Fuzzy Friends Ferret Farm

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My son's thoughts

English 12 Honors
September 7, 2007

Occasional Paper: Pets and My Job

            I am an animal lover. It all started way back when I was born. I was always around pets, whether it be a dog, cat, or other, and that has shaped who I am today. When I was born, we had three dogs and four cats. Felix, Oscar, Minnie, Mickey, Choko, Terror, and Mort. Mort was a Doberman who was actually my dad’s dog and around long before I was born. I don’t remember anything of Mort, as she died at age ten, soon after I was born. Choko was a German Shepard and Doberman mix. He was sixteen weeks when he came home. I remember a very little of him and unfortunately he loved to dig and dug a four foot wide by two foot deep hole under the fence in the yard and  disappeared one day. Years later we saw him on a local shelter TV spot trying to be adopted. Terror was a Pit Bull and Lab mix, although had the disposition of butter. I remember much more of him as he was still with us when we moved into our new home when I was four. He had a habit of sneaking out under the fence and going for a walk. When he was done, he would come back and just lay on the front step until someone came home. He died at almost fourteen years of age, when I was just eight.

Felix was my dad’s first cat and got his name because of the most famous cat on earth. Since my dad is rather strange, his second cat got his name by being Felix’s roommate Oscar, on the Odd Couple. Minnie and Mickey were brother and sister and kept me warm by sleeping in my crib with me. Felix died of feline leukemia and soon after we rescued a kitten who looked just like him but since we agreed not to forget Felix we didn’t reuse his name so we named the new kitten Junior. When my sister was little she couldn’t pronounce Junior. All she could say was “Nee-Nee” so that became his name. Minnie and Mickey were actually my mom’s cats before my mom and dad got married. My dad actually gave them to my mom as a present when the kittens were about ten weeks old. Mickey passed away July 3, 2005 at almost seventeen years old and Minnie passed away September 29, 2006 at eighteen years old.  Oscar was the funniest of our cats because when you pet him, he didn’t purr. He cooed like a pigeon. My mom used to get mad at him because he would sleep in their bed and when you would roll over he would start cooing and wake everyone up. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Strange names have always been my dad’s forte. Goofy, a grey and white tabby, was one of our most interesting cats. He was about twenty inches long and stood about fourteen inches tall. He could stand against the vanity in the bathroom and put his paws in the sink. He also loved cantaloupe. Pebbles and Bam Bam came about due to a miscommunication between my mom and dad when we were visiting my grandparents. We were at a true farmers market and they agreed to get another kitten. My mom thought she was supposed to pick it, and my dad thought the same. Needless to say, they both came home with kittens. Katie Cat was a tiger kitten and was hanging around a friend’s house. They decided to give my sister the kitten for her birthday. Katie Cat was our only indoor/outdoor cat. She came home one day crying and told us she was pregnant. She gave birth to two kittens. One my mom gave to one of her friends and the other became our kitten named Blackie because he was jet black.

My dad was at a local shelter with my sister when he fell in love with three orange male kittens. Up until this point all of our cats were in some way or another grey and white. My dad and sister adopted Larry, Moe and Curly. When Blackie passed away my dad and sister found and adopted Melody, a black tuxedo. We renamed her Purrl. Princess Lea, a Manx breed, was born July 1, 2006 and we adopted her at ten weeks. Manx cats have no tails.

My mom, my sister and myself took a quick weekend to visit my grandparents up north. When we came home, we discovered that my dad had rescued a one year old female long hair Belgian Shepherd who we named Sasha. One of the rare times a pet came into our home that was not a rescue or found wandering, my mom and dad purchased a Miniature Pinscher. It was so funny watching this five pound monster try to beat up Choko, who was our ninety five pound German Shepherd.

In 2000, my sister wanted a puppy. Unbenounced to my dad, my mom and my sister went and bought a Pug. My sister named her Queen Agatha, but my dad named her Queen Agatha Pugsley. We all called her Aggie. A friend of the family brought over a kitten that her daughter came home with. This became our fourth orange cat, but he is a long hair. My mom named him Butterscotch and would sometimes call him Scutterbotch.

