October 14, 2010

JJ The Quality Cat

JJ is a cat. Our children love JJ with a burning passion. Despite the fact that Mia is allergic to him, she squeaks when she sees him. Owen loses his mind, manhandling JJ when he appears. JJ humors him and loves Owen back. JJ helps me with the yard work, hangs out in our backyard while we watch movies, and talks to us through the window while we eat dinner. JJ walks Mia to the school bus every morning and accompanies Beth and Owen when they walk to the bus stop to pick her up. He takes walks and bike rides with us. And more than once, JJ ended up at the pool with us.

JJ is not, however, our cat. He belongs to the neighbors but we, apparently, belong to him. And JJ is a quality cat.

Aside from Dorothy - Mia's goldfish who has now been with us for nearly two years - we haven't had a pet around the house since our two cats Callie and Pixel died four years ago. Since we later discovered (the hard way) that Mia is incredibly allergic to cats and dogs and has some overall challenges breathing, the pet vacancy in our house probably won't end anytime soon. In the mean time, I think we got the best of both worlds - a cat, without a cat.

How many pets do you have? And what are they? What is your most fondly-remembered pet?

Posted by Chris at October 14, 2010 6:56 AM

ok, get ready for this...we currently have 7 cats and one dog. We did have three dogs at one point (less cats at that time)

Sage and Bayley were our yellow labs. Bayley had some really bizzare behaviors, severe separation anxiety (she once chewed up the bathroom floor AND dug a hole in the wall all the way to the outside) and we spent a small fortune and took her to the best Vet clinics in the northeast. But she was just nuts. We had to have her euthanized after she chewed the crap out of her leg and I wont get into the details but it was pretty awful.

Sage was our first dog and we had her PTS last summer. She had cancer and a few strokes and was incontinent and fell down the steps and although it broke our heart, it was time.

We still have Trooper, our black lab/great dane mix. he is about 10 now but still going strong.

Our cats have all been strays that we have taken in. Bingo, VooDoo, Gumbo, Smitty, Pursy, Jax and Dixie. In addition to those we have taken in and found homes for about 15 other cats, including a pregnant one who had kittens under our couch.

My husband is already talking about getting another dog when trooper dies, but I say we wait until the humans outnumber the animals again.

The food and vet bills for the animals are insane as it is. Dixie was not supposed to stay with us, we found her when she was 3 weeks old and a friend was going to take her. Until Trooper bit her and we ended up with over $1000 in vet bills. She officially became ours then. Sweetest little thing with a crooked head.

Posted by: Lisa at October 14, 2010 7:57 AM

Our menagerie is pretty small right now, consisting of just 2 cats (Max and Fiona) and a tank full of fish. We lost both of our dogs to old age ailments this year :( Jasper was a 15 year old Australian shepard/husky mix and Tristen was a 14 year old German shepard/golden retriever mix. Jasper was my first dog and the pet love of my life and I miss him terribly. I'm desperate for a puppy (as are my kids), but have to wait until next summer for various logistical reasons. I'm sorry Mia is allergic, I can't imagine not having pets!

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 14, 2010 8:54 AM

Fenway and Isabelle - 9 year old beagles that were rescue dogs.

Go Skipa Golden Star - My daughters 8 year old Palomino horse.

Blackbeard - A 4 ft long King Snake that lives in my son's room.

My favorite pet was Hans, a dauschund puppy that we got for free shortly after we got married. He was our first child, and a great canine big brother to the kids.

Posted by: COD at October 14, 2010 9:12 AM

We have three cats (!!) I like to think of them in the three children description: Hogan, standard domestic short hair orange tabby, is the oldest at 7, Eros, Devon Rex Gray tabby, is the middle child at 5, and Hershey,Devon Rex Brown tabby, is the youngest at 2.

Eros plays the middle child syndrome really well! He'll beat up Hogan like no tomorrow but when Hershey does the same thing to him he gets all kinds of put out and mad!

Pictures of all of them are on my Facebook if you've never seen a Devon Rex..it's a good time! Also, Devon's are very good for people with allergies as they have very short, fine fur and are about 50/50 in-terms of fur to skin. They have the hairless cat as a cousin.


