Metatalktail Hour: Pet Week! July 28, 2018 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, xenization (who is in grad school and can't have a pet) wants to hear all about your critters, and asks: "I'd love to see photos, obviously, but talk to us about their personalities. What quirky things do they do? What do they really love/hate? Any memorable stories to share? Let me live vicariously through you all."

As always, this is a conversation starter, not a conversation limiter! We want to hear everything that's up with you (except politics)!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:40 PM (106 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

We manage this collection of cats. The oldest is the orange guy, Gilmore (named after this character). After an even older cat died, we thought we'd adopt a new cat to keep Gilmore company. Mrs. exogenous found the one-eyed cat on the right on the humane society's website so we went for a look. Turned out she had a sister (the black cat) which we obviously could not leave behind. All three all get along surprisingly well. I think it helps that the two younger cats can play with each other instead of endlessly tormenting an aging Gilmore who, despite once being the playful tormentor of an older cat, is now more inclined to enjoy a life of repose.
posted by exogenous at 5:52 PM on July 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

Thanks for posting my request, Eyebrows.

And exogenous's post reminded me: Please include names! MeFites are great with pet names.
posted by xenization at 6:32 PM on July 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

We have a wonderful orange tabby cat named Riker! He's extremely affectionate and affection-needy. Loves prolonged tummy-rubs. DIslikes loud noises and anyone who is especially intense. Loves our toddler and is very patient with her, but dislikes it when she tries to ride him. Head and face scratches send him to Blisstown. I tend to carry him like I'm cradling an infant, and sometimes when I do this he gives me kisses. This is a photo of Riker (with baby, 2 years ago when she was teeny).

He was named for the Star Trek character because he's such a damned flirt. Also because he plays the trombone and has a tendency to get intimate with extraterrestrial cats.
posted by duffell at 6:37 PM on July 28, 2018 [12 favorites]

Ah, I already posted my best cat material in today’s science of purring FPP.

In the pile of artwork that came home on the last day of my son’s kindergarten, there was this poem he wrote entitled My Cat.

Kali (the vengeful aspect of the Hindu goddess Durga) is 15 and still barely tolerates the Unpleasant New People in the house (my 6 and 9 year olds) but she is remarkably spry and I am definitely her Person, so it’s cute that my son included that as one of her most important characteristics. Her littermate died unexpectedly about 8 years ago and we feared she would wallow in depression and loneliness but she was always the quiet run-away-and-hide-one and once she understood she needed to be the main Cat of the House she really stepped up, vigilantly patrolling for dangerous Other Cats and squirrels in the yard and sniffing out any visitors for evidence of other animals or food. She sleeps on my chest every night with her paws stroking my face which surprisingly soothes me until I fall asleep.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:38 PM on July 28, 2018 [20 favorites]

My cat, Sir Walter Raleigh, is giant and orange and a very loud purr-er and a total cowardly lion. The most hilarious thing he's afraid of is the sound of opening a bottle of a carbonated beverage, which will typically send him scurrying to the other room.

And yes, he's been on a diet for at least five years.
posted by thivaia at 6:39 PM on July 28, 2018 [12 favorites]

We also discovered recently that Riker is a mouser. There was a litter of baby mice that had taken up residence in our home. I witnessed him kill and eat two baby mice (tails and all). I don't know whether he ate all of them, or if they left shortly after his initial kills.
posted by duffell at 6:41 PM on July 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

I own no animals, but here are Don Fernando and Dame Ondine. They are the local cardinals. If they haven't been fed, they come and chirp at all the windows, fly up on top of the bird feeder, fly up on top of the spotlights under the eaves, hop on the back of the nearest patio chair or table, and otherwise make their presence well-known until someone comes out and takes care of them. I haven't been able to feed them as much lately due to ankle recovery, but they seem to keep fed anyway from all the various berries and things in the yard.

This is my cat friend (and another cat friend who I've seen twice). I don't know their names, but the orange cat comes by fairly often, hunting mice and birds in my yard. It's sooooo fluffy and friendly, so I'm looking forward to more easily and quickly being able to go outside again when I see the cat. Note that there are many more ketseleh photos in the back scroll on my Instagram than are shown on that unfortunate tag page.

Otherwise, we also have some mice right now, who just started scratching and chewing again for the evening. They are not my friends, and they've been keeping me awake at night. Efforts are underway to deal with them.

Meanwhile, congratulations to ecourbanist on making the comment that constituted my 55,555th favorite!
posted by limeonaire at 6:42 PM on July 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

Oh man just in time! I just put the best picture of my baby girl up on imgur. She’s a little mad I can’t bend down so well to pet her yet- so she tried to entice me with wiggling on her back a bunch. Her name is Athena and she’s maybe 12-ish. (Shelter dog so who knows)

I’ve started my garden blog but I’m not going to put it on projects until I have like 20 posts or so. (Per Cortex’s suggestion) but if you’d like to look at it just memail me for the url.

I have a few nice pictures up on my imgur so look around but a long time ago elsietheeel wanted to see a picture of the mint thunderdome so here you go!

I can’t really garden for another week and a half- my wonderful mother is watering it- but holy crap the green been harvest! So while I recover at least I’m eating well!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:44 PM on July 28, 2018 [8 favorites]

Ohhhh my God, yes, my very favorite topic.

I adopted Owain Glyndwr from the shelter last October. He had a bald patch on his butt, was mostly flea bite scabs by volume, and was kinda manic. (I literally caught him in midair when he noticed his cage was open. The shelter I got him from likes to do adoption photos to post online, but he leapt out of my arms and made a break for the computer so we opted to not do that.)

Fast-forward to now and he's grown into the fluffy prince of my heart. He's my best friend who meeps a lot, falls off of things a lot, and never met a houseplant he didn't want to gnaw on a bit. As I write this, he's staring at/running away from my knockoff roomba*. We both had anxiety attacks while flying across country, and I love him more than I knew I could love a cat.

(*Her name is Grace Hopper and I hope they will be friends.)

Update: he's chewing on some styrofoam brb guys
posted by kalimac at 6:46 PM on July 28, 2018 [16 favorites]

I am on my FOURTH one-eyed cat! I got Jack (One-Eyed Jack, of course) when I was in grad school, 16 years ago now? He was a one-eyed and half-feral kitten and ugly as sin from living rough and being malnourished and a friend of mine who was a vet student had rescued him and all the shelters were going to put him down. I'm a sucker for a hard luck story, so I adopted him. It took him a while to get used to living indoors and having manners, but he became The Best Cat Ever and thought he was my boyfriend and would get super-grumpy about my husband wanting to sleep in the bed and he loved car trips and he loved showers and he thought he was people. He was also ginormous, 20# of muscle, and given to concussionary headbutts. (Probably quite a bit of Russian Blue in him.) Picture below.

When he was a year old we decided to get him a buddy because he was wearing us out with his playing, and we weren't sure how to pick, until we saw a one-eyed (no-tailed) cat at one of the shelters who was past his euthenasia date and we basically went and got him THAT DAY. That was Sherman (no picture), and orange sweetie pie who was a mature adult and took almost 3 solid months to let us near him but then was immediately a 100% lapcat once he decided we weren't axe murderers. He lived about six years, the last two with diabetes.

After he died Jack was super-lonely but again we were a little panicked about how do we PICK a cat, when I got a call from my aunt, who is a nothing-but-cats vet, who said she had a lady come in with a one-eyed cat to her clinic in Atlanta and say, "It's too bad he has just one eye, he's such a sweetie, but nobody will adopt him." And my aunt said, "It's too bad we're in Atlanta, I have a niece in Chicago who adopts nothing BUT one-eyed cats!" and the lady said, "I'm a flight attendant on the ATL-ORD route, I WILL DELIVER HIM." So Oscar came to me WITH PILOT'S WINGS, having flown first class, a couple months after Sherman died. Oscar was around 8 months old, and he thought Jack was his mom/Catgod, and followed him at a distance of no more than 6 feet for literally years. (Jack would sometimes come beg to be locked up so he could have 10 minutes away from Oscar. I had children by then and I was like, "I feel you, my dude" and we'd go lock ourselves in the bathroom.) Here are Jack and Oscar snuggling.

Jack died about 2 years ago at the ripe old age of 17, and Oscar didn't live long after him. When we were just starting to feel like maaaaaaaaaaybe we could get a cat again, someone pinged me a frantic message that they had a friend who'd rescued a pack of kittens and one had lost an eye and couldn't go to the shelter and did I want a one-eyed kitten? So into my life came Leela! Nano McGee was about 6 months old when we got kitten Leela, and the two of them were 100% convinced they were the same category of creature, wanting to eat together and sleep together and play with the same toys and so on. If I snuggled the baby, the kitten was there to get hers too. (Here's kitten Leela in the crib where she isn't allowed, but she and Nano were co-conspirators on outsmarting me.) They're about 2 years old now, but Leela still really likes Cheerios, because Nano used to eat one, then give her one, then eat one, then given her one, and they'd eat their Cheerios together.

Leela's a bit in the doghouse (cathouse? No, no, that's a different thing entirely) this week because she's been not great about her litterbox. I'm also hoping that she'll eventually outgrow liking to nip my toes when I'm asleep!

My childhood cat was an absolute FANATIC about coffee. When she could smell coffee she'd go lurk in the living room just waiting for an unattended cup and if you turned your head for a second, she'd be in there up to her ears drinking as fast as she could because she knew she'd get caught and shooed away. Anyway, until I was in junior high, I honestly thought cups had saucers so you could put them on top to keep the cat from drinking your coffee. I had NO IDEA they went under the cup to catch drips!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:04 PM on July 28, 2018 [34 favorites]

This is the story of Boo Radley.
Six years ago, daughter and I went to a nearby shelter to adopt a cat. There we met a sweet and affectionate grey striped tabby. The shelter staff called him Simba, but he looked nothing like Simba. That was okay with us because we wanted to name him after a literary character and daughter had just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, so we agreed to take him home and name him . . . Scout. But, once home, Scout hid from us and didn’t reappear for a couple days. He ate his food and used the litter box, so we knew he was okay, but we agreed, he didn’t have the social skills of his namesake. We toyed with other names from the book: Jem, Dill, Atticat. At the same time, we said “Boo Radley!” It’s the perfect name for a shy kitty. We usually call him by his full name when he’s into mischief, as in, “Boo Radley, stop chewing on my phone charger!”, but much of the time we call him Boo Boo, or Boo Berry, or Boo Boo Bear. Sightings of Boo Radley by visitors to our home are rare, and there’s a running joke that we don’t really have a cat, but we know he’s there, watching and waiting for the strangers to leave so that he can come out and snuggle with us.

While on the subject of Boo Radley, I just wanted to say thanks to all the lovely Mefites who sent me birthday cards last month and who also extended greetings, gifts, and even a comic strip for Boo Radley! Oh - and for a picture of the elusive Boo Radley, check my profile pic.
posted by kbar1 at 7:05 PM on July 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

Cats. So many cats. It's just that when they're tiny kittens, and helpless, motherless, mewing, I tell myself what's one more? So I bring them in from the barn and bottle feed them and watch the established cat's expressions of disgust. Somehow they have all made peace with each other, and more or less with the dog, pictured here with his favorite playmate, an-about-to-be-eaten groundhog. He considers it his job to defend us from these beasts, and clean-up is...well, anymore I just sigh and go get the shovel. Then we play keep-away for a while. Then the dog wanders off, and plays hide-and-seek with his new dead friend the next day. Hours of fun for all. Especially when my parents arrive to see me carrying a bloodied pile of fur. Good times, good times. Inexplicably, he ignores the baby skunks. Alas, he enjoys the full-grown version, and is up to three skunkings this year. He has not yet mistaken this 15-pounder for a raccoon, although the cat is pretty good at sneaking kibble out from the bowl as the dog is eating...
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:07 PM on July 28, 2018 [10 favorites]

#InsideModding -- I spent most of the first half of 2017 modding while sitting on my couch, with Nano next to me lying in her boppy so I could nurse her when she woke up, with the kitten sleeping curled up with the baby because that's where kitten/babies were sleeping! Like so.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:19 PM on July 28, 2018 [19 favorites]

pictured here with his favorite playmate, an-about-to-be-eaten groundhog
Lol can I borrow your dog? Athena likes to bark at the groundhog holes that litter my garden but anything more than that would upset her delicate constitution.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:23 PM on July 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm at the bar waiting to set up for DJ gig, but OMFG MY MURDEROUS FURBEAST OF A DIRTY CAT.

