Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Category: Dog and Cats and Animals… Oh My..

I think I will miss keeping cats…

Since I was a kid, we always had cats in or around the houses or apartments we lived in.  It seems that for some reason or another they have always been sort of a constant in my life.  I have always liked cats and of the pets you can keep, notice that I do not say “own”, they are the most maintenance free.  They clean themselves pretty well, they only come to you when THEY are bored or hungry.  But they also seem to know when you are down or sad, because that seems to be the time they will come over and bump you with their head or jump up in your lap.

Naty and I made a decision this last year.  When our current cats, Sally and Critter-Bug, pass on, we will be bringing in no more cats.  These will be the last ones that we will keep.

This makes me a little sad, but in fact, there is something that I will enjoy about this.  Namely the fact that there will be no more litter-box to clean.  Since I am the only one that cleans ours, then that means this is a direct benefit to me.  There will be no more stepping on the occasional soggy hairball that Sally likes to deposit on the middle of the hallway… always strategically place so that it is the first thing I step on when exiting the bedroom and never placed so that Naty steps on it, only me.  No more giving Sally her “Old Kitty” meds for her arthritis and “Kitty Diabetes”.

There is a lot that I am looking forward to by not having kitties in the house any more, but I have a feeling that I will miss them.  Even with the three dogs we have now, there will still be an empty spot when that time comes.  For now, I will just enjoy the company the provide and keep complaining about the little annoyances they do cause.

The power of pets.

For those of you out there that have pets and for those that do not, I wonder if any of us truly understand the power that they have over us and for us.

As I have spoken of in the past, my wife and I have three dogs and two cats. They play a very important part in our lives, being as it is that we do not have children, they play the part of surrogate children for us. But I think that over time, we grow to need them as much as they need us.

I think the main example I have to support this is the process of just coming home each night from work. No matter how my day at work has gone, be it great or be it terrible, there is just something that lifts my heart when I walk in and there are these three creatures, four if you count my wife, that are happy to see me. All three of them run around and want my attention, again excepting my wife, who usually demands her own form of attention. Oskar will usually be the first to bring me a toy that he wants me to throw, Eliza is always wanting her belly rubbed or to be picked up, when I walk in and Timmay, the more timid of the three, cautiously comes over to be pet, but has been known to run up and steal the toy that Oskar has brought me.

The cats are another story all together. Anyone who has kept cats, notice that I do not say “owned”, knows that they work on their own set of rules. Even if your cat is happy to see you, pride does not allow it to approach you unless it is on the terms that the cat deems appropriate. Let’s face it, cats are happy to see you too, but they are smug and they need to keep the air of disinterest in order to make you think they could live with or without you.

While there is an emotional bond created with most pets and their people, I think this is more so with dogs than cats. Maybe dogs just NEED more than a cat does.

Something that I like though is simply the power my dogs have to make me smile. They sense a lot more than we give them credit. There have been times that I have been upset about something, or mad for some reason or another, and Oskar will usually bring me a toy or just come sit next to me and this makes me feel good. If I am not feeling better right away, then he will do this thing where he flips his head back and looks at me and makes this funny “sigh” sound… and if nothing else has made me smile up to the point, that will.

Neither my wife or I have figured out Timmay 100% yet. As I have explained, he is a rescue, but there must have been something pretty bad that happened to him early on, because he is still skittish about things, even after almost two years in our house. But he does shine through most of the time, and like playing with the other two dogs. His therapy for me and the wife is the fact that he is proof that no matter what you live through, there is always hope.

Eliza… what can I say about Eliza? I would be lying if I said that she was not my personal favorite and I think that between Naty and I, I am her favorite as well. One of the funny things about her, is that any time I give Naty a kiss, Eliza runs up and tries to get in between us for her kisses too.  I think it might be because of all her medical problems, but Eliza is the neediest of the dogs.  She always has to be reassured about things and she always has to be with one of us.  Oskar and Timmay are usually OK with being by themselves, but Eliza will sit next to us in whatever room we are in and if we are in different rooms, she will go back and forth and spent time in each room.

