Sammy

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?

 

The Snakes Crawl In, The Snakes Crawl Out

After spending about an hour on the computer yesterday afternoon, I decided it was time for a break. As I walked out of the bedroom, I noticed the long black, snake-like tail of something across the floor just in front of the door. For a split second I thought to myself, “Damn toys.” I almost reached down, grabbed it and threw it out from the middle of the floor. Then it dawned on me. My grandson has a bright green rubber snake, not a black one! I called out, “Dad, I think we have a snake in the house!” He says, “Really? Where?” I told him and as he came to look, the snake started moving. It slithered across the shelves by the washing machine and then went behind it.

Great. It’s not bad enough this snake found a way into the house but now he’s under the dang washing machine. I wasn’t worried that it was a poisonous snake. I was pretty sure it was just a black rat snake. We’ve had them before around the yard near the house so we figured he came from under the house. No wonder we haven’t heard mice in the wall for quite some time. They are good for that, you know. What the cats don’t catch, the snakes do! I wondered, how will we get him out of the house? I texted my son and told him we needed help. Dad tried to chase the snake out, but it wasn’t cooperating. My son finally showed up and the two of them tried to persuade that poor snake to come out so C.F. could capture it and put it outside. [We don’t kill things like half the other people that live out here in the country. Seems like if it moves rednecks want to kill it, no matter what it is!]

Of course, my grandson was curious and wanted to see what was going on. He came in to watch and pretty soon that snake slithered out from under the washing machine and headed towards D.M.! I wasn’t in the room at the time, but S.R. said he wasn’t too thrilled about that snake coming toward him so she snatched him up and got him out of the line of fire. Turns out, the snake was just headed towards the hole that he came in from. We plugged up the hole, hopefully keeping snakes and other critters….spiders….from coming in.

Snakes don’t really bother me much as long as I know it’s there. I wasn’t too thrilled about this guy being in the house though, wondering if it would crawl into bed with me some night or slither out from under the couch and scare the daylights out of someone! I didn’t want him to get so hungry he would go after the ferret either! Of course, if a snake slithered into the ferret cage and managed to eat the ferret, it would then be too fat to get out of the cage! I’m sure that the ferret would put up one heck of a fight too.

So, the snake slithered in and then it slithered back out. No harm, no foul, and it lived happily ever after.