Posted by: Michelle at October 14, 2010 9:19 AM

Right now we have one cat (Benji - named after a former Giants catcher) and a stray who is brave enough to drop by and eat but not brave enough to venture past the food dish.

Benji dropped in one morning as I was cooking bacon and never left. My other kitty had died and Ray & I decided to not make an effort to find another. I knew that the right cat would find us and so he did. Wonderful cat - loves everyone; even dogs. Nothing bothers him.

Posted by: Ann Adams at October 14, 2010 9:26 AM

We have three Boston terrier and it was a very bad idea to get three dogs before having kids. Mostly because I don't necessarily care about them in the same way, now that my children require so much of my attention and brain power. Though I had a childhood dog, Barney, I think my first Boston, Todd, is my favorite. He was the dog my husband and I had in our first year of marriage and we had some good times.

Posted by: Claire at October 14, 2010 9:57 AM

We have a black russian terrier puppy right now. Her name is Evie. Seriously google Black Russian Terrier's because they are THE coolest dogs in existence. We also adopted a chihuahua/ border collie mix named Tia. Nobody likes her, she's a brat.

Have you ever looked into getting a non-allergenic dog for Mia?

Posted by: Holly at October 14, 2010 10:19 AM

We had a "not our cat" cat for a while too. Athena was a friendly stray cat the girls in the rental house on our property adopted to live outdoor and we played with. That story ended tragically with crazy manager threatening the girls eviction...so the girls, panicked and not able to find a no-kill shelter, decided to dump the cat on campus...with all the other abandoned and feral cats.

Nowadays, we found a new neighborhood cat who came by our complex every other day or so, whenever his owner let him out, I guess. The name tag said "Clark", probably the name of the family who owns him, but I call him that anyway. :)

Posted by: oakley at October 14, 2010 10:20 AM

We have one dog, a labradoodle puppy who is the biggest pain in my ass, but at least he's adorable. The kids BEGGED FOR HIM and now, they are less than enthused with him because they don't want to follow through on the training that would make him a great family pet. Consequently, he's a LOT of work (for me).

I'm allergic to dogs and cats, so... yeah, this is fun stuff.

Posted by: Sarah at October 14, 2010 10:36 AM

Sounds like you did better than that! A dog in cat's clothing? We have one big ole' long haired tuxedo cat. He is all cat - aloof & annoyed that anyone might dare to stare at his handsomeness.

As a kid, I had a cat who was a lot like JJ. He'd walk me to the bus and come wait at the bus stop for me to get home in the afternoon. He'd sit at the end of the driveway and wait for random joggers. As they approached, he'd dive in front of them, roll on his back, and require a love toll. The only drawback was his habit of bringing offerings and leaving them on the mat by the back door. I really didn't have a lot of use for decapitated blue jays & squirrels. I guess it's the thought that counts :).

Posted by: Kate M at October 14, 2010 10:44 AM

We currently only have 1 dog, Selah (Say-La), who is a female german sheppard we adopted 8 years ago. We figure she's anywhere from 9-12. An old sweet girl and the best damn napper I've ever seen. Seriously, she can lie down and be sound asleep within 30 seconds. So jealous of that skill. She used to have a buddy, Dryfuss, a male german sheppard that we had to say good bye to back in July. Our pond has probably about 100 goldfish now, that we do count as pets. I mean we feed them twice a day and take great care to make sure they live through the winter. I think you've got it made with the cat situation. My husband and I are both allergic to cats but I'd love to be able to have a barn/garage cat to help with rodent control if I didn't feel so bad about having a animal out on the loose.

Posted by: Jody at October 14, 2010 11:41 AM

We have 2 cats (Banana and Oreo) and 1 dog (Cooper).

My fondest memory of a pet is my bulldog, Baci. We got him as a puppy when I was in 7th grade and he immediately chose me as his person. He saw me through the teen years, dating, fighting with my parents, etc. I still miss him to this day.

