• Curious about veganism or vegetarianism? Why not ask us a question? (You don't have to sign up, or be vegan or vegetarian!)

The Good Memories thread

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
Some of us have mentioned that when the Companion Animal Memorial Thread comes up, it often means that someone has suffered the recent loss of one of their animal companions. There's definitely a need for a thread to share such sad news... but it is sad news.

For some time now, I've been wondering if it would be a good idea to have a discussion thread for sharing good memories of our animal companions who have passed on... adoption anniversaries!... birthdays, when we know them... their favorite things... our favorite things about them... but AFTER the initial hurt has receded. I'm not saying we eventually stop hurting completely. I don't know if that ever happens for any of us- and I'm pretty sure that we grieve in our own individual time: some animals' deaths hit me like a truck immediately, but with others, I felt it more years later. I just think that eventually we can focus mostly on all the good times we've had with our animal friends and not feel like we're making light of their passing.

I'm thinking of my family's cat Peasant. My sister and I found her in early Autumn of 1963(!) coming home from school; she lived until early 1972. I've known a lot of wonderful animals, but there was something about her...

Okay, a LOT of somethings....

I want to post about her, but not in haste. Maybe it's partly that she was the first animal I REALLY bonded with.
 

Dedalus

Mercurial and fleeting
Good idea for a thread, Tom. For all of the grief and sadness that I've felt over the loss of those cats that have shared some of my life - I would go through it all again just to have that time with them. It was worth it - because of the great memories.

I'm in.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Some 30+ years ago a cat "adopted" me and my family. It was a big ginger male cat. He was "intact" - we were very much opposed to invasive fertility-removal surgery at the time. Posthumously he was named Buster, but we didn't give him a name while he lived with us for some reason, probably because we figured he already had a name, and we didn't want to confuse him or disrespect him with a new one.

Anyway, he was a tough cat. One day the neighbours' dog, Snobben, came for a visit - he was an angry westie, and walked around outside on his own during the daytime, as was the custom in those days. On approaching the house, he discovered Buster on the stairs outside our house, and immediately went into a rage of barking. Buster stood his ground on the staircase. The barking continued, and at that point I invited Buster to come inside. He did come in at first, but then had a change of heart, and signalled that he wanted to go back outside. At 4 years old or so, I'm not sure what my thinking was exactly, but in any case I let Buster out again. Snobben had now come a bit closer to the staircase. Upon discovering that the cat was coming back out, he too had a change of heart, and decided that retreat was now required. Buster decided to make sure he left the territory properly. So it was cat chasing dog - an unusual sight, especially for 4 year old me.
 
Last edited:

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
In June of 2001, I adopted 5 female gerbils from a local shelter. At first I only adopted two- but later that month I called and the other 3 hadn't been adopted so I took them in also.

I was hoping I could get them all to live together, but in the 2 or 3 weeks, they had forgotten each other. When I tried to reintroduce them a fight broke out, so I immediately separated them and put them in separate cages before anybody had been injured.

Everyone lived happily after that. I often let them out into the bedroom where I kept their cages (in two separate shifts, to keep the peace) with the door closed so the cats would stay out and the gerbils would stay in. One time, I went in and couldn't find either of them. I heard the patter of gerbil feet coming from inside the mattress and discovered the girls had decided to go spelunking; they had evidently done chin-ups under the bed, gnawed a hole in the bottom of the mattress, and gone exploring. Fortunately, they were easy to lure back outside. And it was an old mattress anyway.

Then there was the time I was cleaning their cage while they were out in the room. When I opened the door to bring the clean cage back in, they were right inside the door... and scooted out into the hall where my cat Crystal was laying. (Time for Tom to PANIC!!!) Fortunately, Crystal was a very gentle cat and didn't bother the gerbils while I got them back into the room...

Happy Anniversary, Mama, Leia, Jitterbug, Lindsay, and Jaime.
 
Growing up, my family's first pet was a wonderful collie named Sean. He looked like Lassie and was the sweetest dog ever. We had pet rabbits and they would sleep in his long fur. My mom says he used to lie right next to the baby carriage when she had us out front to get some fresh air, and he patrolled the acre yard each night, forging a pathway around the perimeter by taking the same path each night.

He lived till I was 12, and soaked up many of my childhood tears. I have no digital photos of him, but lots in photo albums, as he was the original photo bomber. :D
 

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
The 30th anniversary of the day my family adopted Patches was this past May. She was a white-and-charcoal-gray cat; as I recall, we got her from my sister's best friend when their cat had kittens.

Patches could be a handful: she loved to play... sometimes at night when we were trying to sleep. I might have posted about how my dad would throw a wad of paper, she would run and catch it, and bring it back to him... and then drop it and playfully attack his stocking feet. Once, I took the paper and threw it... but she still brought it back to Dad and went after his feet. Sometimes she would doze off in the middle of foot-hunting.

I'll have to post a photo of her "sunning" herself under a lampshade.
 
Last edited:

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
Back in the summer of 1997, I adopted Harriet, a tortoiseshell cat no more than one year old. In late July or early August of 2000, I adopted two black-and-white rabbits, whom I named Hans (an adult mini-Rex) and Franz (a Dutch who was not fully-grown). I tend to adopt adults because I've always thought that they were harder to find homes for, but these two were in the same cage at the shelter and were already apparently friends. I figured I wouldn't have to go through any problems getting them introduced, as can sometimes happen with any two animals. I named them after the Saturday Night Live characters partly because the shelter initially got their gender wrong- they were supposed to be does, but they were actually bucks.

