life at a glimpse...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I never set out to be 'the crazy cat lady.' I mean, it's really a slow process, who's roots stem back to my earliest days on this planet.

I was the bee whisperer when I was a mere seven years old...I would coax them into the palm of my hands with a dandelion, or just a lot of naivety and patience. I only got stung once during my bee wrangling days - and this didn't deter me from loving the fuzzy little critters.

I was also known (possibly only to myself, as I'm not sure anyone else in my family was privy to such information) to run a small bug hospital - mostly for injured flies - on my window sill. The injured insects would convalesce in a small jar filled with tissue and grass, and received regular visits from their crazy ward nurse. I felt that it was our fault that the poor fly had injured itself in the first place - innocently buzzing along at mach 5 and then - BAM! - death shield of glass stops it nearly dead in its track. Geesh.

My love for lizards and stray cats and rabbits and fish, dogs,hamsters and birds had no bounds, and followed me into adult-hood.

We always had cats and dogs growing up. We went through dogs like socks, it seemed. One dog was too yappy, one needed a home with a larger yard, one was too aggressive, one got left behind with the widow that fed him ground sirloin and doughnuts. One dog moved to Germany. I actually never once had to deal with one of them passing away - they just sort of got recycled.

I have had some bum luck with pets over the years: Crazy Cat, who apparently never took to human contact - unless of course you count his claws digging into the flesh of your legs. I had one cat run away - but I'm pretty sure that had something to do with a bitter roommate terrorizing it while I was out of town. That was also the same cat that got hit by a car and ended up with a broken leg which cost me more than I made in a month. I lost two cockatiels. Long story. OK - I'll tell you:
I took the female on a walk with me, because she was super tame, and if she ever flew away - it was only a few feet, and always came back. So I though, "Let me take her on my favorite walk in the woods - I'm sure she'll enjoy being out in nature." Well, all was going well until owner with large dog comes walking along. Didn't factor in this when I went on my get-close-to-nature-outing. Bird flies away. I call pet store for advice. They tell me that sometimes if they hear their mate calling, they'll come back to them. So, I get male bird (I'm sure they had real names, but I can't remember them right now), put him in my little birdy carrying cage, and set out for the area of the trail that I'd lost his long-time companion. Now, two other things that I didn't really take into account: 1) Male bird didn't have very loud pipes on him, and 2) The carrying cage had a large hole on one side, where the water feeder was supposed to be. So, as I was arriving at the spot of supposed rescue, I look down, and to my utmost horror, see male bird sitting on top of the cage. And at the exact moment that this happened, male bird took to flight to join the small flock of cockatiels which now called Whatcom Fall's Park, their home. Did I mention that this took place in early Fall, when all the leaves in the area were the exact same color as my yellow cockatiels??? Long story short: I recovered female bird then next day (due to the fact that I traded my sense of pride for local loony person, and wandered around whistling bird calls as loudly as possible, until she heard me, and finally flew back to me). Don't ask how I then proceeded to lose her a year later. Just don't.

Currently, I have: One adorable guinea pig, "Honey." One precocious rat, "Ginger." Two cockatiels (no I won't be taking them for walks), "Mama and Papa Birds." And, two fish tanks. I adopted the birds because my friends' mom adopted some kittens, so her birds couldn't come out of their cages anymore, and I adopted the large fish and fish tank because they'd been abandoned in an apartment building. And the two goldfish which are now in the big tank, because my sister's insurance company didn't want them anymore.

Now, some people think I'm taking it too far when I let my guinea pig roam around on my couches and in my bed. Or let my rat wander around my living room collecting small edibles that we've dropped. Or letting the chicken that I babysat for a couple of days roam free in my home...But really, what's a little poop here and there? That's what vacuums are for! And paper towels! I just hate seeing them all cooped up, and I try to treat them like I'd want to be treated if I were caged.

There was one moment where the idea that maybe I had crossed over into crazy really did sort of hit home; I was sitting at my computer with a hissing cockroach on my lap, and a bird on my head. This was a bit awkward. And I did end up donating the cockroaches to the children's museum. Well, only because I was the only one giving them any attention, and they sometimes got out of their cage (my son found it wrapped inside my yoga mat).

OK. I am the crazy cat lady. I admit it. But I don't actually own any cats, and I haven't left any guinea pig droppings in my bedding for a really long time.
I just love my little beasties!


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