Canaan Years - Our Pets

Our family was a pet family. From the time I was born, we always had a cat (or two) and/or a dog, chickens, guinea pigs, goats, fish, rabbits, etc.

I've already shared a bit about Fang, our German Shepherd, and the guinea pigs that we brought with us when we moved to Canaan. (click here)

Fang was a problem from the start. He was so attached to my father that he actually broke through a window to be with him. His size and breed (and name) caused visitors to be afraid of coming to the parsonage. My father hated to do it, but he finally took Fang to the animal shelter.

We kept our guinea pigs for about a year, but sold most of them to the pet store. The first summer, we put them out in the back yard in a bottomless coop. (shelter, but fresh grass each time we moved it to a new spot) My guinea pig, Ginger, got loose. Occasionally, I'd see her in the bushes, but she was having the time of her life. When the cold winds came the following fall, I began to worry. She must have decided that a warm cage wasn't so bad, because she came right to me when I called.

That first year, my father also acquired a nanny goat, which he bred at a nearby farm. During the day, he tied the mother to some bushes. The kids didn't need to be tied because they stuck close. My father built a milking stance and we enjoyed fresh goat's milk for awhile.

I remember one particular incident when a summer thunderstorm came up. My father was away. We could hear the nanny goat bleating loudly. The kids had already run into the barn, and she wanted to be with them. My mother asked me to go untie her. (Easier for her to say!) That goat was pulling with all her might on that knot. Lightning flashed, and thunder crashed all around me. Rain pelted us - making that knot even harder to untie. Finally, I released her, and she beat me back to the house. We must have not kept them much longer, because I don't remember much about them past that time.

We had a few cats, but two were most memorable.

Bad Boy -
We got this yellow cat when we stopped at a farm to buy some fresh eggs. There were kittens everywhere, and one limped. The woman said that its paw had been run over. My brother, Jonathan, felt sorry for him and cuddled him the whole time my mother and the woman chatted. She offered the kitten to us, but my mother said we had enough pets already. (already had a tiger cat at that time)
Well, my brother sneaked that kitten home under his shirt, and by the time we needed more eggs, we had fallen in love with him.

I don't know his original name, but he quickly became known as Bad Boy. He got in my mother's sewing room and knocked her threads and pins all over - then hid under the guest bed with only his tail sticking out. He knocked over the can of turpentine, where my father was soaking some paint brushes. We couldn't let him clean his own fur, so guess who was chosen to bathe him in the bathtub. I probably still have scars from that job! I liked to watch him sleep in the warm sun, while the birds dove at him and taunted him. He was only pretending to sleep, for suddenly he'd leap 2-3 feet in the air and sometimes knock off a tail feather.

Michelle - She was a beautiful, loving, long-haired calico. We didn't get her spayed in time, and she got pregnant. I'll never forget the night she had her kittens. We had made a nice soft box for her in the spare room, but she found me (in the kitchen doing dishes) and tried to give birth on the cold floor at my feet. I put her in the box, but she followed me if I tried to leave. I brought the box to my bedroom, but she insisted in getting on my bed. So... I covered my bed with some old towels, and she had her kittens on my bed. I don't remember how many she had. One was completely black and born at midnight. I named him Minuit. It broke my heart to give away her (and her kittens) when we moved again. Of all the cats in my life, she was one of my favorites because she chose me.


Anonymous said...

I can see why you want another kitten.
Sweet memories.

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