Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Animal Menagerie

The Dog Whisperer would come into my home and be totally appalled. Our house is pretty much run by the dogs. The cat seems to have quite a bit of say, too. Throw in a couple of teenagers and an 8 year old and the adults here are screwed. We accept it. It's why I like wine. Not really. A little bit anyway.

We just seriously love the damn dogs, and the cat (I actually have mixed feelings about the cat. She is the first cat I have ever had that I can say is a complete lunatic). The teenagers are okay and the 8 year old so far is pretty cool (I'm waiting until age 12 as I am already somewhat prepared having lived through it twice before--I am of the belief there should be a planet for people aged 13-19. They get sucked up to that planet while their frontal lobes become fully developed where they then understand how to be human again and treat their mothers and fathers like they, too, are human. Then at 19 they can come back home. Oh, they do that anyway).

Back to the dogs. Java our Rhodesian Ridgeback is a gorgeous animal. Ridgebacks were originally bred to be lion hunters. All I can say is that if Java is a lion hunter then I'm freaking Cindy Crawford. The dog is the laziest animal in the world. He can sleep 23 hours a day--and he typically does so on either our bed, the couch or one of the family room chairs. I know--special. I gave up on trying to kick the 120 pound beast off the furniture long ago. I have succumbed to the idea that my furniture will always have that shabby chic look (nice way of saying--crap). I don't think with the dogs that this will ever change. You hear people say that when their kids grow up and move out that's when they'll spend some cash over at Ethan Allan. Not us, because you see we are total animal freaks. There will always be dogs and cats in this house, and knowing me if I could bring the horses in, I'd do that too (if they could be housebroken). I don't think John would be too pleased though on that one. I could see Monty and Krissy (our horses) coming right in. Monty especially would be happy about this.

Mylee is our pound puppy. One Saturday I said to my oldest kid, "Let's go over to the pound and look at dogs." He was game, so we headed on over and Alex (my adult child now. That reality makes me feel old) fell in love with this three month old puppy that was all ears. If you've read any of the Dead Celebs chapters, Mama Cass is based on Mylee. Mylee is black as night and as smart as a fifth grader (I swear she is). Anyway, when I looked at the all eared puppy, I looked back at Alex and said, "Are you sure?" Mylee wasn't quite the cute, little pupy I had in mind. We have no clue what she is--part lab, sheperd, border collie, maybe coyote (maybe all of it). Alex was sure. So, I called up John and tolds him to bring the other kids over. He said, "You're where?"

"Yeah, at the pound and we found a dog we want."

God bless my husband who is also a total animal lover and who didn't tell me I was nuts for just deciding to go and get a dog one day. John and the two other kids showed up and my husband had the same reaction that I did. "That one?"

Alex insisted.

So, we brought Mylee home and we all agree she is the "perfect" dog. Unlike Java she actually understands that she is a dog. When you tell her to get off the couch, she does. Java just looks at you with this stare that says, "Oh please. You know you don't mean it. Come on sit down with me." He is so damn cute, it's hard to make him listen.

Then there is the cat. Holly is a lunatic (another animal Alex chose at the pound). She adores the male folk in the house but when it comes to me, she has no use for me--unless I am asleep and then she will curl up right next to me. I am the one who feeds her! But she doesn't want to be bothered with me. She also doesn't like any other cats. She fights with the poor cat next door and kicked out another cat we had, who decided this house was a loony bin and she moved across the street where there are no kids or dogs. The only cat she tolerated was my old cat Tigger because he was here first. Now that he's gone and she's "top dog" she tolerates no one and nothing sub-standard. She won't even eat dry food. And the wet food she eats has to be a certain kind. Think I'm joking? I'm not. I tried for 3 days to feed her something cheaper and she turned her nose up and walked away every time.

I love the animal menagerie. I really do, athough it does tend to deprive me of sleep at times. Then if an 8 year old decides in the middle of the night to climb in the bed because she's had a bad dream or some other excuse to be with mom and dad, the bed is a zoo. Last night it was Java on one end, Mylee on the other. The kid crawled over me at some ungodly hour and squeezed in, and then when I tried to move, I realized the cat was curled up at my side. I wasn't budging and neither was the pack. I have learned to accept that I am simply not the leader of this pack. I think it's likely the cat.

As I write this in my bed this morning, my Ridgeback is at my feet, spread out, taking up a good share of the bed. Mylee is on one side of me taking up the rest of the bed, and the strange thing is, I probably wouldn't have it any other way. The cat is in the other room irritated with me that I haven't fed her yet. She's basically howling at me. I'm out of her wet food and gave her what was in the cupboard and she's on food strike again. Looks like I'll be heading to the grocery store in a few.

I'm not even going to explain the way the horses are treated. Let's just say that my mare receives accupuncture and chiropractic treatment on a regular basis, and although I could probably use it myself, she comes first.

Are we just plain crazy animal people? Maybe we are just plain crazy? Anyone else out there have a bed full of animals at night?

I'd love to know.



P.S. Don't forget you have two days left to pre-order Happy Hour (link on the right) and receive one of my mysteries along with it. And also, check out my new website at I'm running some awesome contests over the next couple of months--vacation to Mendocino anyone? Wine and food baskets? Books? Come on--check it out.

1 comment:

Shel said...

If my husband gets a softhearted moment when he's on the way to bed, and decides it's too cold in the house (and on our comfy couch with THREE blankets on it!) for the cats, he'll leave the bedroom door open. At this point the three cats celebrate his lunacy by deciding en masse to jump in with us. The Siamese insists on sleeping on Chris's pillow with him. The orange longhair sleeps at the foot. And Mooch, the little neurotic calico, sleeps wherever she darn well pleases (I use the term "sleep" loosely, here...she wanders across the top of us all night long, precluding sleep for anyone except the Siamese). Invariably, in the middle of the night, Chris will turn over, dislodging the Siamese, who will express his displeasure by leaping UNgracefully across me, usually leaving bloody furrows on some body part in the process. If you're crazy, I guess we're right in there with you!