Most people would add pictures of their hubbies and children here – not me! We don’t have children so over the years we’ve had cats and now cats and dogs – yes they can and do live quite happily with each other, who have enriched our lives and given us hours of pleasure and laughter so meet the family as it currently stands…
Molly came from my then hairdresser when her cat had two female kittens. She was only day’s old, hadn’t opened her eyes and could sit in the palm of your hand – absolutely adorable! She came to live with us at 8 weeks old and has been fantastic fun ever since. Climbing curtains, watching Roger, the then eldest of the gang using the cat flap and taking a giant run and leap at it to follow him, curling up inside a dressing gown or shirt or sat watching the dogs with a look of complete perplexity on her face at their idea of fun i.e. chasing around after each other or a ball with a crazy look on their faces.
At 14 years old she is most definitely the boss of our little gang of pets.
Lixie adopted us – and the other cats didn’t do a thing to stop him, though Molly did hiss at him and then pretty much ignored him for the first year or so!
He joined us within weeks of us moving in. A lovely sunny day, with the back door wide open and I went into the hall to find him sat half way up the stairs, watching the world go by; a cat’s favourite occupation. He wasn’t a bit bothered when I gave him a quick fuss and shooed him out the back door telling him he didn’t live with us. The quick friendly fuss was probably my big mistake, as that seemed to tell him that we were the new local ‘push over’ when it came to popping in for an uninvited visit, especially on cold, wet evenings when he would slink in through the cat flat and lie full length under the radiator only going out when someone approached him – as if he knew he hadn’t been invited.
After several conversations with neighbours and the local children it eventually became clear that most of the children claimed him as their own – he’s a friendly soul always ready for a stroke and cuddle; and all the parent’s said he wasn’t! Though most did admit to feeding him at some point in the week as he didn’t seem to belong to anyone. He’s not daft this one! So what did we do… well we added him to our then 4 cats of course (to much head shaking and sighing from all aged P’s), after all they’d been quite happy to have him as a house guest over the preceding few months and he’s been with us ever since, some 10 years.
Now our parents would say that getting Lucy was one of our impulse decisions – not true we cry! We’d talked a lot over the years about getting a dog, but with us both working full time (and long hours at that) it never seemed a good idea. Then things changed and the hubby would be working from home, only going out for meetings so it became a possibility. A trip to the RSPCA led to a visit for a home check and 10 days later we went along to look at who they had in that may be suitable.
Before they take you through to view the dogs they ask you a couple of questions about what size and breed of dog you are looking for. We were pretty easy on that, a bitch (better temperament we thought), a mongrel (less health issues than a pedigree) and ‘about knee high’ we thought, given the size of our house and garden and it’s exercise needs once it was fully grown; with just one definite – it had to be a puppy so the cats could teach it it’s place in the hierarchy i.e. the bottom.
I thought they may find that all a big vague, but it turns out we were seen as having quite a clear idea of what we were looking for!
We’ve both been to the RSPCA before, having got one of our older cats, Roger, there in the past, but it’s not a place either of us find easy to visit, wanting to ‘take them all home’. Anyway as it turned out whilst they had some lovely dogs in, not many were puppies and some were known not to be good with cats so we felt less guilty fussing them and walking on to the next pen than we might have done.
At the end was the most beautiful Staffie Cross (Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Labrador as we later found out) bitch puppy. Chocolate brown with a white ruff at her throat and eyes to die for. So I picked her up, she nuzzled into my neck and that was that – yes there were a couple of other bitch puppies, yes they were beautiful and sweet but they weren’t her. The hubby had said that cuddling her would be a mistake but even he had to admit he was smitten… so home she came.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, she’s grown up to be just knee high!
OK the aged P’s were right on this one being an impulse, one of our better ones I might add! October 2010, one of our neighbours, whose children we knew quite well from fussing Lucy and playing on the grass opposite the house, came over to ask for our help. With him? A tiny 6-7week old Staffie puppy.
His dilemma? He’d taken this male puppy (we always said we’d only have bitches) in as a mistreated 4-5 week old puppy but his two Staffies wouldn’t tolerate him so he needed a new home for him. Now Staffies are fantastic family dogs and despite their ‘bruiser’ looks are really very sweet natured and unless trained otherwise, pretty soft and completely daft. But their one failing is that they don’t all get on with other dogs. Now we think that training and refusing to accept anything other than good behaviour around other dogs, can deal with most if not all of the problem, but his two, whilst very sweet, are known for not playing well with others.
So, did we know anyone who might be able to help him out? He’d bought him toys and bowls, even purchased a dog cage to keep him safe from the others, spending a small fortune in the process but his wife had made him admit it wasn’t going to work out.
Whilst this conversation was going on Lucy and the puppy were happily chasing each other around the hall and he kept coming up to us for petting, as if checking we were all still there as he needed us – awww…
Now we did try to be sensible, honestly we did! We said that we didn’t know anyone else but that we had talked about a second dog as company for Lucy (which was true, as it had turned out she wasn’t particularly happy being left on her own, even for short periods). But that it was a big decision to take on a second dog and we would need to talk and think about it – could we have a couple of days? Fine he said and off he and puppy went back home.
Now we had planned to talk it about, but hubby needed to take Lucy out for a quick walk and get milk from the shop so off he went. In the meantime I sat thinking ‘what will we call him?’ Home comes hubby 20 mins later with milk and puppy food – well what can you do?
Well, you can walk across to the neighbours and say of course we’ll have him, when do you want us to collect? As it turned out – that evening! So an hour later, time for him and the children to say goodbye and Floyd joined us. Named after Pink Floyd of course – who else? as my hubby would say.