In 2003, in our new home with Dad, my sister and my dad did a very stupid thing. They decided to visit a puppy breeder to play with the puppies. My dad fell in love with a Golden Retriever and German Shepherd mix. He was so cute because he had black rings around his eyes like Petey from the Little Rascals. Unfortunately Cody got loose and was hit by a car and killed. A year later my dad and sister rescued Butch who is a full Doberman with uncropped ears and an uncut tail, the way he was born, all natural.

Among the various other pets we have had, my sister had a three and a half foot iguana named Iggy, we had a large gray rabbit named Bugsy who loved to play with Terror, a jet black rabbit, several birds, hamsters, gerbils, and a guinea pig. Today we have a couple of cats, Butch, and a couple of ferrets. Since my dad liked Toy Story so much, he named our ferrets after characters in the movie.

Being so close to animals all of my life has made me quite an animal lover. I have since gotten a job in a pet store, and have worked there for almost two and a half years. The amount that I have learned is amazing. My boss founded the K9 unit back in 1978. I have worked with his dogs many times, and have actually considered going into some form of K9 training. Living amongst so many different animals for so long has done something else on a much more psychological level as well. I have begun to have less respect for our ‘Greater Species’ and our highly developed mind. It seems that all of the “Lesser Species” get along just as nature intends. There is no working feverishly for the extra dollar while stepping on so many others to get it. Sure, one ram may kill the other as a means of being alpha but you don’t see them committing mass genocide, on a worldly scale just to prove a point. I have much more respect for those “Lesser Species” because it is mutual. Show them respect and they reciprocate, much unlike our plagued society. This is the key reason to which I dream to live off of the land in such a beautiful and ‘untampered with' nature.

My Friend



I've had a rough time lately,

     Life seems so hard sometimes,
           Minutes turn to hours and days,
                   Through the blur, its been twenty months.

I get up, wipe off the dust, and thank G-d,
     My kids make it easier to go on,
           Somehow I'm drawn to a sinking pet shop,
                  Sad eyes, floppy ears, lets go home.

I already had cats, ferrets, and an Iguana,
     But I knew they couldn't understand,
           Teaching, training, and growing with
                  my new companion was what I needed.

High spirited, strong willed, forcing both
     of us to lean on each other for guidance.
           Funny and playful, smart and easy,
                  He knew how to make me smile.

He loved to run, mostly in large circles,
     He loved to explore, hated the pool,
          chased squirrels, tree'd a raccoon
                  and barked at deer in the yard.

Sometimes he was a pain in the ass,
     Most times, even though I never realized it,
          I'd come home and he would be there,
                  So excited to see me,
                        jumping four feet
in the air,
                             like a gazelle.


I loved to watch him run,
     Sometimes I would chase him.
         Somehow he knew I couldn't catch him
                 But it was all part of the game.

The volleyball, football, punctured basketball,
      split tennis ball, and the fluffy dog bone toy
            that he ripped and took out the stuffing.
                  Scattered around the yard waiting for him
                       to find and play with, with me...

The silent air, the empty water bowl, the doghouse
      and chain, the new collar, the new food dish.
            Still there, to remind me,    "he's not".

Doing what he loved to do, exploring the world,
      He wandered into the path of an oncoming car.
            He went quick.
                  Through the screams and tears
I carried him home.
 
In front of his favorite tree, he now lays,
      In spirit and in memory, he is in my heart.
            I say hello and goodbye,
                I blow a kiss when I pass the spot he left me.

He helped me so much, to see the world as it is.
       Not to sweat the small stuff, and how to laugh again.
             I expected him to be here for a very long time.
                   I may not be able to touch him, but I feel him...

"CODY"   11/28/02 - 08/05/04           



                                                                      Published and Copywrited 2004 reprinted with MY permission



The song is "Memories" from the musical "Cats"