From: Olivia McDonell
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996
Subject: KITTY & DOGGY
You might remember me from about a year ago. I sent you some bad doggy stories about hurling logs and bad kitty stories too. I have just finished reading your pet anecdotes and would like to add one for you (and everyone else I guess)
We had a Silky/Maltese cross who decided he wanted to adopt the neighbourhood stray cat. Well, we did not really mind, the cat seems okay (apart from drinking only blue toilet water). Anyway, once dad wandered into the kitchen for a drink, where my step-mum had left some fillet steak on the table to thaw. (We thought the cat was outside). Apparently not...he was trying to free one of the steaks from the block. Dad picked him up and thew him out the (second story) window (Not too high - we lived on a hill) where the cat (Max) attached to the drain pipe for dear life. As it was aluminum, he slid down at slow speed with a "OH-oh" look on his face. After making sure the cat was okay, dad turned around to find Pogi (the dog) grinning up at him with beef stains on his white fur.
Another story: The cat I have now loves foot odour. When my fiancé comes home and takes his (size 13 canoe) boot off, the cat tries to stick his head as far in as possible. Needless to say. he has gotten stuck a few times. There is nothing funnier than two ginger hind legs poking out of a boot, scurrying along the floor and banging into furniture and walls.
I hope you can use these. I have told all my on-line friends about your wonderful home page...
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997
From: Kathleen Lowery
Subject: Hemmy the Iguana
You answered! You actually answered!
Toronto, huh? That explains it. If you were American you would have ignored me. You want to know about Hemmy the iguana and the Accident? (It almost replayed today, by the way)
I'm a cashier- tragically- at this little convenience store. This nice guy stops by from time to time, and the first time he stopped by, he had this cute little python with him. Anyway, I cooed over the thing- I like snakes and lizards- and he said next time, he'd bring Hemmy. Hemmy is an eight month old iguana. He's a sweetie. Anyway, his owner pops by to show of his lizard. Hemmy scuttles off daddy's shoulders, and onto the counter. Onto the next customer's newspaper.
Literally- everywhere. He was embarrassed, Hemmy was relieved, and I was laughing so hard I almost had an accident.
Is it possible for an iguana to look guilty? Hemmy did- when his owner had him suspended over the garbage can outside to make sure there were any other lizard bombs hiding up in there.
From: Fran Strauser
Subject: Ferrets, what else?
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000
I can't resist telling you about Thor, our current ferret. We live in the country and I use my bathroom window as a cat door because raccoons, other cats, and possums like to come in regular doors. The window is about 6 feet off the ground and the cats jump on a railing and in the window. Thor lives in the bathroom, mainly, because he likes the warmth of the hot water heater cabinet. The cats have a habit of occasionally bringing in their "catch" a gopher, mouse, or bird, and eating it on the bathroom floor. Thor, hears something unusual, comes out the door and chases the cats away from their "catch" and then takes it to his hidey hole, where he sometimes eats it (depending on size) or just stores it for a rainy day, or whatever. It is rather disconcerting to check his hidey holes and find a dead whatever, or worse smell a dead whatever. I guess Thor is really a wild beastie. We had another many years ago, Casca, who loved to go in the vegetable bin and grab a potato, which he did eat, or gnaw on. Have you ever had company sitting and talking only to suddenly see a ferret run across the floor with a potato that looked almost bigger than he was in his jaws.
Well life COULD be boring, but it isn't. I love your pages and my son
thought I had gone nuts because I was sitting at the computer laughing
till I cried. At least my guys aren't abnormal. There is some consolation
in that. Thanks for the page.
Date: 01 Jan 2002
From: Rachel McGrath-Kerr
Subject: Hamsters (Fwd)
(Note: this did not happen to the contributor, but to a friend.)
Overview: I had to take my son's hamster to the vet.
Here's what happened: Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was "something wrong" with one of the two hamsters he holds prisoner in his room.
