Like many families we have had a lot of pets over the years. I suppose my first was Petunia, a New Hampshire Red rooster. I have no idea what ever happened to him and I don't want to dwell on him other than that he won a blue ribbon in a 1930's county fair. The next pet was a Collie puppy given to me for my graduation from high school, was named 'Velvet' after the movie, National Velvet, but I think my mother wanted a collie and Velvet stayed with her when I left home shortly after graduation.
Over the years we have provided housing and food to a Heinz-57 variety of critters - dogs - birds - cats and one gerbil that escaped into a heating duct and died. Since we had no idea where the remains were we just had to tough the smell out over a period of time.
There were a few noteworthy pets, though. There was 'Punkin Puss' - a yellow or orange cat who came home one Hallowe'en night missing its tail. Not the kindest trick or treat we've ever seen. For years - and several moves - there was 'Carolina Candy', our own Collie, who provided us with a litter or two of puppies. 'Candy' was a beloved pet and it was devastating when serious canine
afflictions necessitated her being consigned to doggie heaven. I swore up and down I never wanted to get that attached to a dog again.
There was a cat named, for the lack of a better nom de plume, 'Kitty Kat', and there was another cat, 'Abigail' a calico, that was part of the family 'forever'.At least, it seemed forever, and like 'Candy', it was a horrible experience when she departed. In fact, we had been becoming more and more an empty nest with children going on to their own lives and losing 'Abbie' was almost like one of the children - at least to me. I vowed 'never more' for pets. And it remained that way for a long time.
However, that didn't take away my enjoyment of pets. There were Amy and Vic's black labs, and nowadays 'Pippa'. There are 'Maxwell' and 'Pugsley' and a number of others including Lisa's menagerie. They are great - so long as I don't get personally attached.
We've known 'Isabel' for years. Every visit to daughter Lisa has meant visits from 'Izzie', another calico, who is almost overly friendly. In a downsizing of pets, 'Izzie' became vulnerable to relocation. Since granddaughter Rachel is involved with a Petsmart store,she was going to provide us with a new cat or kitten. I must admit I was not too sure about that idea (remember, I had said years ago 'never again' for a pet because I get too attached to them)
But then it was suggested that we consider 'Izzie' since we already knew her, she knew us, and she was probably going to be relocated anyway. So, in early June she cried all the way from Indiana to northern Michigan to immediately hide under a bed. Despite competition from Amy's small dog who was visiting , and getting used to a new environment, 'Izzie' has settled in and has become a joy in our house. A genuine purring, playing, lap-loving member of the family. And I guess I'm just a sentimental old guy who still loves a pet and dreads the day that pet is no longer around.