Posted by: Kris H. at October 14, 2010 11:47 AM

I have two dogs. Archimedes, a red min-pin, and Gretchen, a black-and-tan miniature dachshund. I guess they are my fondly-remembered pets. Archie is all corners and very nervous all the time. Gretchen has no soul and can get comfortable anywhere. Last night she shed all over my husband's khaki shorts while she snoozed and we watched TV.

I've had two other dachshunds, both named Brandy, when I was younger, but I don't remember the first, and Gretchen is just as cool as the second. My dad had cats when I was in high school and college. They were both shelter cats. The first one was Flicka, and she sort of disappeared one day. The one they got two days before the 1989 San Francisco earthquake was named Spook, and he was put down last year because he got cancer.

Posted by: Brooke at October 14, 2010 11:50 AM

as a reward (bribe) for some good behaviour, two beta fish were recently purchased: Meap and Ariel (our youngest names everything Ariel).

Posted by: meanie at October 14, 2010 12:03 PM

We have cats. A LOT of cats. Since we live in the middle of several farms, dickheads and dumbasses feel it's okay to drop kittens and pregnant females in the yard, or across the road.(Sometimes they make it across, sometimes it's snowshovel time) I've spent a small fortune in vet bills to spay and neuter various and sundry kitties. Mostly they stay after they're fixed. We're not usually smelly, but it's a daily thing to keep it that way. Right now it's all cats-Barney, Maxx, Grace, Grunt, Willie, Ray Toast (aka The Toaster), Sissy, Reggie, Fancy, Mousey, Spot, Richard, Pierogie and Effin Kitty. Plus another litter born in the shed before I could catch and fix the mama. Anybody want a kitten?

Posted by: Amy at October 14, 2010 12:37 PM

and I forgot Guido. Guido has kidney stones, and should have a $2,000 surgery. Guido who has already racked up about a grand in vet bills. Guido who has to eat special food. He's orange & white, but has a golden ass.

Posted by: Amy at October 14, 2010 12:40 PM

I have one dog. An Australian Shepard. The last animal I will ever own. But she's nearly eight, so I suppose she'll be around for awhile longer. Ha.

I'm so not an animal person.

Posted by: Issa at October 14, 2010 12:52 PM

Our cat, Puck, is black with yellow eyes and will be 13 on October 31st. He's an amazingly friendly and good indoor cat.

Our neighbors have an outdoor cat and he has adopted us as well. He sits on our front porch, back porch, sometimes on or IN our cars (close those windows).

The two shall never meet and that's perfect.

Posted by: Brad at October 14, 2010 2:14 PM

i am so jeal of your cat with benefits. maybe that doesn't make any sense but you get the best of both worlds :)

we actually have a cat, briggs, and she is a total biotch. and we have a small dog, scout, and i could compete and win any disgusting dog story contest.

so many days i daydream about opening up the front door and just setting them both freeeeeee :) but i won't! i promise. hopefully.

Posted by: kati at October 14, 2010 2:24 PM

Four cats : Robert, a grey 5 year old cat rescued on a parking lot, Paulette, 2 year old tabby, Casper, her 5 month old son, and Pitchoune the half siamese, who is a little bonkers and won't enter the house but loves to be cuddled on the windowsill where her bowl sits. All are stray cats. Altogether we have had more than 30 cats in 25 years, many of them died a violent death (we used to live near a railway...) and cannot live without them, also because of the mice which have been known to invade our pantry during the short catless period !

Posted by: viviane at October 14, 2010 2:56 PM

I've got one cat, Julius, called Julie. He's white and gray, looks like he's wearing Egyptian eyeliner, has the pinkest nose ever and turned twelve sometime last month. I've had him since I was 22 and living in my first apartment, he was just a few weeks old when I got him and had to bottle feed him- he literally thinks I am his mother because of it.

Most memorable... Would have to be Tanya, the calico we had from the time before I can remember until I was in college- she was 18 or 19 when she died. We had a string of other cats in there, and I remember them too, but Tanya was always there.