As usual I might not get to post until tomorrow evening, so save me some bytes.
posted by loquacious at 7:36 PM on July 28, 2018 [8 favorites]

Marnie* dog learned to sit this week! Which is to say, "Marnie, sit!" will get you a look, then a glance at your hand to see if a treat worth the effort is on offer, and then a slow lowering of the back end until her butt juuuust barely touches the ground. It's the dog equivalent of "no cop at the intersection, that sign is stoptional". Occasionally she does come to a full and complete stop and on those occasions she gets the full biscuit instead of half.

*Named by the rescue. I wanted Mandalit del Barco, but the resident teenager thought it was too much of a muchness, and also we couldn't decide if it would be considered a tribute or offensive.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:50 PM on July 28, 2018 [8 favorites]

I once knew a nice kitty named Nigel Wrench, a tribute to a good radio voice.

One-eyed kitties...same family that had Nigel Wrench also provided a loving home for Sophie, a long-haired grey queen. She was the terror of all of the other cats, first to the food bowl and woe to any challenger. A strange cat got the best of her in a fight, and the vet simply sewed the fur shut over her missing eye, leaving a soft, furry indentation where it had been. She lost about a half-step over the younger kitties; she'd simply decline to notice their presence at the food bowls, and graciously let them come a little closer while she was still eating. Outside, she was fully-focused on what was in front of her. I know this because I once touched her from behind as she was hunting something, and she shot three feet up in the air, and I just laughed and laughed at the offended expression she then turned on me. Oh, Soph...dead now these many years, but still tucked away in my heart.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:03 PM on July 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

I had a dog who was fine around everyone but HATED Flip Wilson. Whenever she saw Flip Wilson on TV she would freak out, growling and barking at him and racing around.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:25 PM on July 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

Please admire this recent pic of my cat, James Bond. If I leave him unattended with my knitting, he WILL chew through my yarn. He is a cuddly chatty boy, we have many extended conversations consisting of “meow!” “What!” repeated ad nauseum. He also LOVES to drink from the sink and as soon as my morning alarm goes off, he is meowing at me from the bathroom to get up already. He also tends to meow when I am on the phone, to the amusement and delight of all my relatives. His favorite toy is a catnip banana which he chews and cuddles in equal measure. I love him.
And I love all these other pet stories too!
posted by leesh at 8:48 PM on July 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

Omygosh i get to talk about my cats, yay! I have three black cats, all foster fails - i took in a pregnant black cat as a foster, and ended up keeping her and two of her kittens. They're my kids essentially, and I've just accepted and embraced the crazy cat lady moniker. All three are a little broken in their own way but i love them regardless. Two are toothless, and the third has about 3/4 of a full set. Mommy cat either has lymphoma or severe IBS now (the only way to tell for sure is an invasive surgery and knowing either way doesn't change the treatment, so it is what it is). But she's doing ok for now, thank god, because she's my shadow and I don't know what I will do when her time comes. This cat has attachment issues :D. Of the "kittens" (they're 9 now) one has some vasovagal response issues - ie in english she faints under stress. Including mid-poop or mid-puke. Thats always fun. The third is still pretty healthy, but she's my weirdest cat. Skittish as all heck, wont eat in the same room as me, and will always run from me... unless she's on the bed and i can catch her and pet her aggressively before she can scamper off. Then she's all cuddles. She also occasionally randomly decides that it's petting time NOW and makes her way to my shoulder regardless of where i happen to be. No isn't really an option when this happens. Here's a good pic of my fainting kitty - black cats are so annoyingly hard to photograph. Here's all three with new scratchers!
posted by cgg at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2018 [6 favorites]

Aurora is the most outgoing cat I've ever met. When people come over, she is there to greet them, purr loudly and get petted. Not a lap-sitter, but she will sit next to you and snuggle against your leg, and then you can reach over and rub her belly.

I rescued Poly from a pho restaurant near the freeway when he was about three months old. He has a bunch of extra toes and a deformed nose and a very long tail. At night, he'll jump up on me, paw and purr, then curl up in the crook of my arm and go to sleep.

Squeaks was rescued from a construction site when he was a kitten. He can be chatty, and also has a big purr and likes to stick his nose up close to yours and "steal your breath".

Susu (on the right) was named after the soot sprites in the Miyazaki movies. We found him almost exactly one year ago on the street in front of our house. He will follow Squeaks around and loves to snuggle with him. He loves to steal socks from our rooms, carry them to his food dish, and chew holes in them.

A few months ago, we found a mama cat and five kittens in our yard. I trapped the mama and took her to FixNation and released her. I took the kittens to The Rescue Team, and they've all been adopted except for one - if anyone needs a sweet kitten, he's ready for you!
posted by mogget at 9:27 PM on July 28, 2018 [6 favorites]

My cat likes to drape herself across my shoulders (I can’t share any pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it).

She also chews on furniture when she’s hungry, not because she’s hungry, but because she knows it’ll get our attention.

Plastic bags, on the other hand, she chews on because she likes them.

She loves cuddling and getting her face as close to yours as possible.

She also has occasional diarrhea, but we never know when it expect it, so we have mini heart attacks whenever we hear her in the litter box. She has stepped in it on more than one occasion.

She also meows at us like we’re having a conversation.

I love this cat so much.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:33 PM on July 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

I literally just got back from a week and a half away, and I missed our cat so much, so this is a well-timed thread.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:39 PM on July 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is Peter, who used to be fuzzier before his summer haircut. He's a Morkie from Toronto, whose owners couldn't keep him. He was starving and angry and mean when I took him in a few years ago, and now he's plump and cuddly and only occasionally mean. As soon as I get into bed, he climbs in next to me (which involves a lot of stumbling over my legs), and then jams himself up against my legs as hard as he can. He likes to hump tan-and-white spaniels and is indifferent to most other dogs.

This is Samson, who died a few years ago. He also got summer haircuts. He was a happy Pomeranian from Queens with bad teeth and epilepsy, whose owners couldn't keep him. He loved rubber piggies and humping any kind of pillow. Samson appeared in two metafilter posts!

This is Fesenjoon (Jooney for short), my best friend's cat, who was found on the streets of Brooklyn as a kitten, but we like to think that she came from a Norwegian forest. Jooney had a tragic crush on Samson, who refused to acknowledge that she existed, even as she leaped around to show off for him. Now she has a tragic crush on Peter, who is scared of her to the point of paralysis.
posted by moonmilk at 12:17 AM on July 29, 2018 [10 favorites]

Anyone up for more cats? I knew you'd say that...
Here is our current herd. Like cgg, we have three black cats.

Left to right: on the windowsill is Wodan, the philosopher. He is very clever and learns by careful observation. He came to us after 1,5 years in the shelter; he was born into a cat hoarding situation with 65 cats, and he's probably his own grandfather. So he was pretty badly traumatized and not used to interaction with humans at all, and spent his first three weeks here hidden away in a closet. Wodan is sweet and smart and likes cuddles now; he has a pointy face, large ears and soulful eyes. He is also inbred and walks with an arched back, but overall he is healthy and happy. If his black fur were clothing, it would be a pair of black jeans and a turtleneck sweater. If he were a human, he would be Steve Jobs.

On the chair is Wiepje, the acrobat. Wiepje is fierce and fast and tiny and she can do pretty much anything. She's a hoot because you never know what she'll do next, and she finds everything immensely interesting and fun. She was found in a box with two kittens; when we met her at the shelter, the kittens had already found homes. Wiepje chose Stoneshop by nibbling on his fingers; she tends to make up her own mind like that. She is the best hunter of all three and wears a bell to keep her from catching birds. When she's not sleeping, doing parkour or hunting, she is usually grooming herself. We suspect that she can fly or teleport as she is often found in places with no obvious access. If her fur were clothing, it would be a Ninja suit. If she were a human, she would be Halle Berry as Catwoman.

Near the cat flap is Pepper, the kludz. He is big and used to be quite chubby, with a lovely thick coat and a pointy tail; he's not bright or agile, but still manages to catch mice now and then. He is the oldest of the three and spent most of his life on a camping site; maybe that's where he learned to be nervous and skittish. On the other hand he loves attention and is very talkative. Pepper is not always friendly towards the other two, and sometimes fur will fly. But he is affectionate towards his humans, to the point of being clingy, and he is very good at sleeping on the bed next to our feet without bothering us all night long (not like Wiep who will walk all over you if she feels like it). If Pepper's fur were clothing, it would most likely be a tuxedo. If he were a human, he'd be Oliver Hardy.

Pepper lost half of his tail in a car accident last March but he is doing fine now, and has in fact lost most of his chub. We recently put him on Clomicalm to help with his stress and it seems to suit him, he seems happier and calmer and there aren't any more fights!
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:20 AM on July 29, 2018 [9 favorites]

Ticky was named by Mrs A. after Ticky Holgado from the movie Delicatessen and it just fits him. He kind of just ticks along, announces his presence when he enters a room and as long as you show him due deference, you're good. He doesn't warm to everyone and I like that you have to earn his respect.

Like most cats, he's mostly dormant, but then erupts into a frenzy of activity, usually after pooping and does his happy dance. He can be found singing the songs of his people in the wee hours of the morning and takes all feedback as compliments.

He goes by many names: Bamse (Norwegian for bear, he was born in Sandnes, near Stavanger), Bear, Trundle Cat, Jingle Cat, Cat Bus, Him, Beast, Baby Panther, and "your son" when one of us wants to tell the other what he's been up to. He's a handsome boy and he knows it.

Black Cats are the best.
posted by arcticseal at 12:25 AM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

Yay! Pets! Every one of yours is adorable and deserves a boop and a scritch.

This majestic mutt, Kesugi is the only dog I have had as an adult. He has upended the entire lifestyle of our household and we are better for it. Mostly.

He is an excellent skijor buddy and is happiest when pulling us on skis/bike or sprinting with us when we bike the singletrack trails. He loves playing ball on frozen mudflats, swimming in glacial lakes and, of course, enjoys long walks on the beach with large sticks.

He is about 6/10 smart on a really good day, is incredibly stubborn (but makes up for it in doofy sweetness), prefers temperatures in the 5-15 degree range, is completely insufferable on a leash, is great with kids and all other dogs and becomes a total nightmare if he doesn't get a solid hour of intense exercise daily. We may have to get another dog if we ever want any snuggles- he prefers to lounge in the same room as us, but at precisely arm's reach plus two inches- but this at least has been a boon to our cardiovascular health.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:33 AM on July 29, 2018 [10 favorites]

Through childhood and other early years, it was dogs. First Pip, a Jack Russell terrier who would terrorise the neighbourhood when he escaped. Unfortunately, he would also bite people we didn't want him to bite, such as the annual Weights and Measures visiting man (a kind of legal shop customs thing), customers on our farmshop, several policemen, two soldiers who were trying to track an alleged big cat, and the milkman shortly after being run over by the milk float (which required several pins to be put into one leg by the vet, who he also bit).

After that there was Kerry (aka Kerry of the Glen, or KerryGold), a cairn terrier, and Patrick, another cairn terrier. I wasn't around much then, having escaped to university, and didn't have much interaction with either, and no photographs. I also, as a child and teen, owned several ferrets.

In adult life, it was cats all the way though. In the Outer Hebrides years, there were the sisters Islay (who didn't like me) and Jura (who did). And, on reflection, there's been a lot of cats owned - if it is possible to own a cat - by others, such as a pub cat in Birmingham around 2009/10, two more in the same city owned by my landlady in 2012/13, cats when I've been travelling e.g. this one and these, the cat of a current neighbor, the cat who followed me on that super-weird Halloween night of 2014, and cats of ex's such as Reeses and the unforgettable, and unforgettably large, Butterfingers.

