Goodness, this topic from Sweeping Up Joy could not have come at a better (or worse depending on how you look at it!), time! Our daughter (with ASD) is positively infatuated with dogs, and has been begging us for one for years. It’s actually rather uncanny the way she has taken to them, and I confess that I do think it would be good for her emotionally. We are actually in the process of having a conversation about getting one, but as good as it would be for her, we also hesitate to take on that level of commitment – you know the whole committing to walk a dog in -30F weather, and scoop poop. So, what the outcome will be, remains to be seen.
So, onward to the questions of the week!
1. Did you have a favorite pet when you were younger?
Yes. A horrible, horrible cat named Goldie. Goldie was an orange male tabby, who had the personality of a rattlesnake, and despite drawing my blood on a regular occasion, I loved that cat. My great-aunt, a dear, sweet woman, knew I wanted a cat, so on one of her visits home (she lives 16 hours away), she and my grandmother took me to the pet store to pick out a cat – where I chose Lucifer’s cat.
I had the cat for several months; then one day our school had a “Pet Show”. I bought a collar and leash for my cat, and planned to proudly march him in the parade. My psychotic monster however had other ideas, and the second I put him down among the yapping dogs, hissing cats and other animals, he took off. Despite my family looking for him (how hard, I’m not sure), we never did see Goldie again.
A few years later, we got another cat when my father remarried – a beautiful purebred angora who had the disposition of an angel. But, for some crazy reason, she never did replace “Goldie” in my young eyes.
2. Do you have pets now? If so, what?
Yes. We own a grey male tabby cat, who is without a doubt, one of the nicest cats I’ve ever met. We call him Taz – short for the Tazmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny, because that is who he reminded us of. On the day we went to pick him out, he broke away from the pack of kittens, raced over to us, ferociously attacked my husband’s shoe, then scampered up his leg, until he was sitting on my husband’s shoulder, purring as contentedly as could be. And that was that. He was (and still is) a cuddly, affectionate… and positively crazy cat, who loved to run and chase things and seemed to have problems stopping himself before running into walls. Our “boy” is now getting up there – almost 13 years old, and I dread when that day finally comes.
We also have a fish tank that has a frequently changing occupation. Currently we have a guppy and a shrimp. We have also had snails, and other fish in there. It appears I’m not good at keeping fish alive long term. At first my children sobbed when the fish died, now they just walk on by saying, “Are you flushing another one?”
3. Have your kids eaten dog or cat food (either at your house or someone else’s)?
I’ll come right out and say it – yup, both of them. Now my son tried it at a more “socially acceptable” age of 2 – the age when everything goes in the mouth. My daughter on the other hand tried it just last summer, at the age of 5. It was there, she was curious, and so decided to raid our cat’s dish. Thankfully she decided it was gross, and suffered no ill effects. Interestingly enough, just the other day, she was taking her medicine and said, “Ugh, this is so gross. It tastes like cat food!” And I sat there wondering when on earth she had ever tried….?? Until I remembered. Oh yeah, that time!