Sunday Post – Pets

Christine’s post in response to Jake’s challenge this week started me thinking about pets, and my relationship with them.  I’ve been thinking about it all afternoon, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I would be unable to live anywhere that would force me to forego the pleasure, and companionship, of a pet.  Throughout my life – wanderlust notwithstanding – they have been the constant.  Further, while I may enjoy my own company and love to be alone, there’s a predicate to that assertion of independence:   with my animal beside me, or waiting for me when I come home.   Let me introduce you to the animals in my life, and perhaps then you’ll understand how it is that I have come to these conclusions.

Ruggles was only six weeks to my toddler status when we first met.  For a while I was bigger than him, a fact, which I’m sure, I exploited mercilessly, in the manner of older siblings.  You will understand his satisfaction then when the unfortunate Rosemary arrived one Christmas to take his place at dress-ups, and in the pram.  Good naturally (or was it because he was permanently on duty?) he would escort us as I sallied forth from our Willow Tree House by the dam to take the air, wheeling that battered perambulator up and down the dusty driveway, as far as the cattle ramp, down by the road.  He was my playmate, my first friend.  He was the first being on whom I consciously lavished love.  (Of course I loved my parents, and showered them with hugs and kisses whenever cheeks were proffered for that purpose, but parents lavish love on their children, not the other way around, during those years of self-absorption.)

Almost 20 years later, returning to Canada to set up house after a year in a van in Europe, a little grey striped tabby singled me out at the ‘pound’ to be followed, miraculously, by her matching number in solid colours, an unwanted bundle of joy from a neighbour’s litter.  Why was it that, even in Toronto the Clean, it wasn’t mandatory to have cats (and dogs) de-sexed in those days?  Thea, the tabby, was an aerialist, routinely climbing up and down shingled or brick walls, leaping from roof to roof, from our third floor attic flat.  Gaia, as you can imagine, was more rooted to the hearth.  It was R’s first experience of pet-fatherhood, and those two girls were shameless; they quickly turned him into their slave.  Luckily they did the same to his sister, whose house they invaded when we returned to Australia in 1983.

Amber and her friend (and eventual adoptive brother) Red ruled our lives in Sydney, going to live with their father after the divorce.  Like many childless couples, we had the romantic notion of ‘letting her have a litter’, which she did, insisting on the tent under the sheets as her birthing room.  A little lilac girl was driven all the way up to Queensland to brighten the lives of her grandparents, but that didn’t turn out well.  Never fear, several years later my little sister Nangi and I came home to look after them.  Ma was a terrible snob, and was heard telling that understanding animal that she wasn’t nearly beautiful enough to win her over.  But Ma hadn’t counted on the fortitude of that very Buddhist cat – the more the old lady turned away in disdain, the more comfort that little moggie gave in return.

And you know the Misses Kotte:  Maggie, Mischief and Podi the cat.

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70 thoughts on “Sunday Post – Pets

  1. Lovely 🙂 I don’t have photos of all of mine as a camera is a recent acquisition, which is why my Plushie appears so often. Such a delight to photograph her.

    • Except for The Girls, there’s just one of each of these wonderful creatures I was so lucky to know. So I can imagine how it must feel not to have any record:)

      Does Plushie play up for the camera?

      • nah – she walks towards it 😀 Moves at just the wrong moment. She knows exactly how to ruin a photo & does most of ’em 😀 But when she stays still, she’s wonderful – like the ones I took after I came back from Lake Joondalup

  2. Such a pleasure to meet the family, past and present. I share your wanderlust gene, and when I got a dog while living in South Africa I called him “Tao” as he would determine what I could, and could not do in my life for the next decade or so. Sadly he’s passed on now, and I’m once again roaming the world!!

    • There have to be compensations – one way or another! Though I agree, long roams require a pet less state or a very good friend to stay home and look after the dog! Love the idea of Tao. 🙂

  3. *sigh* – this is my heartbreak about living in Australia. We don’t have permanent residency and never know how long we can stay for. The longest period ever secured was three years. Some day we are having a pet again. It is a HUGE sadness in my life that we do not have one now. Luckily we sometimes dogsit for some friends, which makes up for some of it.
    Nice post!