+ + + + +

This week just gone, England was slightly cooler than the surface of the sun. As only two percent of domestic properties in Ye Olde Englande have air con, and my local Marks and Spencer Food Hall may soon lose patience with how long someone can spend wandering their super-chilled aisles without buying anything, I spontaneously decided to head to the seaside. But where?

Blackpool was full as the school holidays were starting. Weston-Super-Mare brings back memories of the sea retreating several miles to reveal mud and nothing else. The Outer Hebrides was too far away for a short trip. Weymouth was Weymouth ("Come to Portland Bill! More than just prisons!"). And I didn't want to travel far on public transport in this heat anyway.

Some quick Internet research happened, booked a place, packed some stuff in 20 minutes, and went to Skegness despite a voice at the back of my head asking "Did you really just book a trip to your 1979 childhood holiday haunt, a place at even age eleven you were so bored in you declared you would never return?!". To which my inner retort was "I'm no longer eleven and the only thing in common with eleven-year-old me is a confused and puzzled fascination with 'the mystery of boobs' and going to Skegness is a rite of passage for East Midlands residents anyway so let's do it".

Skegness is difficult to explain. It's basically a downmarket, smaller, version of Blackpool, stuck on the North Sea (which is ideal as it's supposed to be cooler there), just above The Wash. Perhaps think New Jersey but without most of the attractions, views, services or charisma, and with added chips, crime, extremely cheap entertainment, and vicious seagulls. Looking through Flickr, this photo is a really good encapsulation.

Two trains were taken, the second of which was unpleasant as it consisted of three carriages. One carriage had the heating jammed on; another had a toilet overflow issue; a third had someone operating his criminal empire, loudly, by smartphone.

Arrival. And things improved. The accommodation, ten minutes walk from the seafront, was - despite the British flag placemats - pretty good. The top floor room was north facing with several windows, so it was easy to get a sea breeze flow. The bath was too short for my long legs - they always are, so am sort of used to that. But the breakfasts were good, the hosts friendly, and there was free and endless chocolates and biscuits, so I was able to waddle outside with an accompanying glucose spike every morning.

Cooling down. The sea breeze was often excellent, and every evening I waited until sunset and waded out to sea up to my arse (Posh English: bottom. American: ass. Scottish: [obscenity redacted]) and just stood there for half an hour or so. Here's the view on the first evening. The video arcades were also usefully cool, but more on that later.

Food. As trailed, there was hmmm, nope. Also avoided the donuts. But the cod and chips were eaten, and they were excellent, far better than similar in the East Midlands. Avoided the Spam Fritters, as if I am trapped here after [politics redacted] then that will probably be our compulsory food. The Yorkshire fishcake turned out to be a normal fishcake between two potato scallops, then deep fried. Tempting, but that kind of cuisine is saved for trips to Iowa County Fairs. Cheese bites were also tempting, as were the proper chips.

In a moment of unnecessary thrift, a 99p lunch was purchased which consisted of the weakest cup of tea ever (I suspect that the sole tea bag was into the second week of use), and something called 'mixed pie', which was a pie with unidentifiable fillings ('assorted food products', I was evasively told).

I did not, in a moment of not-quite weakness, try any of these.

Coastal wanderings. One of the good things about Blackpool is the tram, so you can easily get to quite different places on the same bit of coast. 'Skeggie' doesn't have a tram line, but has some buses which take you to nearby villages and resorts. I should have taken more pictures on these as it is difficult to convey what a sea of English caravans and trailers looks like - this is serious trailer park country. And remember that trailers in England are (a) often quite small and (b) parked very close together because profit. So many trailers so tightly packed to offer - like [politics redacted] - the illusion of privacy, and so many England flags, barely contained dogs you cross the road to avoid, cheap nationalist tattoos, bars offering two quid pints, families dressed entirely in Sports Direct clothing, people having their food stolen by seagulls, and sunburnt unhappy-looking Leicester City supporters.

Also viewed were the original Butlins, which looked a little run down but was large, and Ingoldmells, which was part-fairground and part-trailer park from what I could see, and the village of Chapel St Leonards. Essentially this was the posh end of the coastal cluster of settlements, and so the food was - for this part of the world - quite expensive.

Video games. One objective was to check out what video games were available as that's related to my work. Unfortunately it was pretty disappointing, seeing very little that was new and mostly the same machines seen in Blackpool three summers ago. Things like Crossy Road (an isometric Frogger), Pacman, Doodle Jump (which I do like), Space Invaders, and a load of old and over-familiar racing games. And, c'mon, Connect 4? Le Sigh. You could also try and win a Switch (spoiler after watching several people: you would not) or a weird-ass prize, or as I did at one point, play what turned out to be 'Adult Bingo' as it was late in the evening).

I also played a lot of Bowlingo (which I've become slightly addicted to before). This is a ten pin bowling game you can play on your own or against others, with a smaller/easier to hold ball. It's good fun and one game is only a quid, so you can spend not very much playing it in a nicely air conditioned arcade.

The Ferris Wheel. I like big wheels and I cannot lie. There's a good view, it's just you and the elements and the creaking of the sometimes rusty cage, the sounds of people fade for a few moments, and you don't have to do anything except just sit there. So I did, as Skeggie has an excellent wheel. As per usual, taking pictures was difficult, and the video wasn't much better.

And that was a few days away in a cheap and cheerful English coastal resort. Skegness town itself (away from trailer park country) was surprisingly quiet, partially due to the heat advisory, and due to a spate of recent murders and suspicious deaths leading some to cancel their holidays there. Though lacking in much of interest, it is more sensibly laid out than most English towns, with the train and bus stations next to each other, several main supermarkets all within a mile of the town centre. I was propositioned in different ways three times (all politely declined), and offered drugs twice (again declined, though on the second occasion the 'cocaine' looked suspiciously like Persil automatic and I did need to do some washing). But no-one was violent or rude to me, and the locals were generally polite and friendly when interactions were needed. I've stayed in far more expensive locations and been treated far worse.

A few days was more than enough, though. Sea breeze or not, much longer would have led to samey boredom. Overall, I had low expectations, and a lower budget, and they were both just about met. Would I go back? Maybe I'll leave it another 39 years.
posted by Wordshore at 12:44 AM on July 29, 2018 [26 favorites]

Oh! Also, true fact: he can render himself boneless at will. There is no other way a 75 pound, waist-high dog could hide under a bed with a 6” opening.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:56 AM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

I have two cats, Korben and Zevo. Zevo is the newer and younger cat but they were both adopted as adults - Korben was at least four, but Zevo was only 11 months old when we got him. Still adult by cat adoption standards. Anyway that means that they both came with some weird habits baked in:

Korben hates being in boxes. If you put him in one he pops right back out. If I want to keep something safe from his curiosity, I just put it inside of an open box right on the floor and it's like it doesn't exist. Yes, even food. Unfortunately this blissful existence ended when we adopted Zevo who is much more of a normal cat and loves boxes.

He's much more normal all around as cat things go except he does one thing that is mind-blowing to me. Alas, I have no pictures of this behavior because it would invade his privacy and just be rude, but I'm telling you all anyway - Zevo uses the litter box standing up. No, not on four legs standing like a cat, but instead, he perches his front two paws on the edge of the litter box, straightens his back vertically, lifts his tail and does his business while staring straight ahead. In one litterbox with slightly lower sides he'll stretch over and put his paws on the small trash can we keep next to each box for easy scooping. It's incredible and the funniest goddamn thing I've seen a cat do and he does it multiple times a day.
posted by Mizu at 1:03 AM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

We don't have pets of our own, but we just finished three weeks taking care of this adorable fuzz-face. This is Jamie. He's 14 years old.

He might look a little peeved or even menacing and he's not shy about letting you know when it's time for feeding or cleaning the litter box, but he's a total sweetheart who loves being petted, playing with his toys, being petted and sleeping.

I suppose he's not all that quirky, but I'm not generally a cat person and he completely stole my heart.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:18 AM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

This is Scruff and Baci.

Baci is no longer with us, but Scruff (on the left) is. Had to use this pic, because all the other easy to find ones of Scruff are of him with his tongue out looking derpy.

For a long time, we thought Scruff was a fussy eater type cat. He’d ask for food, you’d put it out, and he’d look dissatisfied and walk away. Tried lots of different food, and eventually found that the kind of food wasn’t the issue, but he requires a vigourous patting before a meal. So now, the process for feeding is to put the food out, pick up the cat, give him a back rub, and then plonk him down in front of the food.

Also, if he’s eaten half the food and gone away, then on his return he will complain if the food is not centered in the bowl. I worried that his eyesight was going, but no, he is just an arsehole.
posted by pompomtom at 1:38 AM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

I'm without pets right now, unless you count kissing up to the crows nesting in my backyard to keep them from divebombing me. But for most of my adult life I had the most amazing cat. Her name was Marge and she lived for nineteen and a half years.

Marge was a grouchy little tortoiseshell who was very attached to me and disliked almost everyone else. The first time I spent the night away from home after adopting her she sat staring at the door until I came home, and the first time my ex-spouse spent the night at my house she peed on her bra. She liked heights - she hung out on top of the tallest bookshelf in the house, she'd lurk among the ceiling beams where there was an opening for the dryer hose, she once climbed up the inside of a chimney to get to the roof. I bought a Thai chili pepper plant to try to teach her a lesson about eating plants and found her gnawing on the peppers and purring.

I had the unfortunate experience of reading the Twilight books because I worked with teenagers and wanted to know what they were talking about, and when I left one open on my bed Marge SHREDDED it (she never damaged a book before or after that). There was a note in her file at the vet that she was difficult, because she would hiss and growl like a tiny monster when they came near her. But when my kiddo was born, some kind of maternal instinct kicked in and she wouldn't leave her side and would cuddle her if she cried.

I haven't wanted to get another cat because it would be so hard to out-cat Marge. She died a few years ago, and still something or other reminds me of her almost every day.
posted by centrifugal at 2:02 AM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

In order of age, we have Jill (aka Jilly Vanilly, aka Jilly Bean, aka Tia Frijole, because that's how dog names work, right?) who is 16 and spoiled rotten. She spends most of the day sleeping, but the old dog routine is totally a ruse. If you happen to walk into the house carrying a pizza, she will be up and tapdancing for a piece in 2 seconds flat. My girlfriend found Jill on the street in Houston 14 years ago, and they've been together since. Her longest relationship. I'm an interloper, but I sneak Jill some pizza crusts and she tolerates me.

Sophie Cat is going on 14 and the snuggliest lovebug I have ever met. She will drape herself around my neck like a living fur stole, and if I let her into the bedroom she'll sleep on my chest with her head tucked under my chin. I adopted her from the humane society 2 years ago and cannot imagine why she was surrendered. Her one flaw is that she hates coffee and will knock a stray mug off whatever surface you've abandoned it on.

Frankie (Rosalind Franklin) is 2ish. Every summer, our friends foster a pregnant dog and raise the pups until they can be adopted out. Frankie was the mama of last summer's litter. Those pups all had science-themed names (Gene, Vector, Ion, etc.) so when we decided to adopt the mama, we knew she needed a science name. She is smart and loyal and likes to follow me around the house regardless of what I'm doing. She loves playing with other dogs, and can even entice Jill to frolic every once in a while. When Jill's back legs aren't up to the task of playing upright, Frankie will adapt and lie down next to Jill's bed and they'll chew on each other's faces for a while.

