Pets

Sleeping with Lions

I am constantly amused and, in most cases, distraught, at the way my cats behave at night.

I have probably mentioned several times that I have two cats. Florence is only a little over a year old, and Zooey just turned one year.

Cats are nocturnal, which is rather unfortunate for any human who wants to get a full nights sleep. Dubbed house-cats, they certainly have not lost their wild-animal behaviors. They go on the prowl, snoozing all day and stalking at night. The use their fangs and claws, to show they mean business, and they are always ready to save me from a dangerous ant or fly.

They nap a good 16-20 hours a day, sleeping in hidden locations so they cannot be seen by other predators (the vacuum and brush being a common threat).

Then, at night, the hunt begins.

To start, Florence will be napping in her usual 11 p.m. location, which is either one of our couches or under a desk. Zooey comes to wake her partner-in-crime up, typically by going into the kitchen to get a snack before their late-night escapades.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can't they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can’t they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

Upon hearing this, Florence wakes up, does some pre-romping yoga and will typically trot around until Zooey is done.

And, just when I think everything will be normal, just for once, they start.

They chase each other back and forth, from the front of the house to the back, clambering into anything that may have gotten in their way. They run up and down the stairs; thump thump thump thump THUMP and then launch themselves around the corner to do it again.

Then they roll around. Zooey will pounce on Florence, and Florence will lunge at her like two lions fighting for the last bit of zebra. As they tussle, toss and turn on the floor, they meow and hiss and growl–and then stop for a brief moment, just to lick each others fur out of their toes.

It’s all good fun, for them at least.

I’m glad they like playing together, but if they could understand human-talk, I would plead, “Do you have to do this at 12 a.m.?” I snuggle into my bed at somewhere around 1 a.m., hearing silence that I have been longing for. But then, Zooey decides to go to the “watering hole,” which in my house is either the leaky sink or the fish tank. This makes more noise, either the clanking of dishes in the sink or the glub glub glub of the fish tank filter being unplugged.

Zooey also picked up a wonderful habit, which includes leaping from a chair and latching onto our hanging basket plant. If I didn’t fear the safety of the plant and ceiling, I would say this Tarzan move is hilarious.

Although domesticated and living in the comforts of our little abode, I can say these felines will never truly lose their wild side. The question is, when will my lions ever let me have some rest?

Everything Passes With Time

It is a sad day in the Moore family. Unexpectedly, one of our guinea pigs, mine to be more specific, has passed away. It was the last of the “original four” guinea pigs we have had.

His name was Cheech. He was a skittish Abyssinian guinea pig that loved carrots and his building block hideout.

It’s a funny story how Cheech (and his brother) came into our house. My sisters had gotten an exciting gift of guinea pigs, probably around their eighth birthday. Since they are twins, that means double the pig and double the fun!

Their names were Chilli and Cha-Chi. I’m not sure where those names came about, but I had the feeling my parents were part of the persuasion.

Of course, pet store employees don’t have credentials, and it turns out Chilli was a boy, and Cha-Chi a girl. And we all know what happens when you mix a boy and a girl together. Clearly, there is no sex-ed for rodents.

Some time later, Cha-Chi gave birth to two adorable baby guinea pigs (both male, we checked). My brother and I were delighted because now we both could have our very own guinea pigs. So as you already know, Cheech was mine, and my brother named his Ozzy (again, do you think there was parental persuasion?).

We had some great times growing up with our guinea pigs. They were one happy, rolly-polly and fuzzy family. They loved to eat grass in the sun, and they weeped around in our hallway as they playfully chased each other. We called this “The Running of the Pigs.”

After the other three died, Cheech remained. He had some other friends of course, what, you thought we wouldn’t get more pigs? Although, the original four is where it all started.

As we get older, I think we fail to neglect childhood memories, which sometimes may be pets. As a child, having a small pet like a hamster or a fish is the greatest thing in the world. As we get older, we tend to lose the excitement we once felt. Although it is never truly lost, just dormant. Those memories are still there, and so is that excitement. The memories come out of dormancy once we realize that they are gone. Then all we want is to go back in time.

Of course, just because I was older and my priorities changed, my guinea pig was not left in the basement to starve. My mother took great care of all of our guinea pigs because she loved them, probably more than we loved them.

All my siblings, and I, have our memories now. The memories are more than just the pet, it is everything else that came with the pet. It’s having to go and clean them out on a hot summer’s day and making an event out of it. It’s cutting up vegetables in the kitchen for the guinea pigs to enjoy. It’s begging our mom to let us do the “Running of the Pigs,” and video taping our laughter. It’s carefully watching the mama guinea pig give birth, trying our hardest not to make a sound.

It’s our childhood, my childhood. It is the knowing that time has passed, and it is time that we will never get back. I just wish I had realized how important those memories are, because maybe I would have cherished them a little harder.

Rest easy, Cheech.

 

Taking Pets to the Vet is the Least Bit Purr-fect

As I countdown the minutes until I take our seven month old cat to the vet, I realize how important pets are to me.  I’ve always had fish growing up, but they don’t qualify as a pet.  We upgraded to hamsters, which are pretty fun, but they get too crazy and won’t sit still for more than a minute.  Then, we got two guinea pigs and unfortunatley (but fortunate for the kids) the one had babies.  We then had a happy family of four guinea pigs, until years later the father passed away.  We all were devastated.  He acted so much like a baby.  We could cradle him and feed him carrots, and my sister taught him how to beg.  We still have four guinea pigs, but the parents have since died.

What my family really needed was a pet that could actually be a pet.  One that could roam around the house, sleep in our beds, and relax with us on the couch.  That is when my sisters got a kitten for Christmas.  We named her Florence, after our all-time favorite musical artist, Florence and the Machine.

Since I am home at odd times because of college, I became pretty close with Florence.  As I would get ready for school she would sit on my bed or play in my room.  She is our first real pet, and we love her so!

My love for cats (obsession?) made me want to get my own kitten, and that allows me to introduce Zooey (not Zoh-ee, Zoo-ee).  I have realized that I look at our pets as part of the family, and I hold them very close to my heart.  This post may be solely for my benefit, I feel the need to keep myself occupied as I wait to take her.  We are unsure as to what is wrong with her, but she has not been acting well.  Wish her some luck, fellow cat lovers.