    • It’s not fair! How can a body settle with no pet to ground her? I know exactly what you mean Signe – the years without a furry companion had a particular type of loneliness. Lucky dogsit animals – I’ll bet they have a special holiday while your friends are away:)

  4. I’m truly not a cat person. And in Jamaica where I live, it’s hard to keep a pet. We have two crazy “yard dogs” though, whom we love to death. And they guard us dutifully. (A little out of favor this week, for killing one of my beloved wild doves)…

  5. Thank you for introducing us to your wonderful friends. I am in a petless state right now and my daughter has taken the few old pics of our cats and dogs, bad girl!

  6. Pingback: Sunday Post – Pets « mtlawleyshire

  7. This is fabulous! What a great post! I thought about doing it too as we always grew up with dogs. I love them and have such fond memories of each one we had. We don’t have one now yet my parents and siblings each have several. Pets give such unconditional love, don’t they?!

  8. Pingback: Judge Chuckles on SUNDAY POST : Pet « Simply Charming

  9. Love the photo’s and the commentary on each of your pets. Your love for them shone out, and warmed me, who has had beloved furry-ones but not at the moment – thank you for sharing 🙂

  10. Beautiful photos to match a beautiful , loving memory. A pet brings out the best in us. They make us laugh with happiness. Sometimes, they can make us cry too…wonderful post. Thanks.

    • Glad you liked it, and felt the love I had for Ruggie, who taught me so much. I’m just looking at Spiritual Wanderer’s entries for Ailsa’s Summer challenge – with Bingo the kayaking dog – now that’s what I call a companion – that’s the sort of memory I have of times with Ruggie – what a shame there were no ‘action’ shots of us out and about on the farm. Oh well … 🙂

  11. You know the post captured me. Any time we speak of our animals, our companions, my heart instantly softens around the middle and turns to goo. What would I do, if I didn’t see the waggle-waggle behind the screen door as I approach our home, her head propped over her shoulder as she lays on daddy, but always keeping an eye on me. Our babies, Mere, what would we do without them?!

    What fun names! I admit I kinda failed that one, but she came without, and I didn’t want to confuse the poor dear by going and changing her name.

    Happy Monday to you. 10:59 p.m. Sunday evening.

    • I found it quite interesting how a photo challenge challenged me to consider my future lifestyle choices, which is why the post became a little more intense than was warranted. But I knew there would be people – like you, dear Cara – who would understand.

      The joy, the unfettered giving of love (and the receiving of it!), and the happiness. Is it that these animals tap straight into our child? I think so. There’s no ambiguity in them, though sometimes guile …

      I don’t think I can think of anything more joyous than a dog squirming with excitement to see you, except perhaps two dogs squirming in opposite directions – rear ends animated like reticulated buses, tails aloft like periscopes, faces – eyes, ears, mouths – alive with excitement. Yup. What a welcome:)

      Sweet dreams, dear Cara. 11.58 Monday morning.

  12. what a heart-warming tale of loving pets, they all look so pretty, lithe and gracious, or pampered and cuddly, glad i inspired your memories 🙂

    • I kept on thinking of the beauty of the place where you live, and how much you love it there, and revel in nature as you encounter it every day. And I kept wondering how I would balance all that against the love and companionship of any of my pets (past or present). Now, if the absolutely perfect human partner were to materialise out of the bush, (complete with road testing as to longevity), perhaps I might manage to live without a pet …

      It was very interesting – thank you for your timely post:)

  13. Each dog or cat has a character of their own – and as an animal lover you will see it. It is not surprising that many children’s books feature them as protagonists.

  14. They’re all beautiful and adorable. I’m with you—I wouldn’t move anywhere that didn’t allow me to have my pets with me. I don’t understand why anyone would.

    • Hi there Madame, it’s an interesting dilemma, in a way, because we know that our adorable furry friends can be very destructive of indigenous animals. The person who prompted my consideration of the issue lives in the intermediate zone right beside a national park. It’s gloriously pristine and beautiful, full of wildlife … and illegal to have pets. I wonder though, if I weren’t living alone, whether I might not be so dependent on my darlings … ? Interesting.

