I was going through some old posts last night and nearly burst into tears when I saw this post. It was when poor ol’ Korn was a much younger cat and the life of the party, so to speak. I miss him and his buddy Fuzz, too. Furbabies aren’t just pets; they’re family.
These are my great-grandparents, the Yunkers. Originally, it was Junker but when they came to the US it was changed, as were many surnames. I don’t know too much about them, except that they left Germany and went to Russia before coming to the US. I grew up thinking so many of the foods I had grown to love were German foods when many of them were actually Russian recipes with my grandmother’s German spin. Go figure! I never knew my great-grandfather, but my great-gramma was a kick in the pants!
I’m sharing an old post from December of 2013. I had experienced some major upset in my life and after a year of therapy, found myself in a better place. This post is a prime example of what happens when some people don’t get what they want from you. I had learned that I have to take care of me and set boundaries. That’s all I was trying to do.
In my younger days (way younger), I went backpacking with my Dad. We went to lakes in the mountains that were harder to get to; lakes where you wouldn’t find the average camping folks. We had to hike several miles to get to these lakes. It was glorious to be in the mountains, alongside a beautiful lake with trout jumping, birds singing…with no phones, no radios, no cars, no tv…and sometimes no people.
Normally, we wore long pants and long sleeves while hiking even if it was hot because it helped keep the mosquitoes off and kept us from getting sunburned. I didn’t mind wearing shorts around the campsite sometimes but that’s back when I was a teenager and had a decent figure!
Being a teenager of just 15 years old, If I was going to wear shorts at any time at all, I was not going to be caught dead with unshaved armpits or legs! Every 2 days, it had to be done, regardless of the weather! So, one afternoon, I gathered up my shaving tools, my towel, soap, and shampoo and headed to a nice secluded place by the lake to take a bath.
There was a bit of a breeze this particular afternoon, and I thought nothing of it. First, I washed my hair. I brought along a large plastic bowl so I could scoop water and not pollute the lake with soap or shampoo when I rinsed. I managed to get my hair washed with no problem. Next, I washed the rest of me and was ready to shave my legs. It was starting to get a bit chilly with that breeze. Still, not thinking about the breeze or the goosebumps forming on my legs, I started to lather up so I could shave.
When I was finished shaving, to my shock and horror, I discovered I had shaved the teeny tiny tips of my goosebumps right off! I didn’t feel any pain at all until I rinsed my legs. I was mortified! My legs were bleeding and I looked like a million mosquitoes trapped me in the tent and had a feast on me! The stinging sensation had me yelping and frantically rinsing, trying to cool off the pain. How could I be so dumb? What did I think was going to happen when I raked that damn razor over those goosebumps?
Obviously, I wasn’t thinking.
I got to thinking the other day about all the pets I have had in my lifetime. I’ve had several, as have most people I suppose. Having pets teaches kids so many things, like responsibility and empathy. Since I was a kid I’ve been a softy for animals and I’ve always cried like a baby (even now) when a beloved pet dies.
My first pet was a male German Shepherd. His name was Blitz, which was short for something in German, but I just don’t recall what that was. He was very protective of me and our backyard. We had to rehome him because he tried to bite many people who got too close to the fence, including a man who worked for the city electric company. My parents thought it was best to avoid getting sued.
We eventually got another dog when my baby sister was just barely able to talk. The dachshund-beagle mix was named MiMi because all my bratty little baby sister could say was, “Me! Me! Me!” She lived to be a ripe old age but had to be put down when she started to develop tumors. (The dog, not my baby sister.)
I was in the 5th grade (I think) when the class guinea pig had babies and the teacher decided to draw names for who would get to take a baby home as a pet. I just happened to win one! I named my little guy Snorky, after one of The Banana Splits. If you don’t know who they were you can Google it. Snorky always squealed his guinea pig squeal when he heard the refrigerator door open. He knew we kept his veggies in there.
We had a hamster when we were growing up, too. I don’t recall its name but I do remember one night we heard a squeaking-squealing noise and we thought it was Dad making his weird noises. Turns out the little hamster got out of its cage and our cat Fluffy had it cornered. Mom saved its life.
We had a cat named Fluffy, as mentioned above. I don’t know what happened to her but I remember when she had babies. There were 5 or 6 of them. I think that’s when I developed my eternal love and admiration for cats.
We had a tomcat named Tom when I was a baby/toddler. I have a photo of me holding Tom but I don’t remember him. I remember Mom telling me years ago that Tom would be gone for days and when he returned, he was always covered with ants! (Maybe this is when my love of cats developed and not with Fluffy!)
I think we had pet mice at one time, too! I recall having 2 mice in an old aquarium made into a mouse house. Then, insanely, we had about 3,024 babies and had to give them to a pet store! No more mice!
One of my most unusual pets growing up was a tortoise named Sammy. He lived in our backyard. I don’t recall where we got him. He lived in and under an old dog house. I fed and watered him every day. He was something! Sometimes, he would leave our backyard and would be missing for days, even weeks at a time. The neighbors would find him in their gardens and bring him back to our house. He was really hard to see, so we painted yellow spots on his shell so we could find him more easily. We eventually donated him to the local zoo so he could be with other tortoises. We visited on occasion but since his yellow spots wore off, we couldn’t tell which one was Sammy anymore!
Since I grew up (hahaha) I can’t even remember how many pets I’ve had. But I CAN tell you, they’ve mostly been cats! How many pets did you have as a child? What was the most unusual pet you had?