Children of the Earth

I have never thought of my dogs and cats and other animals, both pets and farm, to be my children.

It just wasn’t what they were to me.

That does not mean that they aren’t important to me. That does not mean that I don’t love them dearly.

But they are not my children.

Now I do have siblings that see their dogs and/or cats as their children. It was never strange to me that this could be. We each need different things as we are all different people. The reasons for why some of my siblings look at their pets and think, ‘this is my child,’ just as there are reasons where I don’t.

What I do see when I look at my cat, or my dogs is a companion that is a part of my family, but not my child. They are dearly loved and I am ever grateful for the years that we travel through life together. There have been times when they were watching over and taking care of me and just as many times where I was taking care of them. Both instances were also hand in hand with us having our own lives separate though we do take time to just sit and be with one another.

For are those not things that companions have with one another?

I had a friend ask me once if I understood why others would look at their pets and think ‘children.’ I answered that I understood in a way. One of my siblings and his wife are unable to have children. They have two little dogs and three cats and are parents to those five little furballs. These are the grandchildren they show to my mother when she goes to visit and these are the grandchildren that my mom greets and loves just the same.

I have a sister that has two fine human boys as well as several other children in the form of a little dog and several cats. She loves them all just as much as the others. She mourns when some of her children reach the ends of their natural life long before she does, but that pain doesn’t stop her from loving them just the same.

I have another sister who is single with no human children, but has an aging cat that she took in as her child when the cat was already half-way through the cat’s natural lifespan. For a short time we had that cat with us at the last house when my sister was staying at a place that didn’t allow pets. Said sister rejoiced when she got a new apartment because it meant she could live with her little daughter again.

Again, I have another sister (yes, my parents had eight kids, there’s a ton of us) who does not view her pets as children. She still loves them and mourns them when they reach the ends of their lives. She has always been the quickest of my siblings to bring home dogs and cats because those animals actually followed her home of their own free will. They are still considered members of her family, but they are not her children.

Family and friends come in all shapes and sizes and species. They come at different times in our lives. Many come as complete surprises while others were carefully planned, but they come all the same. But just as humans need different things at different times, the same is true of dogs and cats.

Each being on this planet is different, even, or maybe especially, those that are of the same species.

There are, after all, just as many stories out there about animals adopting orphaned young from a completely different species. (In fact, I have a pair of ducks that hatched and raised a pair of chickens who follow them everywhere, as well as a pair of dogs that have three young, two of which are cats while the third is their own actual blood offspring.)

No Treats For You! – One-Liner Wednesday

I just wanted to finish one half of my twin popsicle by myself instead of having to defend it from three kittens, one surprisingly agile granny cat, and one large dog.


Seriously, I just wanted a chance to eat my treat in peace, but there is no such thing in this house.

Check out the original One-Liner Wednesday.

Faithful Companions – Thankful Thursday

Today I am grateful for the companionship of my cats and dog. Without them I know that I would have gone mad throughout my life. The companions may have changed in physical form, but I know that even when they pass on, they can continue to keep me company when I need it the most.

image; m

image: me and Tommy

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (I hope to fix this link eventually.)

EDIT: Link updated March 7, 2015

Tolerance is a Good Policy – Thankful Thursday

This week I’m grateful for tolerance.

Not something I ever thought would feature largely in my life, but what did I know when I was a kid? Did I know that having cats and dogs in a duplex learn to tolerate one another would be better than them ‘liking’ each other and then playing tricks when I wasn’t looking? Did I know that siblings trying to do housework and listen to what they want to listen to (every day, without counsel with the other two) on the radio/c.d. player would need to tolerate one another? Did I know that learning to tolerate my sister when she wakes me up early to play a game when I was having the best dream (secret agent robot girl going into a musician career!) would be a lesson?

So I am grateful for tolerance. Without it, our pets would fight instead of just getting a hiss or two from select cats when they are startled by the dog or the dog only chasing my cat (and only sometimes the other two) when they start a fight (with a much larger dog, what are they thinking?)

I am grateful for tolerance when the kids start arguing, but only argue and don’t throw things at one another (inside) or purposefully mess up each other’s stuff (often).

