Today I’m sharing my fur babies.
In the top left corner is the gray tuxedo cat, Rupert, who was originally my oldest daughter’s cat, and he moved in with us when he was almost a year old. He’s 16.5 years young and, although dealing with a few health issues, appears to have a few lives tucked away to use. He’s our mother cat who has brought home a baby squirrel who fell out of the cedar tree and a bird who left the nest too soon. He left them safely with me and they were taken to the wild animal rescue. Rupert loves to snuggle and keep all the cats clean and safe. He is very loving, although sometimes, he will let you know with a well-placed bite if over-petted. I have to wrap him like a burrito to give him his thyroid pills or suffer the consequences.
Our only dog is Sara, who is 13 years old. She is a Shepard mix, and we enjoy our walks together on the magical trail. She never lets me out of her sight and is on the frail side now. Although in her day, she found a way over the fence when a bear was near my husband. She is our bear chaser, and they are afraid of her. When Hermie, her companion, was alive, sometimes they would find ways to escape and wander. She would be the one who would come home smelling of skunk. Then it was time for that bath with my special mixture of cloves, hydrogen peroxide, soap, and whatever else I thought of to throw into the mix.
The handsome brown tiger cat with bright green eyes in the top right corner is Chester. He is also thirteen years old and was a feral kitten whose mom was killed in our backyard by a dog we rescued from the pound. We could not keep the dog after that, but luckily she found a good home without cats. Then I had to rescue the scared and wild kitten left behind. It took a few days, but I finally tricked him into the house with tuna. He has his own room because his feral comes out sometimes in ways we can’t live with. He is the only cat that goes outside. Chester is the sweetest of all our cats and gives good standing hugs.
Next in the bottom left corner is our biggest cat at twenty pounds with the one white spot on his chest, eight-year-old Coco. He was born a day later than his littermates and had some health challenges as a kitten with his lungs, allergies, and finding all the parts needed to fix him. He was treated for his wheezing, and we figured out what he was allergic to that made his claws fall out. (cat sand) Those claws grew back, and after a few attempts, he was fully fixed. His charming personality makes him a celebrity at the vet. He is what I call a people-cat, and he is always bringing us his stuffed animal gifts, which you have to thank him, or he’ll meow until you notice. He and Chester dislike each other, though.
I adopted 2.5-year-old Luna with my grandson. He held her all the way home, and she snuggled under his chin. He was the one who named her. She is tiny but doesn’t know it. She loves music, especially when my husband plays his guitar. This all-black kitty with a single white whisker above her eyes is my husband’s biggest fan and fawns all over him when he is done playing. Coco fell in love with Luna so that she can get away with anything around him—and my husband. This kitty loves to cuddle under the covers but does not like to be held. When she wants in or out of a room, she will stand up and dig (without her claws) at the door until she is let in or out. She is the one that tries to escape outside, and it’s always at night. The chase is a game for her. Luna is clueless that mountain lions and coyotes won’t play with her.
Gray-striped Zuzu, named after the little girl on It’s a Wonderful Life, was a surprise addition to the family. While taking Luna to get her shots, I peeked at the kittens and went into the room with them. Well, I ended up with another cat when she sat at my feet with the cutest head tilt, and I figured Luna could use a playmate near her age. She is the most curious cat I’ve ever had and the most clumsy. If there is a crash in the house, Zuzu is the reason for it. She is why the roses I got for Valentine’s Day sit outside my window instead of the house. She is our lap cat and the one who will take care of any mice, lizards, or moths entering the house.
These are the animals that not only share our house but are my writing companions. When I write an animal or pet into my story, this devoted group has been influential in that process.
So, it’s not surprising that animals took a bigger role in my current story, A Voice in the Silence, that I’m currently finishing up. A dog, cat, and rat find an amiable lady who takes them in—of course, they aren’t your normal animals. More on that soon.