Excellent words to all of you.
I am from Louisiana originally, but moved to Tennessee in 1999. I was a devout dog-person until I met my wife who, when we met, was down to her last cat (he was sick and had to be put down shortly after we met). I ALMOST didn't even date her because she had a cat. That's how much I hated cats.
We moved to TN and were not allowed to have pets inour apartment. Suited me fine. We became foster parents. Seems my wife is so big-hearted, she's always rescuing something. Heck, I can't complain. She married me, didn't she!
One day our foster daughter came in witha n orange tabby following her. I commanded my wife not to fall in love with the loathsome beast, but to no avail. Mango (pronounced MAHN-go) was added to the family.
Another stray had been hanging around the house, and since Mango never really took to me, I tried to make him jealous by paying attention to the other stray. This one was looked like a Maine Coon, but I can't be sure of the pedigree, of course. Wife named this one Smyrna, but I renamed HIM "Nick" after we took him to the vet. He was a mess. His ear was nicked up with bite marks (hence his name), one of his fangs had a broken tip, he had a BB at his collarbone and another along his spine. He was starved and dirty and had a bad case of worms.
When I took food to him, he stood on his hind legs and waved at the plate. He was quiet and frinedly and not neurotic at all.
I commanded myself not to fall in love with him, but I've always been a bit rebellious and stubborn.
Nick and Mango were the first two. We moved into a house and acquired four cats left to die when the renters behind us abandoned the house, the dog, the cats and their financial responsibilities to the landlord. We also sort of picked up a few more neighborhood cats and when we moved to our current house, we took 5 or 6 with us. That was an adventure and makes me wonder how we would ever bug out with them all in tow.
Mango disappeared after a few days at the new house. They were all inside-outside cats, but after his loss, we kept them all pretty much in.
Nick chased dogs out of the yard. He never backed down from a fight, and as aresult, he never had to fight (except for once, but I tagged him out, grappled with the beast he was fighting and dispatched it with haste) He would have stood off a stegasaurus if one had been dumb enough to encroach on our space!
Nick got feline diabetes and I took him to the vet to put him down. It was very difficult and i'll say no more about it, but when Katrina happened, and I saw people on rooftops waiting to be rescued, I wondered hwat I would do in their situation. I heard that the Coast Guard and such were not allowing pets on board. I can understand that when there are so many people to save. But I know that my atitude, if (heaven forbid) I should have found myself in that situation would have been "If my cat's not good enough for your helicopter, then neither am I!" I would have waved the bird off and sat on the roof with my cat.
But thanks to Zombie Squad, that won't be an option, will it?
Thanks for all the food for thought.
Sometimes, somebody's gotta cry.