Honorable mention goes to T.C. the brown and gray tabby though; the cat that chose us as his people. He showed up on the porch one day when i was in high school and never left. At first he'd just hang out on the chair on the front porch, or on the back step, and we'd say to each other "That cat is here again" and one day he ventured into the kitchen and helped himself to the food bowls. We finally figured we'd keep him, and my mom said to him "Well buddy, you need a name" and I said "Mom, his name is T.C., since we've been calling him That Cat for months now". May parents had him for about 4 years after that...

Posted by: Judy at October 14, 2010 3:16 PM

We have four cats: Dr. Jones, a tabby who is about to turn 1; Xena, a black shorthair cat who turns 4 this month; Trillian, a shorthaired dark tortoiseshell cat who's about 3; and Velvet, a medium-haired black cat with some obvious Persian bone structure who is about 10.

They're all sweet and fun with completely different personalities.

Posted by: Average Jane at October 14, 2010 4:03 PM

We had a cat, without a cat until he moved away a couple of weeks ago :-( We called him Free Cat but he was also known as Rambo and Tigger. We used to let him in the house but he marked his territory one too many times so we just used to chat to him in the street (he was very talkative).

My favourite pet was Moggy, my mum and Hugh got her after I left home and my sisters were spending more time out the house than in. They treated her like another child (not in a scary way, just the way they spoke to her) and she thought she was a person, used to sit on the spare stool at the kitchen table and watch us eat. Sadly she got run over when she was a couple of years old

Posted by: Katherine at October 14, 2010 4:11 PM

AS you know i have 4 dogs. Yes, four! My most beloved pet was my first dachshund, Shubi. She was truly the dog of my heart.

Posted by: Maribeth at October 14, 2010 4:44 PM

Four, yes, four beagles. It is a very loud household, but I wouldn't give them up for anything!

Posted by: Heather at October 14, 2010 7:59 PM

If you've spent any time on my Facebook account I'm sure you've seen pictures of my puppy Isabella.
She is a 4.6 lb. Chi-a-poo.
If you ever wanted to get a dog for the kids, if you get a poodle mix it makes the dog hyper-allergenic to Mia might be okay as far as her allergies. Just something to think about ;)

Posted by: Rose @Dozenroses13 at October 14, 2010 11:15 PM

We own (are owned?) by 1 cat - Max. He's pitch black right down to his whiskers and the pads on his paws. The hubby has always had cats, but I've always had dogs, so Max has been quite the learning curve for me, but I think I am now trained just the way he wants me to be ;-) You know what they say: Dogs have owners, cats have staff!

He's quite a big cat with a big purr-sonality to boot. He can be quite aggressive and very much an alpha-male (loves to hunt, kill and eat things as well) but he also adores being picked up and cuddled and having his tummy scratched (i.e. a teddy bear at heart). He has been known to takcle a seated person in an effort to be cuddled :-)

Posted by: Delia at October 15, 2010 3:56 AM

We have two cats, Kona & Murphy. They're ragdolls, and they're large. They shed a lot, they break stuff, and they're crazy. But they sleep on our feet, they follow us around and flop (google or youtube ragdoll flop for the full effect) for some belly rub lovin'. They greet us at the door when we come home (unless they are in a deeeep deep sleep, then it takes them a minute), and see us off at the door when we leave (by which I mean they try and escape). They have quirky little routines, and are very social: We call them our little dogs. I love them, and I am NOT not not a cat person. (All my husband's doing.).

We had a great dog growing up. She was a mutt, and her name was Shelby. Part greyhound, part german shepherd. She was an oddly beautiful dog, and very sweet (if a bit nuts).

Posted by: Caitlin at October 15, 2010 12:08 PM

As Leda has become very used to saying in the past month or so, we have one dog, two cats and three fish!

I had a cat who recently passed away earlier this summer (Dela). She had been with me over 18 years. She wasn't a very friendly cat, Leda barely got to touch her but once or twice. But I loved her to my core.

We have a Westie, "Lead on MacDuff", Duff for short, who is 11 years old and nothing like a typical Westie - he's much calmer, which we think is due to having been brought into a house with an older, calmer dog (Spike, who passed a year after we got Duff).