Our dogs have a power to make us feel better about ourselves and better in general.  Sometimes there is nothing more therapeutic than going in the back yard and throwing a ball around and watching the dogs go nuts trying to get to it first and bring it back to me.

Big Foot

One of my favorite hobbies, when at a PC, these days, is playing with Google Earth. It is truly a fascinating program and so full of information and detail, that I am not sure you can really run out of things to look at or for. Interestingly enough, it was one of my discoveries on G-Earth that lead me to write this post.


In my G-Travels, I have noticed that there are many many places through out California that Bigfoot was supposedly seen.

If we are to believe that there have been so many people that have run into this mystical beast, then you would think that someone, somewhere, would have captured a picture that is clear and easy to tell that what we are looking at. Instead, the only photos that do come out are either taken as such a distance that you cannot tell what you are looking at, or they are so fuzzy that you cannot tell if you are looking at a map/ape type creature or a bowl of ground beef that has been in the fridge for a couple months.

When I posed this argument to a friend once, he said that the reason the photos are of bad quality is probably because the person was scared. I can accept that in some of the cases, but not all. I would have to think that if a photographer sees Bigfoot, then there is also something else he sees… in his mind. That would be dollar signs. I would think that the first photographers that bring in clear, unaltered pictures of something along the lines of Bigfoot, will be making a trip to the bank to deposit a nice sized check.

I am not discounting the possible existence of Bigfoot. I have lived long enough to understand that there are still things about planet Earth that we do not know. We are always finding new species of animals and plants. There will always be new discoveries to be made and I am sure that there is still a lot out there to be discovered and, as humans have a tendency to do, to be exploited.

I do have to think about how funny it is that something like this has made it’s way into out pop culture. I can recall all the silly shows that were on when I was a kid that dealt with Bigfoot. Though my favorite had to be the episode of the Six Million Dollar man, where he fights Bigfoot. I have done you the courtesy of adding a clip.

OK… Looking back on it now, I will be the first to admit that our TV choices in the 70s were not the best. But hey, I liked it at the time, and I would never miss an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man.

But this show helps to show the place that we put things like Big Foot then, and in listening to shows like Coast to Coast, which used to be Coast to Coast with Art Bell, you see that there still are people out there that follow things like this. I would hazard to guess, though, that maybe 90% of the people that call into programs like that are simply looking for some attention or their 15.

As I said earlier, I do think there is a lot out there that we have not seen yet, and maybe we should not. Face it, there is no doubt that when we find something new, we always seem to find new and exciting ways to exploit, destroy or molest it to death. I am sure the same would be true if a Big Foot type creature.

In reality, it is probably a roving band of people suffering from Hypertricosis and coincidentally have unusually large feet. They are simply looking for a razor, delousing facility and a really large foot bath.

Idle thought for the day.

Oskar in repose

Do you thing our pets really know how good they have it?

We have three dogs and two cats, and they are all spoiled. More than likely the reason for this is because we have no kids, so we fill that gap with the pets.

Oskar, the dog in the picture, was our first dog. We are convinced that he is an OCD dog… Obsessive Compulsive for those of you in Rio Linda. He will sit and stare at a toy for however long it takes for someone to try and take it from him. All the while he is watching it, he will sit and grumble at it, then look at you. Finally… if no one plays with him, he will pick the toy up, usually wet with slobber, and drop it on you. He prefers trying to drop it on your face, if you are laying down.

Overall he is very well behaved, and takes most things in stride. He is, by far, the smartest of hour animals.

To watch our pets, it appears to me that they see the entire world, to them, revolves around my wife and I. They need to be where ever we are, and need to feel as if they are part of what we are doing.

The one that tickles me the most, though, is Eliza. If you are a regular reader, then you know that she is our “Special Needs” dog. She has had health issues all her life, and has bonded with me the most, because I was almost always the one to give her her medicine, dress her infections and hold her when she was cold from all the bathing and medicating we had to do to her. Almost anywhere I go in the house, unless she has decided to take a nap, she will follow me. She also REALLY looks like she is trying to understand you when you are talking… whether it is to her, or someone else. She will watch each person talk, and cock her head left and right. Of the three dogs, I think she is the one that, if possible, would most want to be human.

Timmy… What can I say. He had a bad start in life, even for a stray. He went to several homes where he was either abused, or just not wanted. By the time we got him, he was borderline psycho-dog, and would panic if a fly landed on the window in the other room. I have to admit, that there have been several times I lost my temper with him, or have become frustrated with him. Mostly that results in me sending him outside. He has gotten better though, and his hobby now seems to be washing my head. If I sit down or lay down, or anything that gives him easy access, he will start washing my scalp. He will also switch modes very quickly. He can be happy and playing with us, then almost in an instant, he runs away and hides. Nothing in the style of play has changed, but maybe a repressed memory during the game causes him to panic.

I think that we treat our three dogs about the same as people would treat their kids. Oh, sure, you would not want to put a leash on little Billy and feed him dog food, though there are probably parents out there that would, but you see my point. We spoil them, take them with us when we go places, talk to them like they understand or even care what we have to say.

Cats… they are different altogether. They interact with you on their own terms, and if they decide that you are worthy. They only really come to you when they are hungry, if they are bored or if there is nothing better to do. Usually it is at a time when it is least convenient for you, that they decide to socialize. Like when you are watching a movie that is too exciting to break away from, and have to go to the bathroom really bad, then they climb into your lap and decide to make biscuits. That kneading action they do when they are happy, or some other thing like that.

Pets are great… but in looking at them and the affect they have on us, it make you wonder if they really know what they have in us, and also, if they do, if it is us or them that are in control.

A birthday party for a dog…


So… Next month Eliza, our “special needs” dog turns five years old.

It was decided that we would have a party for her. This is partially my fault. I thought it would be a neat idea to have a little get together and invite the Vets that saved her life over to the house for some festivities.

My wife took the ball and ran with it, so that now we are having several guests over, gift packages for the guests and Eliza is getting an outfit for the occasion. More than likely Eliza could probably care less, except that for one evening her house will be invaded by a bunch of people that smell like other dogs.

In a nutshell, for those of you just tuning in, Eliza was a stray that we adopted. When we got her she had probably the worst case of demodex mange that our previous doctor had ever seen. This doctor tried many things, and Eliza was near death, blinded by the medication and barely able to walk or anything else. On the recommendation of my wife’s boss, Diane Pinson, we took her to another vet, who immediately advised us that she was getting too high a dosage of the previous medication (ivermectin) and that is what was causing the problems. She had also gotten to the point where she had open and puss filled sores all over her body. Many people would have thought that it was time to let her go and ease her pain. But there was something that both my wife and I saw in her that told us to try one more time.

From the point where we took her in to the new vet, and when they started treating her, the change was almost immediate. She began to improve, literally, over night. By the next day the sores were already looking better and she started eating again. It would be several months before she regained all her strength and was ready to start going on walks with us. To this day, she still has occasional relapses and the mange tries to come back, but now that we know what to look for, we can usually stops the progress long before it gets bad.

Today she is a hyper little terror that likes nothing more than to terrorize the other two dogs, who are bigger than her, by taking their toys and grumbling at them when she thinks that we are not looking. She is truly a miracle dog… not in the mystical or religious sense, but in the sense that she almost died on us on two occasions, but she pulled through with the help of two great vets and one heck of a Veterinarian Hospital. For those of you who are interested… That would be Doctors Brauer and Holland at SouthWest Veterinary Hospital in Bakersfield Ca.

So… my plan to create a little thank you get together for the vets that saved her life has turned into a party that will probably have about 20 people there. I have no problem with that, it just tickles me.

We have no kids, so we treat the dogs and cats like kids.

I may complain about the party a little… but it is all for show. And those of you who know me and live close… you are not out of this. The Wife is sending you an invite as well… and you are expected. 😉

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