"He's just lying there looking sick," he told me. I'm serious, Dad. Can you help?"
I put my best hamster-healer statement on my face and followed him into his bedroom. One of the little rodents was indeed lying on his back, looking stressed. I immediately knew what to do.
"Honey," I called, "come look at the hamster!"
"Oh, my gosh," my wife diagnosed after a minute.
"She's having babies."
"What?" my son demanded. "But their names are Bert and Ernie, Mom!"
I was equally outraged. "Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we didn't want them to reproduce," I accused my wife.
"Well, what do you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?" she inquired. (I actually think she said this sarcastically!)
"No, but you were supposed to get two boys!" I reminded her (in my most loving, calm, sweet voice, while gritting my teeth together).
"Yeah, Bert and Ernie!" my son agreed.
"Well, it's just a little hard to tell on some guys, ya know," she informed me. (Again with the sarcasm, ya think?)
By now the rest of the family had gathered to see what was going on. I shrugged, deciding to make the best of it.
"Kids, this is going to be a wondrous experience," I announced. "We're about to witness the miracle of birth."
"Oh, Gross!", they shrieked.
"Well, isn't THAT just Great!; what are we going to do with a litter of tiny little hamster babies?" my wife wanted to know. (I really do think she was being snotty here, too. Don't you?)
We peered at the patient. After much struggling, what looked like a tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later.
"We don't appear to be making much progress," I noted. "It's breech," my wife whispered, horrified.
"Do something, Dad!" my son urged.
"Okay, okay." Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it next appeared, giving it a gingerly tug. It disappeared. I tried several more times with the same results.
"Should I call 911?" my eldest daughter wanted to know. "Maybe they could talk us through the trauma." (You see a pattern here with the females in my house?)
"Let's get Ernie to the vet," I said grimly. We drove to the vet with my son holding the cage in his lap. Breathe, Ernie, breathe," he urged.
"I don't think hamsters do Lamaze," his mother noted to him. (Women can be so cruel to their own young. I mean what she does to me is one thing, but this boy is of her womb, for God's sake.)
The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the little animal through a magnifying glass.
"What do you think, Doc, a c-section?" I suggested scientifically. "Oh, very interesting," he murmured. Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"
I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside.
"Is Ernie going to be okay?" my wife asked.
Oh, perfectly," the vet assured us. "This hamster is not in labour. In fact, that isn't EVER going to happen... Ernie is a boy."
"What!?" "You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as they come into maturity, like most male species, they um.... er.... masturbate.
Just the way he did, lying on his back." He blushed, glancing at my wife.
"Well, you know what I'm saying, Mr. Cameron."
We were silent, absorbing this. "So Ernie's just...just...Excited?", my wife offered.
"Exactly," the vet replied, relieved that we understood.
Then my vicious, cruel wife started to giggle. And giggle. And then even laugh loudly.
"What's so funny?" I demanded, knowing, but not believing that the woman I married would commit the upcoming affront to my flawless manliness. Tears were now running down her face.
"It's just...that...I'm picturing you pulling on its...its...teeny, little..." she gasped for more air to bellow in laughter once more.
"That's enough," I warned.
We thanked the veterinarian and hurriedly bundled the hamsters and our son back into the car. He was glad everything was going to be okay.
I know Ernie's really thankful for what you've done, Dad," he told me.
"Oh, you have NO idea," my wife agreed, collapsing into laughter.
Date: 12 Jun 2004
From: Celia Javadi
Subject: Bad Bunny
James/James Bunny came to live with me when he was only 5 weeks old, and had just been weaned. He was a tiny little ball of black fur, huddled up and shivering. He was so scared.
We first named him Jane Bunny because we didn't know male rabbits' testicles don't descend for several months after they are born. By the time we realized he was actually male, he knew his name, so we had to change it to something similar enough he would answer to it.