  15. It looks like you have a few happy little critters running around. What a breath of fresh air, to experience all of these happy creatures under the heading of pets. You have some delightful photographs of your extended family members. 🙂 Good job showing them off!

  16. Beautiful post 🙂 I only started having pets when I took in our cats about 5 years ago. They drive me nuts sometimes but I can no longer imagine a life without them. Nothing fixes a bad day faster than a purring cat on my lap.

  17. Oh yes the joy of pets… their quiet company and unconditional love is greatly missed when they are no longer there. I almost had a new one with a little stray this week. I fed it, but it was too scared to come close. After 2 days it was coming closer. By the third it was gone. Someone must have coaxed it away. It was really cute, so I can’t blame them.

    Sorry Wanderlust some how WP has unfollwed your blog and after a busy week and trying to catch up on emails I thought to check out your blog since it was unual not to see any posts from you. Sure enough you have and the little ‘follow’ icon appeared. Since the tick box incident I have losts my follows, found them and some I had to sign up for again. Yours was fine until this week! How strange.

    • I wondered why there was a CanadianTravelBugs Follow notice! There seems to have been gremlins in the system ever since that weekend, one way or another! One of the worst seems to be people landing up in the Spam can! My latest is not being able to access the Reader. After almost two weeks of back and forth emails, it seems the WordPress computer takes objection to my living in Colombo. The minute I said I lived in Singapore, all was well again! Go figure.

      So glad you missed me! 🙂

      • Looks like the are adding and changing things up, so maybe it is an ‘oops’ thing. I tried to email WP when I thought I lost all my contacts, but they said only if I have a paid subscription, so I had to figure it out on my own. Luckily they were not lost, just hidden and all the email notice of new posts was switched to never. I thought that happened with yours, but when I checked you were gone. Oh well easy fix.

        • Yes, one thing seems to have led to another, and after all the kerfuffle they’ve dropped the automatic tick in the comments box and it’s all back to the way it was. Though I do like the new communications tab on the home page. I must say it’s sometimes a bit daunting trying to figure out how to do things without a person to help, but on the other hand I was beginning to fall behind and now feel I’m catching up a little. Have a lovely weekend!

              • We are lucky in a way with Chinese holidays and many western ones (Christmas, Easter) and we have 5-6 weeks off for summer.
                4 more subjects to go… only 2 with comment sections though. We are lucky we have specialists to do music, PE, art and Chinese so I don’t have to do those too. Still it is pretty busy and too many events coming up which gives us less free time. Just yesterday we had an all day event and we were required to attend. I went early did some reports, did my 1 hour shift (actually longer) and then went back to finish those reports. Today back at it…

                • Well, they always said teaching was like any other job, just you have those marvelous holidays. I guess you gotta pay for them one way or another! Will you go back to Canada for the summer, or do you have an adventure planned?

                  • I read a post about teaching and they brought up a good point… we work the same amout of hours (or more) than any regular job, but do it in 10 months! Reports are hairy enough without the extra events on top of things (who plans this crazy calendar? Not someone in the classroom that is for sure!).
                    Heading back to Canada to see friends and family. My husband is already there, so want to make the time to go faster… hard when all alone. I miss him.

                    • Oooh – poor you, all alone:) Seems like you’re too busy to miss him often, which is just as well, no? And in no time at all you’ll be in Canada together! I can’t remember, where do you come from? Hope you’ve got time to enter the “Summer” competition this week – then I’ll know what you’ll be up to in a few weeks …

                    • What summer competition? I seemed not to get the weekly photo challenge post either, totally out of the loop! Where are all my follows going? ARG! Oh just as well no time.
                      Anyway I am across the lake from Toronto, closer to Niagara Falls.
                      I am busy, but I still miss him. The is the longest we’ve been apart. 😦

                    • It’s wonderful to have a partner who compliments us perfectly, but you know what I’m going to say about independent …:)

                      Weekend Challenge is Summer; Jake’s challenge is Doors, and Alicia’s is Street Markets – in case you get sick of your pamphlets:)

                    • Thanks… I saw that later and I missed it since Alisa’s was summer last week, so I just gave the same link 😉 I haven’t done Jake’s… should check it out. I love taking pics of doors especailly here with the interesting lion door knockers.

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