just a kitty.
Wish us luck in choosing. Lucky chose us. We are new at the choosing of a cat thing.