Sophie takes exception to Frankie's existence. When Frankie gets let out of her crate in the morning, Sophie will run downstairs specifically to antagonize her. Frankie will go into a play bow, and Sophie will bat at her from behind the baby gate. I think Frankie thinks that Sophie is petting her (she is declawed), because her tail wags a mile a minute despite the unholy screeching sounds Sophie is making.
posted by coppermoss at 3:10 AM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

I have had Dr Buzzard (named after a dead voodoo priest in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) for about 15 years now, the third bird that flew into my life. He is just the best, coolest little dude ever. Birds are amazing, because they are very social, so you don't so much "own" one as "are friends with" them. Which is like having a cute dinosaur as your best friend. I generally only keep him in his house (cage) when I'm sleeping, so he gets to choose when he wants to hang out with me and get headscratches. He likes to sing and dance and drum his beak on anything that will echo a bit. I loooooove him!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:18 AM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Wordshore is back on vacation.
posted by Wordshore at 3:26 AM on July 29, 2018 [12 favorites]

Since leaving home I’ve been too itinerant to have pets, and even now I’m settled I still travel too much. So I consider my parents’ pets my own! We had three cats, two guinea pigs, one rabbit, and multiple fish when I was growing up, but I’m a dog person through and through. We started with two full size English springer spaniels called Hodge and Tilley (think I’m 10 in this photo!), then smaller versions, this was Molly, an amazing dog, and Bramble is the current dog, she just turned one, and is the most energetic of all the dogs! Luckily my dad is semi retired and works from home so he can take her for long walks every day, and they have a big garden. I go home about 4 times a year, and Bramble now recognises my voice on FaceTime and tries to eat the phone! I cannot wait until I am in a place where having a dog makes sense.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:31 AM on July 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’m very sorry, coppermoss, but I will need to be stealing Sophie.

I’m sure you understand.
posted by pompomtom at 3:42 AM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

I have two cats. They are both best cats. They are sisters and sometimes fight over me and sometimes gang up on me (especially when I wake from a nap to find them standing over me like Gulliver and the Lilliputians.

Winter is lovely because they snuggle all night with me. As it gets warmer they will abandon me as my body warmth is no longer required and no amount of coaxing will work. It is a sign of spring.
posted by kitten magic at 3:47 AM on July 29, 2018 [4 favorites]

I have the C-cat and the K-cat. Names redacted as the C-cat is a bit of a beard about internet privacy. Not sure about the K-cat's views as I have only had her a few weeks and we haven't got on to the topic yet.

The C-cat will be 16 in December and is a grumpy old man. Except for me, he hates everyone and also everything they stand for. He just about tolerates me. I've had him from a kitten, when his birth name was Vinnie, after Vinnie Jones, because of his size. I picked him from the litter because he was the one who shook when I picked him up, and at that point he was going to be an indoor cat so I thought he'd settle to it better than his braver siblings. At the vet last week the vet called him "a good old gentleman" and had to give up the idea of weighing him as he could not be kept on the scales.

The K-cat is 8 and was adopted from somene moving to Birmingham. I advise against adopting a floofy black cat at the start of a heatwave. She hasn't enjoyed being kept in. As of today, the rules are relaxed and both cats are roaming the house, though the K-cat can't go outside yet (and if she did I think she might drown, given the UK's storms).

This morning there was an extended stand-off on the stairs. The C-cat was at the top and the K-cat hunkered down at the bottom, both singing the songs of their respective people. Had a bit of a problem getting downstairs. I don't think they'll go for each other but the C-cat is very likely to lash out at me. Broke the stalemate in the end by dropping a towel down the stairs and everyone ran away.

My mother told me the other day how strange it is that one of her friends talks about her cat as if it is human ...

Really enjoying everyone's stories, thank you. And the pictures of pets and pies.
posted by paduasoy at 3:52 AM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

Came back to say, wonderful names. I like Nigel Wrench, Sir Walter Raleigh (does he pronounce it Rally or Rawley?), Owain Glyndwr, Islay and Jura and Rosalind Franklin.

I wanted to rename the K-cat when she came to me, as her name is not really up to snuff, but Ravelry told me that would be mean, and it turns out she knows her name. Never knew a cat that did before.

Also, (mostly) non-cat-related news, I made a cress house recently and recommend it. Looks a bit like this but more random and with cats. Also got a mustard extension which I need to work out how to integrate. Now I have to find recipes involving cress that are not egg sandwiches. Am enjoying making things with cardboard recently. I need to make a fort for the K-cat (the C-cat would disdain it).
posted by paduasoy at 4:04 AM on July 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

And I meant to say, new names suggested for the K-cat by my family were Bobby Gosh and Caffè Nero. Maybe it's a good thing she did know her name.
posted by paduasoy at 4:14 AM on July 29, 2018

We have two rescue cats currently in our house. My wife has always preferred rescue animals - in fact, when we got married she had two other cats who were rescued as kittens - they both died about a year apart due to different issues (one had diabetes, the other had renal failure).

Houdini came to our house last year shortly after one of our cats died. My wife had gone to the vet to ask him something and he asked her if we would consider fostering a cat that had been in his office for some time. Houdini had been with a previous owner who passed away some time ago, and the vet had basically been keeping him as a sort of office cat while trying to find him a home. We agreed to take him for a couple weeks to see if he wanted to stay with us, and it didn't take long at all for him to make himself at home. He's eight years old, and sweet as can be. He likes to serve as an alarm clock by jumping on our bed around 6 AM and head butting me until I get up to feed him.

Lucy is a 10 week old kitten (she'll be 11 weeks old on Monday) who showed up out of the blue when she was about 3 weeks old. My wife heard something crying near our house but couldn't locate it, so she asked me to come help her look. Lo and behold, we found a small kitten crouched next to our porch, all alone. Apparently, from what we could determine, her mother had been hit by a car and killed, and Lucy was the only kitten she had. We took her in and started reading up on how to bottle feed a kitten (something neither one of us had done before). She's our resident "wild child", full of energy and eager to get into anything and everything.
posted by Roger Pittman at 4:43 AM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

Oh, if you like dogs, then you may like a dog with a GoPro camera, set to the Benny Hill saxophone music.
posted by Wordshore at 5:05 AM on July 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Wordshore is a cruel person who did not bring enough to share.

Pats for the pets!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:05 AM on July 29, 2018

We have cranky old man Wigford, who spends an extraordinary amount of time slapping down the antics of his two new little companions, Luna and Rose (aka Rosie).

The kittens are sisters and still very young.

Luna is calmer, quieter and loves to play fetch. Because she is calmer, Wigford tolerates her much better and will deign to share space with her on the bed or the oak chest.

Rosie has two settings - On and Off. As I mentioned in the purring thread, her favorite thing to do right now is to wake you at 3:00AM with purring, chirping and enthusiastic affection. She also supervises the filling of the food bowls (and has "fallen" into the container several times) and the cleaning of the litter boxes.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:24 AM on July 29, 2018 [4 favorites]

I know some people don’t like the term pet, preferring instead animal companion, perhaps because pet in its original usage implies a power imbalance through taming. And I guess I don’t think about my animals in an ownership sense. More of a responsibility and a friendship. I have always had at least one dog, except for a couple of years when I was at college. I kind of need a dog. Like I’m not my whole self without one. My current dog is Beagle-something named Lucy and she’s amazing. But I also think that after over fifty years of living with a dog, I’ve gotten much better at it, and the reason why Lucy is such a great dog is at least in part related to me being the best companion for a dog I’ve ever been. We’re a family of four humans, and she’s definitely chosen me over the others. She’s not even subtle about it. But I take her out twice a day, notice when her water is low or old (it’s not even on my chore list). I know about that spot under her ears, I let her off leash in certain areas of the woods, I know when she’s afraid and I pick her up the right way to get her out of frightening situations. I know how good it feels to occasionally have a collar removed and a good and thorough neck scratching. I can read her mind and can tell what she wants, that’s what she loves the most. She can communicate with me. This was not something a young Stańczyk could do. This took fifty years of living with and observing dogs. And my reward for all that watching is the shared love and experiences I have with this fantastic animal who might be the best dog I ever had because I’m the best human companion I’ve ever been.

She is so attached to me that I sometimes wonder about what her early months were like as a puppy before we adopted her. If I had to guess I fear something or someone scared the shit out of her. She is so timid with other people and generally distrusting of other dogs. My kids want to get another dog, and as much as I’d love another, I don’t think it would be good for Lucy. It would make her very anxious. And she’d hate to see me showing another dog attention. I’m her boy. Hers alone. She lets me know that every night before bed when she cuddles up for a good night skritchens, and every morning as I start to stir when she sneaks up to my face for a good morning lick. She’s an awesome dog. I love her to pieces.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:43 AM on July 29, 2018 [9 favorites]

I love all of your pets!

My house is full of small furry beasts with big personalities.
Figlet :The OG. 12.5 years old, very handsome. My first dog, I got him as a puppy and he's been with me through a lot. Wonderful dog, friend to everyone. Great to cuddle with, his chest fur is softer and fluffier than it looks. Pretty smart, but uses it to train humans and boss them around. Big treat entitlement attitude.

Lindy (left, with Figlet right) : 7-8 years. We got her because my husband wanted a companion, she was mine from Day 2. She still chases my husband around , barking at his every move when I'm at home. Her vision is severely impaired ,which slowed down her terrier tenacity but she gets around pretty well. Expert cuddler.. If there is a lap, she is in it.

Taco : 3ish. All legs, full of explosive energy. Vocal defender of the house. Also prefers me over my husband. Very demanding of snuggles. Very small and cute, which makes neighborhood kids fawn over him, even after he charges at them with lots of barks, and would definitely bite if I didn't corral him. He tries very hard to be good, but is a pretty bad dog.

Arizona: 6, 7 years? petite lump of fluff. No tail, was amputated after an accident before we got her. Very very skittish, but when she is out, she enjoys attention, to the point that she'll swat at you as you walk by if you don't acknowledge her. Loves lounging around and making air biscuits. Also enjoys yowling for food in the morning when she hears us wake up.
posted by Fig at 6:11 AM on July 29, 2018 [10 favorites]

This is Dodger. We've had him since December, and he's pretty much the best ever. He likes to squirm and wallow and generally get comfy and get rubbed. He has a truly excellent underbite. He likes peanut butter, iffy on Roomba. He's a bit of a whiner. He thinks I should study less (srsly mom staaaahp) and nap more.
posted by obfuscation at 6:26 AM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

Oh! Also! He is chock-full of kisses and gives them out freely!
posted by obfuscation at 6:36 AM on July 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

And my reward for all that watching is the shared love and experiences I have with this fantastic animal who might be the best dog I ever had because I’m the best human companion I’ve ever been. Stanczyk, thank you. What a wonderful insight; what a meaningful bond.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:45 AM on July 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

My spouse and I are slowly becoming "those people". You know those people. The ones that have a zoo in their house.

I'll skip all the rescues that are no longer in our life (almost all because of old age). Our current iteration is this rescue pup. Geez, I still call him pup even though he has turned into a well behaved gentleman. He is a wonderful, wonderful dog. We drove almost two hours to an animal shelter to get him. We almost didn't go home with him the day we decided to get him because we had pets previously and so the shelter wanted confirmation that we were good stewards of animals and wanted to contact our vet who was not available for whatever reason. My spouse worked some magic and got hold of the vet and we left with him that day.

So, he was found by one of the employees of the shelter in the middle of a busy road trying to help another lost dog across the street. The other dog had already been hit by a car and was dead. But, our dog still wanted to help. That is his nature.

We took him home on a Saturday. If we could not get in contact with the vet, we were planning on picking him up the next Saturday. The Wednesday between those two saturdays, there was an electrical fire in the big dog part of the shelter, and all the big dogs died. I don't know what to make of it, but somehow our dog's compassion for a dog that had already passed, I believe, the universe decided he should be saved twice in one week.

Next up is the bunny, which I don't have any pics of. It's the kiddo's pet. We thought it was white, but it's actually an albino. And, yeah, my kiddo named it Killer, a la Monty Python. I take full responsibility in slowly creating a monster. (My kiddo, that is, not the bunny.)

But, here is the part where we really start getting to be "those people". Our six hens. Having hens may not be enough to get us there, but we have had a turtle, rescued another turtle, a feral cat that clawed my spouse so bad an E.R. visit was almost in the works, rescued a dog from an honest-to-god crack house, rescued another dog from the busiest street in town (and that was one of two dogs that had worms that we rescued). I think the kiddo had a hamster or gerbil once? We have often had lizards from the yard that we have brought in and given a home.

