Pat Answers on Pets…..


Pets #2

Recently I noted it was “Cat Day”.

As with dog owners, if you ask the owner of a cat, you would be told that EVERY day is “Cat Day”.

If you guessed that there are more cat owners than dog owners in America, you’d be right.

My sources says 88.3 million Americans own cats compared to 74.8 million for dogs.

However, they only rank 2nd and 3rd on that list.

Number 1?

Freshwater fish (142 million, in fact).

I was suprised to learn that small animals (24.3 million) were ahead of birds (16 million).

We Fosters have primarily been dog owners and more often than not, Boxers roamed the landscape.

There was Duke, the lone male, followed by ladies Pat, Bootz and Bailey.

Duke slept at the foot of the basement stairs in an old baby buggy and he made quite a picture with his bottom jaw jutting out to expose two big, white fangs.

He looked fearful but there was a reason  he slept in that baby buggy.

Duke was a big baby.

Bootz was the runt of her litter, smaller than most Boxers and because the womb was crowded, her jaw was cockeyed.

We called her “Chief Crooked Jaw”.

She had tiger markings, more of a bridle Boxer.

But man! Could she jump.

That dog could’ve been the gold medal winner in the dog Olympics high jump.

Bailey was a rescue Boxer and she was the first one we had without cropped ears.

I liked that because that it made her look friendlier and warm.

Neav and I started out with a Peke/Pug mix that William Giardino (Dino) named Buttons.

Her champion breed Mommy Pekingnese had a fling with a Selma, Alabama pug and that’s how we could afford her.

She was our first daughter and lived with us for 17 years.

We also had Weezer, the Mennonite mutt that Stacey just had to have and Neav wanted a lap dog after all the Boxers so Sofi, the mini-dauchshund showed up.

However, Buttons was not the first pet Neav and I had.

We had gone to a pet store and Neav fell in love with a fluffy, white “Yip-Yap” type of dog but we couldn’t afford a dog.

We settled on the next best thing.

A hamster.

We named it “Moochie” after a budgie Neav had as a youngster.

The bird was named in honor of the human Mouseketeer of the same name.

Little did we know that our Moochie “slept around” at the pet store because shortly after we got her home, she produced a litter of 8 babies.

Baby hamsters are small.

Real small.

They could crawl through the bars in the cage.

We’d have to scoop them up with a teaspoon and put them back in the nest. This cage wasn’t very roomy, either.

As Moochie’s babies grew, she’d get in the wheel to take a run.

I often thought she was trying to get away from all the kiddoes.

Some would be in the wheel, attempting to go in the opposite direction of Momma and they’d go flying upside down in that treadmill

The tight surroundings didn’t seem to matter because we took them all back to Ohio and gave them all away to hamster-less homes.

Daughter Stacey won a goldfish (Actually I think her Mom did) at the Wooster Heights lawn fete.

Stacey name it “Goldie Frank” and he/she/it was in a fish bowl not much larger than my fist.

We toosed in a couple of marbles and our goldfish called that home for at least 3 years.

“Goldie-Frank” did not eat standard fish food.

He/she/it lived on crushed Cheerios.

I often wondered how boring it was to be a solitary goldfish, living in a bowl about the size of my fist with a couple of marbles and some occasional Cheerio dust on top of the water.


The day eventually arrived when “Goldie Frank” started to float on his/her/its’ side and we eventually sent him/her/it on the amazing toilet water ride to fish heaven.

As a kid, my sisters and I had 3 rabbits.

There was a black one named “Charcoal”,  a white one named “Lady” and I think the grey one was named “Peter”.

My sister Charlene used to sit on the swing on the swingset, going to and fro while holding a rabbit.

She’d go indoors later and Mom would have to get the rabbit “raisins” out of her coat pocket.

We also got “peeps”for Easter and kept them in the bottom half of an appliance box in the basement.

One of them crowed one morning and Dad said that was the end of the great chicken experiment.

They were relocated to a farm in the country.

Neav and I have been “petless” for about 2 and 1/2 years which is nice when we want to leave and don’t have to make the house “dog-proof”.

But, I’ve also discovered that not having a dog tinkling in the back yard doesn’t scare the critters away so we get occaional visits now from, possums, raccoons and skunks.

Wonder if I could train a hamster to walk the perimeter of the palatial Foster estate?





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