Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Critters

This is handsome JJ. He was my Dad's kitty but when Dad got sick JJ came to live with me. He just walked in the house and took over. When I brought my future husband home, JJ thought Bob was a special gift just for him. JJ is 15 years old and very loud, but sweetness itself.

This kitty hopped into cousin Marla's van while she was feeding feral cats. I visited Marla and fell in love with him. Back home, I asked Bob if he was okay with us adopting another cat. He was cool until he realized I intended driving to Cincinnati to get the cat - he thought I had lost my mind. "There are no homeless cats in Virginia? You need to drive 1,000 miles to get this cat?"

Is he gorgeous or what? We named him after Israel Kamakawiwo'ole or, IZ, the Hawaiian singer we heard in Kauai. We call him Izzy.

On the trails in Palm Desert, California I met hikers with dogs. Standard Poodles, Golden Retrievers, a million mixed breeds. Tall dogs, short ones, curly haired, wiry, pudgy, exuberant, stately, and gentle. Some panting, some barking, lots of tail wagging. I loved them all. "We need a dog," I told Bob. I searched for rescue organizations and came across Friends of Homeless Animals. I saw photos and read profiles (sounds like how I found my Bob on There we found Oliver.

Oliver is an English setter, specifically, a Llewellin setter, bred for hunting. He had lived outside before meeting us. He was suspicious of stairs. But he quickly settled in. Bob bought us a beautiful fence for the yard. Oliver smiled.

One day Marla called. She had found a kitty, a very special kitty. "You don't have to take him," she said, "But he is wonderful and I think you'd love him." My patient Bob said okay. The kitty flew Delta Airlines from Cincinnati to Dulles Airport. We named him Yo Yo Ma but Bob calls him "orange cat."

He has the best temperament of any cat I've ever known. He never scratches or bites, no matter what. He adores Izzy. He licks him, and sleeps near him. They roll and play and chase each other through the house.

Out of the blue, one day last summer, Bob mentioned that FOHA had another homeless English setter and "maybe we should go see him." He's my husband, right? He knows me. Maybe we should go see another dog? "Yes, sweetie, what a good idea, lets go see the dog."

I called FOHA immediately. We brought Oliver with us to meet him. We tried to walk around with him but he was scared and barking and jumping. One of the volunteers told us that he would calm down in the car and in the house. We brought him home. We named him Winston. He's a gentle soul. He's okay with Oliver being the alpha dog. He's a lover, not a fighter. He greets us with pure joy when we come in the house. We love him very much, too.

Five pets and two humans. I would like a goat. A few chickens. A pony, a cow, and some sheep. Bob says the Reston Association won't allow us to keep farm animals. He says that if he leaves this house it will be to a condo, not a farm. We're staying.

1 comment:

  1. Aww Auntie Susan I love reading your writing its so fun I was giggling the whole time I was reading :)
    My love to you and Bob and all your furry friends.
    Miss you guys!!