In sum, we've gone beyond just "Oh, let's have a puppy!" almost to "We should really look at selling our house because we need a farm for all the creatures we love and take care of".

Here is one of the dog playing with the two oldest hens. And one of "my" first hen. She is lovingly named P.J. after Polly Jean Harvey. We call her Peej. If she were a rooster, he would be named either Prince or Ziggy (as in Ziggy Stardust), because look at that hair on top! But, yeah, Peej, because she is bad ass and independent and lets us know we are lucky to even be in the same room with her.

We had a rooster because the first set of chicks we got we raised from almost the day they broke their eggshells. But, city ordinance says no roosters allowed and you can't tell gender for a while. Our neighbors have a goat. We are strongly considering getting one as well. We literally live in the middle of our city. There is a convention center two blocks away and sushi another block beyond there. We are still a little on the odd end in regards to the animals we have and ones we are considering getting, but well within what is considered acceptable by the city and neighbors because... Texas. God bless Texas and it's quirky charm.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:55 AM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

A long time ago, our old black cat Tom was a very tough young beast, half Russian Blue, half Polish barn cat, and all very sharp teeth. Something made him spontaneously bite right from the start, and bite hard enough to draw blood and make you fling him in shock and pain. I think he was born and raised among dog kennels and not socialized as a kitten.

After many years with us (and many bloody hands), he lost his bite and mellowed into a sleepy old beast. But then he developed diabetes, so the former biter had to get used to insulin stabs. And now everything else seems to be falling apart inside him and he's anything but comfortable. Today was the worst. It can't wait.

So while I stay home and keep an eye on the kid, my wife has just taken Tom off to the vet to have him put down. He's probably going just now, old Tom, in a Sunday thunderstorm.
posted by pracowity at 7:10 AM on July 29, 2018 [21 favorites]

pracowity—so, so sorry. I’m sure you gave Tom a lovely life.
posted by bookmammal at 7:16 AM on July 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

In December 2016, when I knew I was going to have to drop out from college for the 4th time, I came home during lunch time and put myself in our downstairs couch and pretended to be a corpse. As I was having another disassociative event, I realized that I had left the door open, when I heard a soft "meow."

This black cat jumped on the couch, and then crawled over the blanket and then sat right on top of my chest and started purring until I fell asleep. I woke up crying and he was still there.

This cat was Orion and belonged to another member in our Coop. He had a habit of checking every door that was open and walking around each room and then leaving. He never made friends and liked no one, and didn't like pets.

At that moment, he had adopted me as his human, and would often sleep in my bed upstairs if I was home day-sleeping. He would curl up so that his donut body would be pushing against my body.

I miss him a lot. His owner moved away so now I just have these pictures and dream about him sleeping next to me.
posted by tedious at 7:17 AM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

Growing up, my husband's family had dogs, with the occasional cat. When his parents divorced, he moved in with his mother and her cats. He got a job that involved working around barns, and where there are barns, there are kittens, some of them tiny and sick enough to move the heart of a manly working teenage boy, who came through the door one evening saying "Mom, we need to take her to the vet," which was the beginning of that kitty's long and well-fed life with them.

Years later, as I sat in her kitchen petting this cat, my future mother-in-law told me about loss, about how she had lost a son a few hours after his birth. My husband's brother. "You can't replace people," she told me, "but you can always show kindness to a cat in need. And you can choose to reinvest in love."

pracowity, and others here, I'm sorry for the good ones you've lost over the years. Thank you for for taking more animals in after the tears. Thank you for reinvesting in love.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:48 AM on July 29, 2018 [13 favorites]

Late fall 2012, my (now ex) dude and I are sitting in our office, and he looks out the window and says "There's a dog running down the road". Reader, we lived in the country, and this was not unusual (one day, it was a horse in the yard, but I digress). A few minutes later, he looks up and this guy is looking through our back door.

"He'll be fine" I said. "He'll get turned into a pancake out here" ex-dude said. So we went out and scooped him up. No tags, no collar, nothing. We took him to the vet - no chip.

So we posted on Facebook and Twitter and called local vets. No one recognized him and no one wanted him. He had a long scar down the back of one leg, but even with that, no one said "oh, yup, ours, he got out."

We didn't want to surrender him to the shelter, because in our county that's a death sentence - there's just too many animals. So we had a dog.

The next year, when ex-dude and I split up, I wanted the cats and wanted him to take the dog. Recall that he was the one who wanted the dog in the first place.

So here me and Lattimer are, circa 2018. As he's gotten older, he's gotten a lot more territorial. He's on puppy Prozac, he's half blind and half deaf and is developing picky guts and he's got 6 people in the whole world (luckily, one of them my wife) that he can tolerate coming in the house (though he's fine at the boarder's. One day we were dropping him off and I'm like, ok, he's been a little more touchy lately so take care with him... and the teenager scooped him right up and said "Oh, we love Lattimer!" I swear to you, the asshole grinned at me.)

He drives us crazy, but he's loyal and loving and cuddly. I love him, even though he's difficult. Most of my friends call him the demon dog. But he's ours.
posted by joycehealy at 8:03 AM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

Edumund is now eight (eight!). I got him as a kitten from the Animal Humane Society in St Paul (he came home on the State Fair shuttle because the 3 just wasn't showing up). He remains something of a lunatic, though he's currently chilling in a shoe box which needed to be recycled on Friday, but he was sitting in it being cute. Edmund plays fetch, but only if he's in the mood. He also likes playing "chase the toy but make you walk over and pick it up yourself".
posted by hoyland at 8:20 AM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

This glorious catbeast, this catonic ideal, this paragon of feline virtue ... this is Triceratops. She is the best/worst cat in the entire world and she lives with my parents until I'm less itinerant and I love her more than anything, and she loves me more than anything too, except maybe smartfood popcorn and ice cream.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:36 AM on July 29, 2018 [9 favorites]

I have a three-legged cat, adopted about 4 years ago, aged 5-6. We are his third owners but he has been well looked after and is well-socialised. It only took him 2 days to first jump up on the couch and ask for some lap time. He is quite a sweet boy and fond of people and the garden, but a bit of a terror with local wildlife.

Anyway, last night he went out while we were settling down for dinner, as he often does. About 15 minutes later we were watching some TV and a paw bashed the living room door open. Simon was sat there with a pitiful look on his face. God knows what had happened but he was covered in dirty water and bits of mud, he had a scratch on one ear, a small puncture on his head, another on his back and had torn a toe on his back leg. They had all clotted so nothing too bad we think. We cleaned him up but he was clearly feeling very sorry for himself. He ate a load of extra food and then slept for most of 12 hours, curled up at the end of the bed. He did go out this morning but has been on the couch most of the day. We have ran our hands over him and nothing seems to be sore but we might still take him to the vet in the morning.
posted by biffa at 8:47 AM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

Here's Oona (occasionally Oonster, Kitty Lumpkins or Whiny Baby) a very good tuxedo cat who just celebrated her fifth birthday. She loves being brushed when my wife or I get home from work, and even if she's hungry for dinner she usually will insist on brushing first, sitting on the rug in our living room and whining for one of us to quit lollygagging around in the kitchen.

She hates going to the vet, which we did recently for another look at her mosquito-bitten ears (they're doing much better.) It took several minutes of wrangling to get her into her carrier, but she never scratched or nipped me once. She just put up a fuss until she was exhausted and resigned to going for a ride, whining all the way there. Of course, once she got inside the vet's exam room, the evil cat carrier became her safe space.
posted by emelenjr at 9:45 AM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

Finn is practically a dog- he loves attention and people food (which might explain why he’s almost 20 lbs, double his sister). He’s a cuddle bug. His sister, Flotus, is more traditional cat- standoffish except with Marc. She likes surveying the outdoors through the window and playing with little fuzzy toys. They both enjoy eating bugs and stalking each other through the house.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:56 AM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Here is Bento, having climbed on the forbidden clothes drying rack and fallen asleep with his nose in my socks.

He has many fine qualities, but by far the weirdest personality quirk is that sometimes when I am sitting at the kitchen table he will wedge himself between my butt and the back of the chair, put his paws on my shoulders and then peer over, I assume to see what I am eating and or doing. I have not managed to get a selfie of this yet but maybe one day.
posted by janepanic at 11:39 AM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

DJ night last night went FUCKING FANTASTIC and it was a lot of fun all around. I slept in (in my hammock, yay!) and am positively glowing, and I'm getting ready to go to the beach and just chill, have lunch and read a book and maybe a nap.

Everyone involved running this from the incredible solo bartender to the DJs and sound tech all said "Well, this is/was a lot of fun!" independently at different times, including myself. It was the first thing I said after my set. It's what we all said after last call and kicking everyone out. Which, hey, we had a crowded bar to clear out, so that was also a thing.

And I get a fully comped food and bev tab and I get paid for this? Wait, what? I mean I'd do it for free and bring my own snacks because: subwoofers and dance floor and dancers, but ok, this is really nice.

One of the things I've been really loving about the mental health and clarity post-HRT is feeling oddly comfortable on stage or even public speaking. Like, instead of anxiety there's just anticipation to be there doing my thing. I have had no problems or anxiety at work related stuff either, and I'm actually looking forward to a few public-facing events coming up where all I have to do is stand around and talk enthusiastically about our programs and org.

Ok, so, pets.

This murderous furbeast I keep talking about isn't actually my cat, but my housemate's cat.

She's pretty much adopted me and she's an incredible sweetheart, really. She's all grey like fog with just a hint of a hidden white patch on her chest and incredibly soft. "OMG you're so floofy!" is a common exclamation on meeting her. She's also very solid, warm, largish and huggable.

Her most recently observed hunt happened earlier this month. I had a friend staying over and we were camping in the yard because it was glorious out and I live right next to the park where we have music festivals. We'd just returned, and were falling asleep.

Which is obviously the right time to show off your hunting skills, so she went and caught some kind of mole or gopher, brought it right over to the open edge of the rainfly I had put up, then proceeded to noisily dispatch it and eat it. It sounded like the foley for a goddamn horror movie. Yes, it was a topic of conversation the next morning because I was mortified and I'd hoped my friend had actually fallen asleep, but, no.

So, this is the same cat that comes and begs to sit in my lap with a plaintive mew, reaching out a paw to touch my arm or leg and already purring. It's at this point I scoop her up and she sits mostly upright in the small of my lap. If I hug her she goes "mmmmrRRRT!" happily as though you could squeeze out an extra happy purr. You can only do this a few times per lap session, though, and each squeeze generally elicits a smaller, shorter "mmmRRT!" until whatever it is runs out.

It's actually one of my favorite things in life right now and totally makes me squee with joy inside and want to nom on her ears and head, which I usually do.

And she'll do this thing in my lap where she lifts her head and presses it to my face or chin and just holds it there and purrs so loud I can feel it in my chest, and it's incredibly disarming and charming and just very sweet.

She's a good cat. Just... a bit too bloodthirsty and wild. I have to remember she's not a city cat but very much a farm and country cat brought to the (relative) city. She's pretty much a living example of how we never domesticated cats, and that they chose to sit in our laps.
posted by loquacious at 1:00 PM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

My current trio, Allan Armadale, Ozias Midwinter, and Lydia Gwilt (named for). When I went to the shelter, I was looking for a pair of young adults; instead, I wound up with a litter of three kittens, which figures. Allan, the dominant cat, is the household determinator: if he doesn't feel like moving, he doesn't move; if he wants to be where one of his siblings is, he takes over; if he wants grooming, he walks over to one of his siblings and lowers his head until they break out the tongue. Although he's cozy with both littermates, he's more tightly bonded to Ozias (they especially like to share the dry food bowl and knead their sherpa blankets at the same time). Ozias is more dependent on me than the other two--he's apparently quite concerned that I'll float up to the ceiling if he isn't on my lap, and insists on sharing the bed at night. Lydia, despite being named after a murderous femme fatale, is the sweetest (and most intelligent) of the group, and loves being held like a baby; she's also more independent than her brothers and prefers to sleep in a different room at night.
posted by thomas j wise at 1:46 PM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

He's a very good dog, smart enough to learn how to behave well. He's sitting up and smiling because I'm holding a tennis ball, about which he is passionate, and he has trained me to throw the ball for him. We have done a big road trip together; he travels well and trusts that there will be some ball-throwing when we stop to stretch. He's generally cheerful and likes attention. He came from a shelter in the US South where he had been a stray. He appears to be pure bred Jack Russell Terrier and whoever didn't claim him is nuts. He's middle-aged now, and makes sweet snort-y noises in his sleep.
posted by theora55 at 1:55 PM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

So a while back in metatalk I mentioned I was really excited to finally have a rocking chair in my house. It is now in my house! But I never get to sit in it

Also Eamon jumped over a whole bunch of stuff to land on my paint palette, and despite my best washing efforts he has a green paw now.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:17 PM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Here is Totoro, who is something around 14-15 (the shelter, in 2008, said he was four). The name kinda says it all: he's big and grey (about 14-15 lbs at his heaviest, somewhere around 12-13 now that he's gotten older) and about as mellow as they come.