Harriet was sweet. But she had issues using the litterbox, so shortly after I adopted her, I started crating her with food, water, and a litterbox when I was not home, and let her out when I came home or as soon as I saw she had used the litterbox, praising her. Later, when I wasn't crating her anymore, she often went to the litterbox and used it as soon as I came home...

My animals liked large cardboard boxes to play with. I would put a wad of paper in the fingerhole, with Harriet inside it, and she would swat it so it went flying. Sometimes she would go into the box, reach out of the hole with her paw, and then stick her head out, inviting me to play. Riley and Philip had their own game: Phil would doze off on top of a box, eyes half-closed. Riley would glide into the box noiselessly and suddenly goose Phil through a hole in the box with his paw. Phil would snap his eyes open, jump down, and the two of them would be wrestling!

Hans and Franz liked boxes too- they'd hang out in them, chew them to shreds, etc. (I made sure large staples, plastic labels, or anything else that might hurt a cat or rabbit were gone before they got them). But the rabbits could be very food-oriented. If I was eating something that they thought they would like a taste of, first Hans would circle around my feet- and if that didn't get my attention, he'd nibble on my toenails. I'd share it with both of them, but for some reason Franz would often try to take Hans' morsel.

Sometimes I would bring fresh grass (and other foods) inside for the rabbits, and my cat Riley liked to eat some of it. I'd heard of the lion lying down with the lamb, but this was strange to see...
 

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
^^^ They were!

Hans was the most affectionate of the 3 rabbits I've adopted. I'd get down on the floor with him and Franz, and the three of us would take turns grooming each other. His warm little tongue would work on my scalp for a minute, then I'd stroke him, and then he and Franz would nuzzle and groom each other...

Tomorrow I'll celebrate Peasant's birthday. As I mentioned above, we found her when she was a kitten and we sort of settled on July 23rd as her birthday. She was another one who was into grooming me- that rough tongue of hers could almost make my skin raw! Then I would scratch both sides of her muzzle at once, and she liked that. She liked to reach for her food dish with her paw when we took it to put food in it. She used to watch the litter from her litterbox go down the toilet when we got rid of it- although it didn't seem to bother her that we took the stuff away. You had to be careful with your feet- she often liked to be around them, especially if she thought you might have food, and she got her tail or foot stepped on about once or twice a month. She didn't damage furniture, and didn't hunt (except for flies). Although the only time we let her outside was at this summer resort in the Adirondack Mountains, where there was no through-traffic, so we figured it was safe... but in retrospect, although nothing happened to her there, we probably were taking a risk we shouldn't have.

Once my sister brought a kitten home from a friend. My parents decided we had to give this kitten back- but as they were feeding the kitten, Peasant was just looking at her from another chair. She didn't attack the intruder, but I get the feeling she didn't miss her either. Another time, my sister was taking care of a few gerbils for a friend of hers. They were in a cage, but Peasant ignored them. (That's probably another time when an unnecessary risk was taken, although nothing happened).

Happy 51st birthday, Peasant.
 
Last edited:

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
^^^ Cute! I'm sorry he ran away but some dogs are escape artists...

I wrote about Peasant and Crystal a little bit in this thread, and this month will be their anniversaries. I adopted Crystal the day after the 9/11/2001 attacks, but not because of them- I'd been thinking about adopting another cat for some time. She was about the same age as my other 2 cats, and for some reason I picked her because she was rather quiet. I took her home and kept her in my bedroom to start with, but two days later, noticed she hadn't been using her litterbox. I took her to the vet and had to leave her over the weekend for some intestinal irrigation. I 'd been planning to go out of town Friday and Saturday, but left on Saturday instead.

Monday I picked her up, and I remember the look on her face when I opened the carrier and she found herself in the bedroom where she'd been staying. I swear she remembered being there and realized she had a home.

Happy Anniversaries, Peasant and Crystal.
 

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
Back in December 1956, my family adopted a black tomcat. He had 2 names: Tomkit and Riley. He and I weren't that close (I was only 4 when we got him and didn't really know how to act around him), but I remember he was a rather laid-back cat. My Mom once told me that even though he didn't often seem that affectionate, one time my sister was sick and was in the hospital for a few days, but when she came back, he stayed under her crib now and then for a few days. I think he would have been born around this time of the year, or maybe a little earlier.

I looked up the Top 40 radio songs of that time, and "Don't Be Cruel" was getting a lot of airplay at that time... good music for a tomcat (anything by Elvis, actually- but "Hound Dog" would have been even better!!!!)

Happy 58th birthday/anniversary, Tomkit.

And happy upcoming 18th anniversary, Dory (The Hamster Who Came For Halloween).

ETA: Karen, Sam is cute in that picture... but I can't figure out what he's sitting in?
 

Dedalus

Mercurial and fleeting
When I was a kid we had a St. Bernard named Holly. She used to follow me everywhere - we lived on 60 acres and I'd go exploring but she was never far behind, always keeping an eye on me. She used to follow me to my friend Duane's house and if I went inside a lot of the time she'd hang around outside until I came back out. One summer I took a trip with my grandfather and was gone for a week. When I got back - Duane said that while I was gone, Holly showed up outside his house barking a few times.

That broke my heart in a good way.
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
Been thinking about Bogart a lot. It still amazes me, the connection I felt with him, when I only knew him for a year. And how he could be so ornery and such a mush at the same time. This is him snuggled up against my leg. You couldn't pick him up or hold him or get him to sit on your lap, but he had to be touching me when he laid down beside me.
 
Top