Let me just preface this post with this statement: I love animals. Yes, I do. Now just plant that fact in your brain while you read the rest of this.
Our oldest daughter went off to college many years ago at Kansas State University and began dorm life. Our youngest daughter was four years younger, just a high school sophomore at the time.
Trips home for the weekend were extremely frequent for our KSU girl, and that suited me just fine. Until the weekend she brought a rabbit home that someone had given her. What? A rabbit? In a dorm? Well, yeah, that wasn’t working so well. So she asked us to house the rabbit for her until she was in a position to care for it herself.
The rabbit was a beautiful black and white lop-ear named Foley. I knew zero about rabbit care. But I soon learned that the animal was named “Foley” because of a chronic urinary incontinence problem. So, the full name was Foley Catheter, just shortened to Foley.
Thus, the rabbit cage smelled and had to be cleaned more often than our own bathroom. Who did that cleaning? Well of course youngest daughter loved the rabbit and promised to care for him. But that got old REAL fast and pretty soon the cage smelled, the house smelled, and I couldn’t get rid of the smell in my nostrils.
We (probably me) decided that rabbits were designed for outdoor living. That proved to be unwise and unkind. But no way was the animal coming back into my house. Huh-uh. Nope. So youngest daughter found a home for it on a friend’s farm.
I’ll be honest, we didn’t really inquire about how the rabbit adapted to its new farm life. I’ll be REAL honest and tell you I didn’t really care. 🙂
Chapter two of pet life with the college girl happened when a boyfriend bought her a parakeet as a gift. Mr. Peterson was the bird’s name. He was named after a neighbor down the street.
College girl came home for Thanksgiving break and of course Mr Peterson accompanied her. We hung his cage in the main floor office room of our two story home. The bird required little care and both the daughters adequately kept the cage clean and the bird fed during that one week break.
Thanksgiving break came to an end and College Girl decided it would be just a brilliant idea for Mr Peterson to stay at home with us until Christmas break. High school daughter totally agreed and somehow Dad and I just went along with it. Whatever. Full disclosure, Dad had very little to do with both that decision and said bird.
I kind of liked the bird and he was way easier to care for than Foley the rabbit. His cage was hanging near a window in the office and the bird proved to be a decent house guest for the most part. I kind of enjoyed talking to Mr Peterson and watching him sit on his perch.
Until the day I heard him screaming. Blood-curdling noise at an incredibly high decibel level. I was the only one at home and I ran in to the office to see what on earth was wrong. I quickly discovered the bird hanging onto the wires of the cage with a long string of thread from the curtain wrapped around its neck. I believe he had pecked at the window curtain through the bird cage until he very nearly hanged himself. I don’t believe it was intentional. 🙄😜 His life was pretty cushy there at our home 😁
I was able to remove the string from around his neck and he seemed to recover quickly. Whew! Didn’t need that guilt trip with the College Girl.
So the days went by and every day after work I’d come home and visit Mr Peterson, giving him food/water. One morning as I went downstairs to get ready for work I thought to myself, “What does a bird look like when it sleeps? Does it just sit on its perch with its eyes shut? Does it somehow assume a reclining position on that perch?” Couldn’t see the bird on its perch so I walked over, climbed up on a chair and looked inside the cage to find it lying on its side on the bottom of the cage. “Hmmm. That’s interesting.” And off to work I went.
When I came home from work to find him in the exact same position, reality hit. I felt pretty stupid. (valid feeling, huh?) The phone call to College Girl was painful. It was the day of final exams for the semester. Ouch, Mom!
And wouldn’t you know it, she went out and bought herself another dang bird. Wisely, she didn’t ever bring that one home.
At this point you may be thinking “There ain’t no PETA in BeNITA“. Yeah, I deserve to be thought of that way. But please, please….it’s not true. I love my pets. Well, outside of one beautiful seal point Himalayan cat afflicted with severe psychosis. The cat was a gift from a friend of my sister. Boo (his name) was purebred and high dollar. The original owner had spent beaucoup bucks having one of its three ears (yes!) removed as well as having all its claws removed and of course neutering the poor feller. So, really, the diagnosis of psychosis should have been highly anticipated.
Currently we have one pet, our precious Boston Terrier. She’s nearing 14 years of age. Which is right about the age when you might expect a Boston to pass away. Let me tell you, people, it will break my heart. She’s the best dog ever, though she is really, really starting to show her age. I can sense that it won’t be a real long time before…… I can’t say it. 😢😭
And yes, it will break my heart. But already I’m shopping for her successor in the pet department. Rabbit? Absolutely not. Parakeet? No way. Cat? Huh-uh. Another puppy…..definitely. I love my doggy.
Gotta admit, though, not sure I’m cut out for doing the whole “pet rescue” plan. Surely you agree.