Cats or Dogs

Which is your favourite? Or are you not a fan of either?

I prefer cats as my sleeping companions, dogs as my outside companions (yes, they live inside with me – what’s the point of having them guard the back garden if someone gets into the house and threatens me from the front? Yes, it’s happened).

I like birds in trees rather than cages, and I prefer fish in the seas and rivers, lakes and streams – although I did have a set-up once for aquaponics (where the fish-poo feeds the plants and the plants clean the fish water – it’s a good system, and even a small space can be utilised for production, and yes, I ate the fish and the veg, although some people thought it cruel to kill the fish. Hey, we all gotta eat).

Most of my life has animals as part of everything. Working animals – dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, etc. It takes a lot of work, and some of them were farmed for food (yes, did that myself, too), and some were pets. Some were both – why let an old hen live for so many years without friendly interaction before she ups the bandy legs skyward and becomes an ingredient in the food for other pets (it’s not a lack of affection on my part, only good economics when you live on a rural farming property – everything has at least two uses).

Soon, though, will come the time when the house will be bereft of pets. The old cat (aka Slim, named for Slim Dusty‘s singing voice) passed to the other side a while ago, and now there’s only Pepsi, the Tenterfield terrier, who’s on her last two legs.

The last time this happened – the house empty of pets after they cross that bridge to away – it took five years to talk SO into taking on another.

It was an empty time.

Sure, there were birds coming into the garden, neighbours dogs, visiting critters (even a snake, but we moved it back to the bush area) … but an empty goodnight ritual. The old cat liked to stretch out along my side or back as I read in bed before turning off the light. I always thought it was for my benefit, but his old bones needed the warmth. I miss him.

The dog before Pepsi was 20.8 years old when she decided it was too hard to go on. We broke then, but when her faithful companion cat of 15 years also died a month later, it was … well, words don’t do it justice.

That’s Boof (aka Thumper) and his pet dog, Ebbie (he wanted to know how to bark!)

And as I get older, I remember the pains from the losses, and I wonder if there will ever be another pet, whether furred, feathered, scaled or created.

All the toys, the bedding, the crates and paraphernalia that come to be part of life, the harnesses with so much fur it could make a fluffy toy, the leads of varying lengths and colours, the tags and rags and holey towels …

The house will be empty, and I’m wearing the pain before the event, paying taxes on money not yet earned, taking my memories and imposing them on the still-living.

That has to end.

Decision: make every day count. Make every moment of every day mean something. Get a camera. Record the moments that will make the memories linger, and will eventually bring light to the gloom.

Yes, that’s it. A camera, which means a phone, which means learning new tech to use to record snatches of memories.

Okay, that was a ramble, but this is still a pre-written and scheduled post because I needed enough to get me through to the end of April. This one should be out sometime near the end of March, but I still have to think of more posts for April.

Next week, you’ll see if it gets worse, or … what’s worse than worse? Lost? I’ll try to stay away from maudlin, promise.

31 thoughts on “Cats or Dogs

  1. I know what you mean. I lasted 6 days after losing Barney and then we got Maggie. I swore no more dogs after we lost her, but I was kidding myself. As the months went on, I got more and more depressed even though I was having puppy fixes by the truck load locally. About a year ago, Hubby said I was shit without a dog so we started looking. It was an eye opener and something we thought would take a few days, took months. Now we have Maya, as GSD pup of some 17 weeks and we’ve had her four. She’s going to be big, but she has a leg in each corner and a waggy bit, which is all I wanted. I’ve had two adult shepherds before but never a pup, though both Barney and Maggie (border collie and sprollie respectively) were 8 weeks old when they adopted us. It’s hard work, but the rewards…………..!!! We have two dogs at the moment, one snoring her head off and the other fast asleep on my foot.

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  2. cats vs dogs doesn’t really bother me. Having either means that the owner has experience of putting someone else before themselves. Just that quality in someone is invaluable.
    I know I will always have animals, as long as I am able. Losing them is heartbreaking, for sure, but I know that they will have a better life here than they will otherwise have had. I can’t envisage ever nopt wanting to help.
    Memories? Just close your eyes.

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    • Apart from when a child, I’ve taken on dozens of foster animals – dogs, kids, cats, horses, chooks, a few lizards … but cats are part of my soul, and dogs are part of my heart, and they all helped with the foster kids with their affections and lack of inhibitions.

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  3. We adopted 2 of our 3 current dogs as elders after their original caretaker died. I worry now about what might happen to them if something happens to us; they did not weather the last change well. I have almost always lived with a cat, and I don’t have one now. I was raised by a cat. Life without one is…just not right.

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  4. I love both. We had a cat for 22 years. Grew up with the kids. Never had a dog but we often adopt friends dogs just for walks or laps.

    My pets now are only what is wild in the yard. And if that squirrel gets my strawberries he’s going to meet the broom. Donna

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  5. In answer to your question, dogs AND cats. I have had a very special friend who also happened to be a cat, and a very special friend who was a dog. Mitty’s been gone for over 30 years, Kushie for 14. I still miss them both. There have been good friends before and since, but those two…
    Love happens. You can’t force it, and you should never lock it out. -massive hugs-

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  6. It’s dogs all the way for me. I love to cuddle other people’s cats?but in my house I enjoy dogs. The rescue i have now doesn’t like other dogs. Otherwise I would have a second one. She is even more spoiled since I’ve retired.

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  7. I love dogs and l love cats too. Where l am currently living wouldn’t be good for a cat and as much as l miss Scrappy, l am also enjoying the time of not having a dog in my life. So l will go with earthworms.

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  8. You had a dog live 20 years and nine months?! Wow. My old gentleman (coon hound greyhound mix) is quite long in the tooth, and he’s only about 13. I’m a dog person. The hubster is a cat person. We somehow make our mixed marriage work.:-)

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    • Dogs’n’Cats livin’ together.
      I’ve never had too much of a problem with the mixes in the same household. Not for long, anyway. Foster kids and foster animals learn the same lessons when it comes to socialisation. Including the cats [I might be in trouble for that comment, but making an old cat the pack leader by giving him right of way over all other animals and acting as his 2IC meant the household ran smoothly, or he’d get a claw out and smack someone on his way past].

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