The fish, Wanda, Jet and Luna, are Black Moor Goldfish. Wanda was my "Fish called Wanda" moment (LOVE that movie!) and Jet and Luna we got later, who are mostly Leda's after we sent the "fair" goldfish to the big pond (actually a big pond on our property, not a euphemism!)

The two cats, they are new as of the beginning of September. It's a long story, I really wasn't ready for new kitties after Dela, but I fell in love immediately after meeting Captain Jack! Captain Jack is a 6 month old tabby who lost an eye to an abusive owner. He is the most lovable, trusting soul I've met and he stole my heart. Zoe is his sister. We adopted both of them and Zoe has quick become one of the most adorable, cuddly thing you have ever met. They both have amazing personalities and we are so glad that we were able to bring them into our home.

I think we are considering a new puppy soon, but time will tell!

Posted by: cyndy at October 15, 2010 2:12 PM

We have Oliver - our one year old Golden Retriever and we have Bird - a parakeet that is pretty quiet unless we're trying to watch a movie or have a conversation. Strange bird.

Oliver is still a "puppy" and having a puppy is a LOT of work. He wants to be a good dog, but he thinks like a puppy - Its a good thing he's cute. If he was someone elses dog - I wouldn't care for him... :p But this too shall pass -- seems like every could of weeks something that we've been trying to teach him will actually stick.. So I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Growing up - I had Sam - Sam was also a Golden Retriever and he was the best dog ever! He lived to be 14 - I got home from school one day, and he was so happy to see me! I let him out and never saw him again. We lived on a couple of acres, with about 50 acres of woods behind us. We figure he went off and died. I miss him, and there are days that I'm at my mom and dad's house and I swear I can hear his claws walking across the deck.

Posted by: molly at October 15, 2010 2:23 PM

2 cats inside, one testy outside cat, that, although cute, is, unfortunately only nice when he's asleep.. 3 fish that. just. won't. die.
How bout a pic of JJ?? Would love to see him in all his glory.

Posted by: Christine at October 16, 2010 12:09 AM

We've 4 cats right now--against my better judgment. FuzzBall (named by our then-2-yo daughter) is the oldest and grumpiest and showed up here a few days after we moved in; Kipling is a lovely gray fellow who spends all summer outdoors and sleeps in a laundry basket the whole rest of the year; Pixel (named for a cat in a Heinlein story) was a birthday present for our (now-9-yo daughter) earlier this year, a dog in cat's clothing and the friendliest cat I've ever known; Soren is the kitten who showed up a few weeks ago, to the children's immense delight, he and Pixel have become inseparable. Then there's a dog who belongs to the neighbors, but makes her way over here any chance she gets who is prompting us to reconsider our stance on owning a Jack Russell of our very own.

Posted by: nrbp at October 16, 2010 1:35 PM

We have a dog eating, kid loving, never can get enough affection Entlebucher. "Huh"...you say?....she's a smaller, short haired version of a Berniese (sp?)....loves, loves, loves kids and people would die for her family but can't stand other dogs....and has (unfortunately) had one for a snack...thankfully it lived....and she sqwacks like a goose....I kidd you not!

Posted by: Lujza at October 17, 2010 1:46 AM

I have 4 dogs who are a major part of why I'm still here.

Mikki is an SPCA mutt; corgi and shepherd? She looks like a shepherd with it's legs cut off at the knees. My first pet of my very own, she's been in my life for just shy of 10 years; outlasted 4 boyfriends and at least 8 moves.

Seamus is a shihtzu/pug mix. He's ugly as hell but he is so devoted to me it's sickening. He's a jackass but I love him.

Otis is a pug; got him as a friend for Seamus. He's dumb as a sack of hammers but he wants to make damn sure you're happier than you already are.

Chunk is my neurotic pug; he came from a rescue group after his human tried to kill herself. I took it as a sign.

I don't know what I'll do if I have kids!

Posted by: Melissa at October 26, 2010 10:19 PM