I adopted him about two months after I moved to Nashville in 2008. I'd grown up with cats, had just rented a gigantic apartment (because Nashville in 2008 was cheap, particularly coming from Boston) and I found I was just rattling around. So, Feline Overlord. He's moved cross-country with me twice (Nashville -> Berkeley; Berkeley -> Cambridge) and my wife trained him to be a serious lap cat very shortly after we started dating in 2011.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 2:41 PM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

The closest thing I have to a pet at the moment is the apartment spider that I've named Spot. Every couple of weeks I see Spot crawling along the ceiling behind the TV going back and forth from who knows where to who knows where; I always lose track of where Spot goes...

A couple of decades ago, for a while, I was the human of The World's Best Cat named Lick Pussy. But that's a long story... we lived with an actual wolf for a while. (Lick was raised by lesbians, hence the name).

Sadly pets aren't in the near future, I still want to do some extended travels maybe.

On the current side of things... I'm still tweaking my laptop rebuild and copying things from backups into their proper place cleaning up as I go. And preparing to get my sleep schedule back on track for...

Next Sunday GameHaus Meetup! YAY!
posted by zengargoyle at 3:18 PM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

My cat - or, perhaps, step-cat, since I started dating her human when she was a teenager - fell in love with a very specific water glass while staying with family when we traveled. She liked it so much that they gave it to us so that she could continue to drink from it. When we moved to a new city, we accidentally discovered that she loved to drink from a glass placed on a specific bookcase in the bedroom. She liked it so much so that she quickly refused to drink from any other place in the house. If her very specific glass wasn't at least 80% full and placed in the right spot on her bookshelf, she'd complain until we filled it.

The last two years of her life, when she was completely blind and suffering from kidney failure, she would climb a stack of wooden boxes up to the book shelf several times a day to take a drink and then leap more than a meter to the bed afterward. Even during her last week, when she was totally incontinent and vomiting blood, she was still making that leap across a dark chasm and landing confidently on the bed every time.

I hope, but doubt, that I'll be as feisty and confident when I'm as old as her.
posted by eotvos at 3:25 PM on July 29, 2018 [13 favorites]

I have three cats.

We got Bea (one Beatrix Kitters) around three years ago - we were at the point where we were sort of considering getting a cat but hadn't really checked any of the shelters or anything like that, and a friend of mine hooked me up with one of her coworkers, whose ex had left her cat behind after the divorce. Also, the cat sat like a human.

Bea's basic story is that she thinks she's a dog - she was living with a dog before, wags her tail when she's happy, super needy and direct about wanting pets. If she doesn't feel like she's getting enough pets she will a)take her paw and lower the phone that's inevitably in my hand b) simply position herself under my hand and walk or c) just sort of poke and lick you until you give in. She likes being around me when I'm spinning yarn, though she doesn't play with the roving or anything - she just likes watching the wheel. In the winter it's a little annoying because she needs to be on my lap (spinning wheels work with foot pedals), but in the summer she really loves the breeze coming off of the wheel, so she'll grab herself a toy or two and wait for me to sit down. Like this.

While she's kind of needy, she's also super patient: here's a video of me booping her toebeans.

So that's one of the three - in November 2016 I ended up taking in two of my brother's cats: lifestyle changes meant he wasn't really able to take care of them the same way anymore, and they'd been living with my mother for nearly a year (my mom wasn't super happy about this). It was right after the election, and we got Sam and Sylvia. They're siblings, but Sam is twice the size of silvers. We didn't play favorites, but the cats did: Sam chose my husband as his favorite human, while Silvers prefers me (and gets territorial if Sam tries out my lap - one, two, three. Sam and silvers are a lot less visitor-friendly than Bea is and are a lot less hands-on, but when Silvers wants pets, she'll let you know. She rarely likes to sit down on a lap, but will happily walk across your lap and make circles for like twenty minutes, and will meerkat for pets (nothing's in my hand, that's all for the pets).
posted by dinty_moore at 6:47 PM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

I have a betta fish in a 10 gallon tank. His name is My Cousin Finny.
posted by bq at 7:21 PM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

Not pet-related, but I just discovered how awesome men's long-leg boxerbriefs are at preventing chub rub when wearing skirts/dresses, and I want to shout it to the rooftops. I was doing Body Glide and/or bike shorts, which are okay. The boxerbriefs are a lot thinner and you can get them with cooling fabric (!!). And, they're cheap!

(I feel like I got this idea from Metafilter, so we may be coming full circle)

((Ok, more pet pictures! Here's a tax: lazy dogs ))
posted by Fig at 8:30 PM on July 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

My outdoor fam, let me show you them. Tyson is the dark bay--I've had him for 7 years now, and he's the most boring/least quirky of the bunch. He's only 12, which is not at all old for a horse, but he's lame and retired and a proverbial grumpy old man for the most part. Yet, he's still the herd boss, the proverbial rug that ties the whole place together.
The cream-colored jiggly puff is Victor. I bought him when I knew I was going to be moving to my little acreage, to keep Tyson company. He likes to eat, stand around, and scratch his itchy spots. He's generally easy-going unless you ask him to move too much, and he's also hella scared of wildlife which we're working on. The most Victor-y thing he ever did was spook out from under me when a deer popped out on the trail, spin around and run 30 yards up the trail until he found a patch of grass to start grazing at.
The chestnut thoroughbred is Cinnamon. I decided to get him after I had to retire Tyson because I missed having a horse who actually likes to move. He's my favorite, to be honest. He's very sensitive to noises and has, yes, spooked at his own farts. He also thinks Victor haz a flavor.
The most recent addition to the outdoor fam is my PITA daughter's PITA appaloosa-Arabian cross, who is quirky in the extreme. He is too smart by half, is super inquisitive, a complete cocky bastard, yet has this unsettling habit of taking naps in the middle of hay piles that make him look like he's passed on.
posted by drlith at 8:52 PM on July 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

Sorry, the quirky video got munged up there.
posted by drlith at 9:13 PM on July 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is my best buddy Oscar. His full name is Oscar Wildecat, technically, but Oscar, Snugglebutt, Babycat, and Murderfloof are all acceptable things to call him. He has majestic belly floof that he will only allow me to touch if I can sneak a pet in while he sits on my laptop. Hobbies include chewing with plastic bags, perching regally on the upstairs ledge, cuddling up to my unicorn hot water bottle, twisting into impossible positions, and yowling at my roommate’s grumpy old Lady Cat, Phoebe, who is thoroughly sick of his adolescent toxic masculinity.

I also live with my other roommate’s sweet but very dim pit bull, Lil Bones. She likes to give hugs and sit on the couch like a person, is endlessly tolerant of humans lying all over her for selfies, and once literally peed herself because she was terrified of an umbrella.
posted by ActionPopulated at 11:21 PM on July 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Pet Week, or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them--thanks, all!
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:30 AM on July 30, 2018

So late to this thread! But I gotta share my cohabitating creatures.

Selino Kyle was so named because my husband, enfatuated by the skinny feral, was convinced he was a girl. “She” was about 12 weeks old, and acclimated to humans pretty simply with the application of turkey and gushy foods. I was convinced he was too old to fully adapt to being a house cat, so I said we’d TNR “her”. Besides, my beloved chronically-ill-for-many-years cat (who wouldn’t let anyone but me touch him) had recently passed, and I’d said no more cats. But one evening, we freaked out watching her dash through traffic to come to my husband after work. He cuddled our visitor and said, “I love this little cat!”

This is the guy who was not at all an animal person when we met umpteen years ago. So I sighed, and brought the cat in. And discovered he was a he.

And shortly thereafter, Selino Kyle disavowed my husband. In five years, husband’s only been able to pet the cat twice. Only once was the cat willing.

And this is my canine companion, who has a name I swore I’d never name a dog. But when my elderly neighbor called me frantically, having just grabbed a dog who’d been running back and forth across a busy 6-lane road, my son and I were on our way to a Seussical rehearsal. And when the Grinch spends an hour holding a rail-thin, filthy, trembling little dog on his lap, well that dog’s name just has to be Max.

Max is now beloved by everyone who meets him. And while I’m his person, he also loves my husband. Which ALMOST makes up for the cat’s betrayal.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:03 AM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

Here is Mr. Big. He is best cat. Your cat is also best cat. All cats are best cat.

Cats are also assholes of the highest order. Including mine.

Got him right after the Super Bowl this year, found another cat on a local shelter page, went to go see that one, and that one was gone. This little guy made lots of good noises, and even though he doesn't like to be held much, he and I bonded in the shelter play room. I came back the following day and got him. We've been buddies since.
posted by deezil at 5:50 AM on July 30, 2018 [8 favorites]

This is Olive. She is some kind of Amstaff mix and is 2.

She and I had a rough first month after I adopted her from the Humane Society in April of 2017, but she's chilled out since and has become a very good companion. She likes to chew and sleep and chase bubbles and roll around in the grass. She does not like to swim, but she thinks that all water from a hose is great to bite. She likes to play fetch but I have not yet found a solution to her "no take, only throw" issue that crops up after 5-10 throws. I live alone, so I talk to her (and sing to her) a lot.

She also had a very exciting adventure on Saturday. She was outside by herself in the fully-fenced back yard and was motivated by something (probably a rabbit) to squish herself under the bottom of the fence in the one area that was just big enough for her meatball head to fit underneath, and when I went out to look for her a few minutes later, no Olive. By the time I'd finishing panicking and had gotten around to where she'd gotten out, she'd crawled back under the fence and was waiting for me by the back door. She was very pleased with herself, and I am very lucky that she's not the kind of dog to run away (since she knows I have all the food). I spent part of my day yesterday adding some wood and brick reinforcements to the fence to make sure she can't do any further free-range rabbit chasing.
posted by minsies at 6:33 AM on July 30, 2018 [6 favorites]

This is excellent timing because we have just added to our herd! We've had many cats and seemed to settle on three as being the ideal number. Currently we have Ratchet and Ernie. Ratchet was a hand-me-down from a woman who had to move back in with her allergic parents, and he is a lover, a snuggler, and an eater of plastic bags to an extent that alarms me but he has some kind of radar. Ernie came from a no-kill shelter and won my heart by running over, plopping in my lap, and purring like a crazy thing.

We tried a couple of cats to fill the third spot - Glenn, who was so timid that Ratchet took to bullying him and Glenn took to peeing on everything and everyone. He was returned to the no-kill shelter and was adopted to a new great family three weeks later. Then there was Diego the Ditch Kitty, who has a less than stellar grasp on litter box norms but also began to bully the other two. He was rehomed with a friend, now has a Corgi and Saint Bernard to boss around, and is doing splendidly.

Third time was the charm - we now have Oona from the humane society. She started out as Tatiana but is such a delicate little thing that it seemed like too big a name for her. We decided to lean into the Charlie Chaplin mustache and not the "catsthatlooklikehitler" thing and named her after Chaplin's first wife. She is dainty but fierce and is holding her own against the boys and eats like a stevedore.