I am grateful for tolerance when my sister wakes me up early to play a game (what goes around comes around, she’s the elder sibling).

I am grateful for tolerance whenever we want to watch Star Trek and the pets don’t even hiss at each other (during the show, commercials are another thing).

Make sure to check out the post for the original Thankful Thursday today (or any other day, it’s always good).

Second Verse – Thankful Thursday

Since last Thursday I have decided that I like this prompt. No, I don’t like it, I love it and I need it. It really turned my day around and I was better for having found it. So I decided to do it again!

I am thankful for:

Accepting the extra party guests
(only supposed to have 2 friends plus 5 cousins…ended up with over 20 kids in a duplex)
 
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Christmas morning cuddles
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Peace between mother and daughter
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Peace between siblings
(they both belong to my sister)
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Time with Grandma
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images from: martha0stout’s phone
 

Again I post only a small collection of things I’m grateful for and I look forward to this next week. It really gives me a better view on my life!

Be sure to check out the original Thankful Thursday for this week’s edition: http://mithriluna.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/thankful-thursday-mothers-day-gratitude/comment-page-1/#comment-1985

Favorite Pet

There have been mentions of animals in the news. There have always been mentions of animals in the news and this is a trend that will likely continue. I honestly can’t think of a reason why there wouldn’t be. These animals, whether they be exotic or wild or domestic seem to speak to us in a way that means we can’t ignore them and their own feelings and thoughts even though we don’t understand their own language.

I was going through my bookmarks on my laptop (I have way too many) when I realized that I had a lot about animals. I won’t mention them all in here, but it didn’t surprise me at all just how much animals are talked about online. I know that I love reading about them and talking about them and looking at pictures about them…

Anything to do with animals really makes me smile or cry.

(And as I sit and write this my cat Usako is staring out the back door, with occasional glances in my direction, just waiting for her mother Cotton to want back in.)

It has been mentioned that I should write about my favorite family pet in my life. I can’t pick one, unfortunately, because each animal member of my family, past and present, have been my favorite for this or that. Their personalities are very different, just like the human family members that I have.

My favorite mothering pet was Ginger, a husky-golden retriever mix who was absolutely convinced that my younger siblings and I and some of our friends were her puppies. She would try to get us to eat this or that and drink and would shoo us into her doghouse when it was nap time before curling up around us to make sure we were warm enough.

My favorite teddy bear pet was Taffy, an orange tabby that followed me everywhere when I was a toddler. He let me cuddle him however I wanted. Unfortunately this meant that sometimes when I’d wonder off after a nap I would tug him along with by his tail or a paw. Mom says he was totally fine with it and thought I was awesome.

My favorite guard dog/exercise trainer was Rascal, a black mutt who my brother brought home from the street after he’d escaped previous owners who were not good to him. (No one ever came to claim him, so he was ours.) He was super protective of our family (especially Mom) without actually attacking people. (With the exception of my dad after our parents divorced.) He never actually bit anyone that I can recall and he thought that Mom was the most precious person in the house. He also ate everything except carrots.

My favorite ambush pet is Usako, my tortoise shell cat. She is absolutely awful at actually attacking anything. She is not the cat that defends her territory. She is excellent at waiting for the right moment to strike and then dashing off before her victim can retaliate. She’s also great for cuddling at night when it gets cold. She manages to do that without making it hard to breath and is as soft as a bunny. (She also likes salt and vinegar chips and low-sugar sugar cookies.)

My favorite boss pet was Tommy, a grey tabby long-hair. He would often glare at me until I went to bed. He had something like 60+ different looks that all boiled down to “Why are you doing that? Stop being an idiot.” That cat saved my sanity in my teen years when a lot of crap went down for my family. He was always very good at curling up on my back with just the right amount of warmth and weight to ease the tension running through it. (I had a lot of trouble with my back and neck during my teen years and he was one of the best parts of my physical therapy.)

I really can’t pick out of those mentioned and I have too many to write them all down. Each animal that my family has had have been a part of us and integral to our continued health and growth as people and as a family. They protect a part of our hearts and souls in a way that humans aren’t always able to do.