Jamie Bunny did the darnedest things. He dug an air register out of the wall; he ate through the TV cord and blew out the circuit box; he emptied a full bag of corn cob litter into a floor register; he dove face-first into my chocolate birthday cake; he ate my furniture; he ate my carpet; he ate my baseboards; he humped everything he could straddle; and at 5 pounds 5 ounces, he attacked our maintenance man who is nicknamed "the strongest man in the world." Jamie Bunny really kept me on my toes for more than 6 years.
Jamie Bunny got sick in February of 2004. He lost his curiosity, and his energy, and became very docile. He was happy to just sit next me with my hand resting on him, stroking him. I have charged more than $1400 on his medical care since February, and have considered him worth it. He was a child-of-another-species I adopted, and I truly loved him.
Today, Jamie Bunny said good-bye, and stepped out of his soft black furry little body. He had been too sick for too long, and he just could not go on.
I am so grateful for the time we had together. My children are grown, and as a middle-aged divorcee' living in the city with the second highest population of gay men in the nation, my life gets pretty boring. Jamie added a lot of meaning, and a lot of purpose, to my time and life. For more than 6 years, I awakened every morning to see Jamie Bunny's little face peering at me from inside his cage, waiting for fresh food and water, and walked in the door after work every evening to the sound of his excitedly prancing in his cage, knowing I was about to open the door and let him run the house for a few hours.
Our routine continued right up until the end. During the past several weeks, when I opened his cage door in the evening he leapt out of it, bounded twice, and lay down under the couch for half an hour before coming out to rest his chin on my foot and wait for me to pick him up and feed him. He took most of his syringe feedings well, and seemed grateful for each one.
Yesterday, as I was petting Jamie Bunny and telling him the pain was going to end and he was going to feel better soon, he started contentedly grinding his little teeth, and seemed very happy. I have a clear image of him running happily through new-fallen snow, a thing he never did in this lifetime. Somehow, I think that image comes from him, and his little bunny spirit is now doing all the outdoor things he couldn't do as a house rabbit living in a neighborhood rampant w/ cats. If there is a bunny heaven, I know Jamie Bunny is there. If there isn't, well, I can only assume people heaven is big enough to include those wonderful animals who loved us so unconditionally while they shared our time and space here on this earth.
To Jamie Bunny, I want to say, "I will always love you, and will never forget
you, tiny little bunny."
Celia R. Javadi
My response: Hello, Celia! Thank you very much for sharing your story. I am really sorry for your loss. Your bunny really did make an impact on your life, and it will take a long time to recover. Many years ago our family cat had to be put to sleep at the age of 20 because of progressive kidney failure. I was living in Toronto at the time, and my mother and brother had to take him to the vet's just after New Year's. I can still recall on my next visit home (and others that followed, but to a lesser extent) how I kept thinking I was seeing him out of the corner of my eye, only when I looked, he wasn't there. Or looking at the kitchen window at night, looking for the yellow eyes (he was black, and all you could see were the eyes and the white patch on his chest) and not seeing them. I still get a catch in my throat when I think about it, and it's been at least 15 years. 8-(
(A subsequent note): Thank you for sharing about your dear pet cat. We had an older bunny, Bunnyham, die about 7 1/2 years ago (of respiratory failure just after the vet told us there was nothing wrong w/ him), and my daughter and I several times experienced hearing him thump or pull at the carpet with his teeth. About a week after he died, my daughter said she saw him sitting in front of her, she petted him one last time, and he faded from sight. We never heard him thump or pull at the carpet again after that. In my mind, these experiences make a really strong argument for belief in animals having some kind of after life just as humans do.
When I was in grad school a few years ago, the stats we found were that San Francisco has the highest population of gay men in the US, New York was second in the past, but the #2 city is now (or was in 2000) Columbus, Ohio. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Columbus, Ohio, also has the highest incidence of bipolar disorder in the country. I had been saying since my divorce that every time I meet a man my age, he's either married, gay, or psychotic. It turned out that was statistically true.
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