Then there is the dog of the house, Kiki, who is neurotic, loves me very much but is kind of indifferent to the husband, is very good with the cats, is very bad with fireworks and thunderstorms, and who was a foster dog but I couldn't stand to give her up. Sometimes her houndy indifference frustrates me but when she is happy and bouncy and running in the dog park I am delighted.
posted by PussKillian at 9:57 AM on July 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

I am wistfully happy for all of you! We are trying to figure out how to get a dog in our life, and it's...not solved yet.

We have a kid with allergies, so my wife is standing firm on a no-shed dog. After that, well, we'd love to rescue something, but they're always a mutt, you know? *sigh*

Our dog is out there somewhere...
posted by wenestvedt at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

I have a cat I love very much!! Her name is Amber, but we call her Meatloaf. When we got her from the shelter, her face was planted in the corner and her butt was facing our direction. She's very shy around strangers; possible history of abuse? She's comically afraid of small animals like mice and chihuahuas. One time, the backyard door was open and another cat came in; when we tried to gently direct it outside again, the cat hissed and yelled at my mom. Meatloaf came in to scare away the cat even though she was terrified (she left a puddle of urine).

Meatloaf also holds grudges if you're away for long periods of time. She will sleep with you at night, but will not deign to be in your presence in the daytime til a week has passed.
posted by typify at 11:25 AM on July 30, 2018 [6 favorites]

Also, our family is pretty difficult; when I was growing up, she was a good companion and place of gentleness.
posted by typify at 11:27 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't have public-facing photos of my cats, so will have to describe them clearly to give you all the picture.

Milo is a Katrina baby, adopted 2006 from Kenner, LA, where he was kept behind a closed door in his foster home so the terriers who lived there would not kill him. He is mostly Maine Coon with tremendous pantaloons and an ostrich feather of a tail. He is not smart but the sweetest and cosiest. He no longer passes out on my lap completely since we added Nigel to the family.

Nigel is a Sphynx with skin problems. We got him when he was returned to the breeder and subsequently given to my brother in law, a vet. He is outgoing, rubbery, and loves body heat. We have him on a regimen of meds for his autoimmune issues, and as long as he gets them regularly he doesn't break out in hives. He is often scabby, has tufts of white fuzz on both hipbones and the ghost of an orange-and-white pattern on face and ears, and pale blue eyes. My uncanny pile of flesh, like a bag made of skin. My kid calls his tail "Nigie's noodle." When I travel it's always a shock to see him again, he is objectively the weirdest looking animal I have ever known.

The naked and the furred, our weirdos live entirely indoors and spend most of their time in a basket full of dedicated cat blankets beside the couch. They are enormous, 18 and 15 lbs respectively, with that weird cat talent of becoming denser when they don't wish to be moved.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:46 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is Cindy, short for Cinnamon. When I was 10 years old, my parents took me to the local shelter to pick out a cat for my birthday. She was in a room that didn't have any windows except the one in the door. There was also no easy way for her to sit and look out the window, so she decided the best course of action was to jump up on the shelf next to the door and launch herself past the window, repeatedly. Obviously, 10-year-old me pointed at her and said, "I want THAT ONE!"

She is now 15 years old and, as mentioned previously, doesn't act a day over 5. She is also the most well-behaved cat I have ever met. She doesn't scratch on things she's not supposed to, almost never knocks things over, doesn't overeat, doesn't yowl at night, and doesn't get into our food or trash. The only bad behaviors she has are: 1) she likes to chew the corners off of papers, but that only happens if I leave them lying around, which is kind on me, and 2) she likes to knock her water out of the water bowl and lick it off the ground (???) but we put the water bowl in the bathroom and leave a towel on the floor to mop it up if she spills too much so that's not really much of a problem.

I was actually shocked the other day when I witnessed her knocking over the bathroom garbage can. I literally said, "She just misbehaved for the first time in her life!" Then my partner told me that they had recently used a wet wipe to give the litterbox a quick clean, and had thrown the wipe away in that garbage can, and we realized that Cindy was trying to get the wet wipe out because it smelled bad and she thought it belonged in the litterbox. We threw it away in the outside garbage and she was no longer interested in the trash can at all. She is also perfectly capable of getting under the sink where our trash can is (in fact, pretty much every single morning we find that door open because she went exploring under there sometime in the night) and yet has not bothered it once. She might chew on the recycling? But I've never checked because that's not a problem.

She also seems just generally concerned about the well-being of both me and my partner. When we come home at the end of the day, she's always at the door waiting for us. If we don't open the door quickly enough after unlocking it (which we usually don't, trying to get the keys out), she sticks her paw around the door and tries to pull it open, and she tries to come out into the hallway until she's heard or seen both of us--it's now a habit for us to both greet her and coo at her a little while we're trying to get in the door. Once she confirms we're both there she'll turn around and walk away. She also gets concerned when one of us is in the shower; she'll usually come sit on the toilet until we get out. But she gets really concerned if we're both in the shower together; she'll poke her head behind the shower curtain and put her paws up on the tub and meow in a most distressed manner. Maybe she thinks if only one of us is in the shower, the other can save them if they start drowning? But if we're both in the shower, well, that can't be safe!

Also she licks our faces every night when we get in bed. We are her dirty children and must be cleaned before we sleep.
posted by brook horse at 12:02 PM on July 30, 2018 [12 favorites]

I've had many cats in my life - but first in my heart (and chronologically) is Divinity. She is dead almost 30 years now, but such a lovely critter.
I found her while on a late-night walk with a friend - she was high up in a tree, and mewling for all she was worth. We got her down and I carried her on my shoulder (holder her tail over the other shoulder for balance) for over a mile. All she did was purr in my ear.
Her name is because she was white and sweet - like the candy. Pure white, with one blue eye, and one green eye. Whatever wasn't white was pink - toe beans, nose, ears, etc.
Her mission in life was to sit in laps - anyone's, it really didn't matter. You didn't even have to pet her, just accept her into your lap. She died at 21, and my heart broke for a few years. More cats followed, all of them dearly loved, but none so lovely as Divinity.
posted by dbmcd at 1:22 PM on July 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

Sadly, I don't have any pets at present. But I have been feeling rather sentimental about past pets lately, and finally was able to locate the Pet Pages from my very first website (circa 2004 - 06) on the Wayback machine. It brought back great memories of the two best cats in the world—Milo and Peppermint—and the cat that was a little less than the best (tho loved anyway)—Fat Cat. (Revisiting that ancient website also reminded me of how much FUN the internet was then. I couldn't get enough of all the gimmicks—photoshoppery, javascript, clipart...)

Oh, and I wasn't kidding about feeling sentimental about pets. Thinking about them reminded me of a wonderful children's book—Our Animal Friends At Maple Hill Farm. It's all about pets, past, present, and future. It's warm and teary. You'll love it as much as your kids. Maybe more. [PS: that's an amazon link; I don't know how to link it to Metafilter??)
posted by Transl3y at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

I have returned from a short vacation, which was orientated around inspecting cakes and pies (and also, eating a few). This took place mostly at the annual PieFest, which is a erm festival of pies in Melton Mowbray, the self-proclaimed centre of rural English foods.

I took a few photographs; the Flickr photo set. Of particular interest were the haslet, which was splendid, the pork and chorizo scotch eggs, which were delish, the wild beaver pie, the hot gooseberry chutney, which has apparently cured my 84 year old neighbours constipation, and the extra large pork pie, which I saw one couple buy, then sit on the nearest kerbside and proceed to quickly eat with cutlery they had brought with them.

There was also a pie for [redacted because politics].

And cakes! I was surprised how many there were at a pie festival, ranging from some giant cream-filled chocolate things through to split donuts and some nice Portugese tarts.

As well as this, there were also several lectures about pies, plus a pie-making workshop where I made something that looked less pie, and more obscene (accidentally). "I'm not sure what you could do with that once it's baked", my amused instructor commented. "I have a few ideas, but let's not go there", I offered. There were also the obligatory Morris Dancers, though my lasting memory is planning any future return so I spend the night in the hotel which contains a pie shop.

I now have to spend some time eating vegetables and detoxing, as I am soon to start the season of judging various foods at village shows and fetes. My trusty, and multi-purpose, Sheffield Steel seriously heavy fork, is prepared...
posted by Wordshore at 5:14 PM on July 30, 2018 [7 favorites]

Trans3ly I love those books - that one and another by same author and illustrator. I love finding people who cherished them like I did.
posted by PussKillian at 5:39 PM on July 30, 2018

I always miss these threads because I am afk for the majority of the weekend :(

Right now I have four chickens. I call them the goldfish of the yard because that's about the level of attachment I have to them. If they didn't provide delicious eggs and garden fertilization/rototilling services, I wouldn't have them. They live very spoiled chicken lives in a custom built coop and run but when they reach chicken menopause, they're becoming soup. So, not sure if they count as pets.

Once upon a time though we had a house full of non edible pets. They all one by one died off over the years and by the time the last one went, we'd had our son and taking care of a baby+pets just seemed overwhelming.

There was Kay, my college house cat. She started life as one of three kittens my meathead housemate adopted as, and I quote, "chick magnets." But then he graduated and went back to Korea and left three unspayed teenaged cats that the rest of us had to deal with. We all committed to talking one each and I said I wasn't picky so I got Kay. She was kind of the standoffish red headed stepchild of the group. She was also the only one who managed to escape the house and get knocked up before we had a chance to spay her, so then she had six kittens and there was a period of time during which my college house had 12 fucking cats. Anyway, I graduated and took Kay with me and she turned into an amazing, loving, snuggly cat. Right around the time I met my now-husband Kay went missing for about a month (she returned while I was away on Phish tour because 90s but now-husband took her in until I got back). She returned FIV+ and forever after was an indoor-only cat. She lived to be 15, and we finally had to say goodbye once she became so senile she was getting lost on the way back from the litter box. She was amazing. She had a little bob tail and looked like a stripey bunny.

Rudy we got as a companion for Kay. He was an FIV+ stray rescued by the local no kill shelter. He'd clearly been owned, he was far from feral, but he'd had a rough go of it on the streets. His ears were notched all to hell and his tail was paralyzed. His whole back end was kind of jacked up and he had trouble jumping up on things. He'd probably been hit by a car at some point. Anyway, he lived to be about 10 and was just a total love. He could pull himself up on our bed with his front claws and loved to sleep between my feet. He passed about a year before Kay and even though they were never snuggly close, she really mourned him.

After adopting Rudy we moved to Maryland and finally had a house in the country with lots of land for a dog. Nether I nor my husband had ever had dogs growing up, and this was the time before all information was easily accessible on the internet, so we kind of had to learn on the job. We adopted an akita mix from the pound that we called Ananda and this dog was incredible. Beautiful, happy, friendly (rather unlike akitas in general). If I had known then what I know now about dog training, Ananda would still be with us, I think. But I completely didn't know what I was doing, never really trained him because where we lived he didn't need much training, and it's my fault he died. He got run over when we were visiting my parents in the city because he didn't have a good recall and he got off his lead. It was really devastating, especially for my husband.

Next dog was a bloodhound mix named Conrad. He was my special needs dog and the one that forced me to learn about dog behavior. He had separation anxiety like WHOA. At 90 lbs, having him freaking out in our tiny 400 sq ft rental shack-in-the-woods was really really not a good thing. I wound up crate training him and that crate saved his life. It was the one thing that made him feel safe. He remained an anxious dog, leash-reactive, occasionally fear-aggressive, but at least he wasn't destroying the house. I continued to work on his training for years, not to do tricks but to try and help him feel more comfortable in the world. We moved back to the city after a few years and he had a rough time coping. He loved my mom, hated the cats (feeling was mutual), and was just this big, silent, wrinkly ball of mush. I always wished I could have done more to help him feel safer. He was the third of this crew to cross the rainbow bridge.

