Friday, August 5, 2011

I *do* love pets. I think.

It's been a while, I know. I'm sure after four days you're all realizing you forgot I even existed wondering if I've fallen off the face of the earth. But I assure you I am alive and a bit insane well. I'd like you to meet Zeus, a German Shepherd/Lab mix, and the newest addition to our family:

But watch your feet and legs and clothing and anything else that moves or dangles. Because he will bite it, I promise you. Unless he's sleeping. Which he actually does a lot of.

Zeus has been taking a lot of my time lately. Basically, anytime I'm not taking care of my kids, I'm taking care of him. And then some.* Turns out having a puppy is a lot of work. A LOT. Who knew?

*I may have exaggerated. I've also been busy with other stuff, too. And I have actually had some free time (obviously, because I'm typing this right now), but I've been consumed in revisions.

But it's okay that he's a lot of work, because I would have gotten him anyway. He's so snuggly and sweet (when he's not biting). So even though I welcome the passing of this potty-training, nip-at-everything puppy stage, he's a great addition to our family.

And it couldn't have come at a better time. Our cat, Bauer (yes, she is named after the best CTU agent this country has ever seen), left a week and a half ago and never came back. And it was really hard for me. Like, I cried and everything. I know, I sound like one of those annoying people whose lives revolve around their pets an animal lover. And maybe I am now.

It took a long time for Bauer to grow on me. I used to loathe her, and I don't use that term lightly. Just ask my sisters how many times I texted them to vent about my annoying cat who used to get under my skin just by looking at me the wrong way.

Believe me when I say I was not fond of pets. Ever since I had kids, I never wanted a pet. Why would I? I already have to take care of and pick up after four people besides myself, so why would I want something else to watch after, clean up after, and who leaves hair and bad smells on everything?

But months and a litter of kittens later, she grew on me. Like, really grew on me. I actually fell in love with her, and her kittens. But mostly her.

I loved it when she was around. When I wanted to be alone, she was the only being I actually wanted in on my personal space. And she cheered me up, every time I needed it. She was so sweet and such a people-lover. She wanted to be with me all the time, even after all the evil eyes and hatred I spewed her way when she was young. She loved us, even the kids. Even Josh, when he'd pull her tail and lay on her. She'd let him. Because she loved us. And we loved her.

And then we got rid of her kittens. Three days later, she left, probably to go look for them. She always left, but the longest she'd ever been gone was twenty-four hours (no, that's not another 24 reference). But two days went by, then three. Then a week. And me--the self-proclaimed pet-hater--was sick over it.

Literally. I couldn't eat. It occupied every thought. I always thought I heard her, and even ran to the door a few times like a fool, picturing her running through the hole in the fence and right into my ex-animal-hating arms.

I was so depressed and didn't want to do anything. I wanted to go out and find her, but didn't know where to look. And I was scared what I'd find if I did. I sobbed, for a whole day, and my heart literally hurt. (And still does)

Ridiculous, right? She's just a cat.

Well, that's what I would have said before. But now I don't care. I admit it:

My name is Jennie Davenport, and I'm a Bauer-lover. No, scratch that. I'm an animal lover. Deep breath.

(Hi, Jennie.)

I just miss her. And one day, Dave told me straight up that I needed to get over it. I needed to stop holding to the hope that she'd come back. Because, realistically, she wasn't. She was gone, probably lost to a coyote or a mountain lion, or maybe even a havalina.

And that just made me sicker.

But then we found the ad on Craigslist for a puppy. And Dave's been begging me for one for forever. And I was broken and needed something to take her place, even though I knew nothing would. But, I thought, maybe in losing myself in this new puppy, I'd get over Bauer's loss quicker.

And it has.

And I admit this puppy was hard for me. Because even in the good ol' days of teenage-hood, when I was a cat animal-lover, I never was a dog person. I've never owned a dog, didn't really get their appeal, honestly.

And I'm still not quite there yet. When someone would say, "Look at that cute puppy!" all I'd see is a chore. And an attention whore.

But I'm coming around. And I have a feeling that I'll get so hooked to this dog, even more than I did to Bauer. And that worries me. Because if I was that distraught over a cat we had for a year, how will I be if we have Zeus into my kids' teenage years and then we lose him?

Oh well. I can't run from loving him for that reason.

So, here's to our future, Zeusalicious. You are pretty darn cute and impossible not to love. I really liked walking you yesterday and I love that my kids will have a companion as they get older, one that will most likely be five times their size. Just please get through your annoying stage fast.

And Bauer, I miss you like crazy still. Your food bowl is still waiting in the garage, still stinging my heart every time I see it. So, if you are out there, we're always here waiting.

She used to get between me and the computer when I'd write, because she wanted all my attention. Either that or she thought she was human and wanted to type.

If you made it this long in this sickening, mushy animal love-fest post, then you're probably an animal-lover. Because if you're not, you probably rolled your eyes at the beginning and stopped reading: the very thing I did when reading crap stuff like this a year ago, and still do


Mel said...

Oh, sweetie! I am so sorry about little Bauer. It's awful to lose a pet, but even worse to not know what happened to her. I will choose to think that she wandered to someone's home and they took her in:)

On the other hand, it actually does help to get a new pet in order to get over the grief of losing an older pet. And Zeus is absolutely snuggly and adorable!

ArtsyNina said...

So sorry to hear about Bauer :) But welcome Zeus! I love shepherd/lab mix's... you will have one loveable and smart guy on your hands!

Stopping by from The Lightning and the Lightning Bug :)

Slidecutter said...

I'll keep good thoughts for you and Bauer; cats have a way of taking-off and suddenly showing back up on your doorstep.

With a daughter who is a very active animal rescuer and spay/neuter advocate; we've gone through similar situations with inside/outside cats who disappear suddenly; it can be heartbreaking, not knowing what happened to them.

In fact, a cat she rescued from a NYC shelter's death row went missing last week and we feared the worst but...Mamie re-appeared, two days later.

Good luck with Zeus; he's precious and has a devilish look in his eye, lol.

Congrats on being Writer of the Week...well-deserved!

Jen said...

Oh I made it through, even though I'm not really an animal lover, but I'm sorry your poor cat left, and your new puppy is the cutest! His paws are big will he be? You are a brave woman taking on a puppy. :)

Jen said...

HEY!! I was just over at the Lightning Bug site and you're the writer of the week!! Woohoo!! Congrats! I love that site :)

Becky said...

I'm sorry that Bauer hasn't come back. Much love to you and your family for missing Bauer. <3 That has to be a hard thing. I don't know what I'd ever do if I lost my Maybe baby.

I'm glad that you have another new love in your life though. Zeus sounds like a wonderful puppy and I bet your boys love him!

Jessica said...

awwww:( Bauer was an awesome cat. I'm sorry that she left! Zeus looks adorable though and I bet you those boys just adore him! Love you