After moving back to Pittsburgh with a 90 lb dog and two cats, I started volunteering at the nearby animal shelter, where I saw a newly arrived dog across a crowded room and it was love at first sight. That was the dog soon to be known as Marlowe, a young purebred black and tan coonhound who had gotten lost presumably while on a hunt out in a rural area where the shelter was already full. So they brought him in to town. He had tattoos in his ears from his breeder, but they were indecipherable to anyone who isn't, like, a coonhound breeder. This dog, man. He'd clearly never lived in a house before and wasn't housetrained, couldn't walk on a leash, didn't really have pet dog skills. He'd been a working dog, and I can respect that. I took him to a CGC class and he turned out to be remarkably trainable (for a coonhound). We ended up doing agility and rally obedience together and he earned his rally-o novice title. I loved seeing the looks people gave us when I rolled up to an obedience competition with a coonhound. He was my heart dog. I miss his long soft ears and the little sighs and moans he'd make when he was getting comfortable. He was the sweetest, most bomb-proof, most beautiful dog. He was also dumb as a box full of other boxes, but I've come to conclude that I prefer dumb dogs. I do not need a dog with an IQ higher than my own--you can keep your border collies, tyvm. Give me a dumb, food-motivated lazy-ass hound dog any day of the week. (We will ignore in this eulogy his disgusting habit of eating frozen poop in the yard during winter just as we will not discuss the time he ate so much of it that he came back in the house and threw it up again onto the carpet.)

After all that, we felt kind of over pets for a while. And as it turns out, my kid does not like animals (I know, I'm not sure where he came from either) so for now we have no plans to take on any more. I do think I'll wind up getting an old lady dog though, when the time comes. I miss dogs and I miss dog training. I miss cats too, but someone seriously needs to invent a perfect non-smelly litter box because that's just the worst.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:06 PM on July 30, 2018 [8 favorites]

Normally, I have one schmookie. Her name is Mitzi. The last month, due to mother-in-law's congestive heart failure, I have two schmookies. The second one is Shayna. This photo is just after they got home from the salon. Shayna is in front and Mitzi is in the back. They are very fancy. Both of them are rescues and now that they have lived together for about a month, they are teaching each other their worst habits, which is just mildly annoying. Also, it is 100+ where I live and they both want snuggles at the same time, which is sweaty. I am looking forward to MIL's surgery tomorrow so that Shayna can go home to her mama.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:22 AM on July 31, 2018 [7 favorites]

I love seeing everyone's photos & reading the stories.

This is Bunk; short for Bunker. The foster home we adopted him from described him as a "nerdy dog", which means he fits right into our house. He loves sleeping on/next to people, and is the only dog I've had who will literally burrow under the covers to sleep. He has us well trained - he'll come into the bedroom at 3 or 4 in the morning and we will let him into the bed, and not even really wake up in doing so. You just wake up with him snuggled next to you, snoring. He's completely useless as a watchdog; he treats everyone who comes to the house as his new best friend.

Anyways, his favourite game in the whole world is tug. He really won't play anything else - if you try to start any other type of play, he will run and grab his tug rope. In the evening, when we do the dishes, he will sit at the doorway to the dining room with the rope on the floor, looking at us hopefully. If that doesn't work, he will bring the rope into the kitchen and set it down behind us, hoping that if we trip over it, we'll decide to play. If that doesn't work, he will grab it and run away, flinging it about, in an effort to show just how much fun his toy is. When I do play tug with him, I am always amused by how he whips his head about when you don't have the rope - not to try to keep it away from you, but to try to make it so you can grab on. And afterwards, he will climb into your lap (if you let him), and snooze away, bleping and snoring the whole time.

He's a good dog.
posted by nubs at 7:48 AM on July 31, 2018 [9 favorites]

I forgot my chickens. They are Tikka, Teriyaki and Marsala. Teriyaki is very sassy and Marsala is broody and really irritable. Tikka just follows Teriyaki around.

Also, I have 3 beehives. Swarmy Daniels is my current favorite. She moved in around January and is healthy and growing and really lovely and docile for a feral hive. Ida Bee Wells is very fierce, which is appropriate and in her namesake's footprints. Susan Bee Anthony is my oldest hive, also a feral swarm and she has just been plodding along making honey and baby bees for 5 years this month.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:11 AM on July 31, 2018 [20 favorites]

Sophie1, you choose names really well. My hat's off to you.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:38 PM on July 31, 2018 [7 favorites]

I am hangry and hormonal and just altogether done in today and this post is a balm to my grumpy soul. I will share photos and video of Bunnycat when I get home and want to kill fewer people
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:57 PM on July 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

i have an axolotl named wani-chan. he has big dreams, so i named him the japanese word for alligator.

a few years ago i had a knee injury that earned me six months of rehab, and after a really difficult session one day i decided i needed a pet to cheer me up. wani-chan started off very small, but quickly grew up. he has many talents: climbing, lurking, and getting stuck.

axolotls are pretty low-key pets, really. the hardest part is keeping his water cool enough during summer in japan - especially this year. it's really calming to look over at his tank and watch him move around slowly (most of the time).
posted by emmling at 5:33 AM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

omg cgg and Too-Ticky, they are SO GORGEOUS!

I disagree that all black cats look alike. Mine are very different in the face. Here's Squeaky doin a blep. This perfectly encapsulates Spooky's personality. And here's my dear departed Damon.

Family portrait, albeit reluctant. Spooky and Squeaky together so you can see the differences.

Natural light is really the key to photographing black cats.
posted by AFABulous at 7:46 AM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

Our Molly.

She makes me laugh a lot because she's such a goof.

She was recently under the weather with some sort of undiagnosed bug and I had to take her into the vet for a round of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory shots to bring down her fever. She's back to her endearingly annoying self, shouting for milk (I swear she can say "milk" although it comes out like "meawlk") and dinner (different kind of meow) or be taken out to the backyard (I take her out on a leash on the weekends).

She's silly and cute and sometimes affectionate and gaahhh I love her so much!
posted by like_neon at 9:13 AM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

AFABulous: I disagree that all black cats look alike. Mine are very different in the face. Here's Squeaky doin a blep.

That's some high quality blep. I say one good blep deserves another.
They're magnificent beasts! And I agree about the natural lighting. Everything is better with the flash turned off.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:29 AM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am the mother of two dogs, Kenda and Maeby. I've talked about them a lot here on MetaFilter, so I'll just give a quick update.

Maeby got very sick this Spring - we weren't sure if she would make it. Though we never got a diagnosis, she started slowly recovering. She's gained back all her weight and some of her strength but her breathing is very compromised, and it's likely to remain so. Her doctors have cleared her to return to work as a therapy dog, so we're preparing to begin her fifth year as a CASA court dog and Ruff Reading dog.

On Monday, Kenda and I went on an overnight backpacking trip in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness (NC/TN line) with three girlfriends. Kenda is my adventure dog, as well as a Canine Good Citizen and enthusiastic Barn Hunt competitor.
posted by workerant at 12:16 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

This young cat was (and presumably still is) Delilah.

Delilah arrived as a kitten courtesy of the daughter, and lived here a couple of years. All was well until said daughter moved in with her Dickhead Boyfriend and realized after a couple of months that Dickhead Boyfriend is Dickhead. Daughter returned home, cat was to be returned by DB a day or so later, but he refused to return cat unless Daughter would agree to have a talk with him and drop the charges (not even kidding). No go, so no cat. Delilah became a bargaining chip, and we have not seen her since. Fortunately by all accounts he loves the cat, so Delilah is likely to be looked after better than daughter was.

Sorry, that got away from me a bit. In her time here Delilah was much adored. She had previously been abandoned (argh... I don't care for people that much) and decided once she got here I was her favourite giant human. When she came home from her visit to the vet to get spayed she jumped up into my arms and fell asleep for an hour with her faced nuzzled into the crook of my elbow. The day before she left, she fell asleep lying on the couch with her head in the palm of my hand -- I had just reached over to skritch her chin, but she was a smitten kitten.

She was fascinated by desktop publishing: a document issuing from the printer would send her careening down the stairs from the top floor to the basement to swat irritatedly at the paper issuing forth from black box. When it would slide back in for double-sided printing, she redoubled her efforts.

We learned the name had a generational divide, causing everyone to burst into song: Tom Jones for the olds, and Plain White T's for the younglings.

Shoes were a source of enduring fascination for her: regularly she would stand in the front hall with her feet planted in human shoes, for reasons all her own.

Because she was mostly Russian Blue, I used to practice my very rusty Russian on her. One time I told her, "your little face is so fuzzy I can't even," (Ваше маленькое лицо настолько нечеткое, что я даже не могу) but she just looked at me blankly. Took me a minute to realize I had gone for the wrong "fuzzy" -- нечеткое means more like "blurry" or "indistinct" so I probably should have used пушистое instead. Hence the blank look. I did, however, usually address her as кошка (kotchka -- female cat), which she did appreciate.

And like every proper cat, she had no regard for human rules. She and I had a regular conversation when she would walk on the very table I am typing on right now:

Me: "Cat, get down! Table is not for kittens!"

Delilah: "But what if IS for kittens?"

Me, scooping her up and putting her on the floor: "Definitely is not."

Delilah, faintly, from the floor: "BUT WHAT IF IS?"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2018 [15 favorites]

It's amazing how far skittish and traumatised Wodan has come in being A Real Cool Unconcerned Cat. He was recently spotted sitting right at the curb of the road one house over, looking into the ditch next to it. When a car came (it's not a very busy road, maybe a few cars a minute at top times) he was totally unbothered and didn't even look up.

There are a lot of things he observes, which he then figures out how to best deal with.
posted by Stoneshop at 5:06 AM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Stoneshop: When a car came (it's not a very busy road, maybe a few cars a minute at top times) he was totally unbothered and didn't even look up.

He did keep an ear on it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:26 AM on August 2, 2018

Artemis is a French lop and was a 4H rabbit before she came to me. Her name was Jellybean and she's not quite smart enough to have known it, but she still needed a name with a little gravitas, I decided, because she is a very opinionated rabbit. A while ago in a morning scroll through Twitter I ran across the recording of Stéphane Grappelli playing violin on Wish You Were Here and started listening to it. Artemis got MAD AS FUCK about it and thumped a back foot on the floor through the whole song. I gave her cilantro later as a peace offering, and head scritches, of course.
posted by clavicle at 12:05 PM on August 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

I present Ritzy (tortie) and Volta (tweet with pic of them resting in the sun on the balcony).

Ritzy is four years old and is a pretty cat-like cat. She is a little skittish around new people - and in general - but will occasionally decide someone is her person and go lay on their lap or (more often) sniff at/chew on their hair.

We adopted her at age 10 weeks from another person in our foster group; she had been living with her siblings and a lot of other cats. We were told she didn't like to play and we were concerned she would never really warm up to us. The second day we had her we cooked some duck breasts and it turns out a cat will warm up to you real quick if you give her rare duck. It also turns out that she loves to play but is still nervous about being seen doing so (expecting another cat to try to take the toy). She will even stop if a human sees her. So mostly when we hear her bounding around after something we leave her alone. Or if I see her trotting with her current favorite toy, a plastic wrapping strap, in her mouth I let her have her fun.

When Ritzy was six months old we got a litter of foster kittens. Ritzy was concerned at first but soon learned that these tiny monsters were bad eaters and were often covered in food. She started to spend as much time around them as possible and helped clean them, a.k.a. get a tasty snack of excess kitten food.

Of that litter the standout was Volta. She liked sleeping in a pile of her siblings (Tanti, Largo, and Varla) but she also wanted to know where the humans were (see here, for example). When we fed the kittens she'd go first because the screamiest kitten gets their maw filled with food first. Volta also liked Ritzy (pics from defunct tumblr with foster kitten photos).

So we kept Volta. And she is the least-cat cat I have known. She is much less nervous than Ritzy and always considers herself welcome. She sleeps the sleep of a cat that has never been in danger. When she wakes up she cries about being alone and comes and looks for the humans (or Ritzy, if she is the only other being around). She is also very needy for a cat, and spends as much time as she can laying on my legs, against a hip, on a chest, or on a neck. She is bad but when we pick her up to take her away from being bad she starts purring and quickly forgets what she was doing, happy to be held.
posted by mountmccabe at 4:49 PM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

« Older Request to admins to just have weekly or even...   |   Different qualities of Levi's clothing at... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments