The Cat-Less Years

My childhood was relatively pet-free. We had goldfish (do they count?) and later Tigger, a hamster whose early demise it was insinuated I contributed to as a result of sporadic cage cleaning (I have yet to research if a hamster can in fact die from lack of fresh cedar chips). Neither of my parents grew up in the States, and the idea of having a pet dog or cat was not in the vernacular.  On top of it they were both very conveniently violently allergic to pet hair.

My aunt, the only self-proclaimed animal lover of my parent’s generation, had a yellow tabby. His name not surprisingly was “Morris”, or “Mo-lee” as we affectionately called him. Morris slept on the sofa in the formal living room flat on his back with all four paws straight in the air like an up-side-down table. It was quite a sight really.Hamster

Ironically it was my Mother who spotted him when we were visiting during Christmas break one year. Feeling sorry for the skin-and-bones that professed to be a cat, she placed a bowl of milk in the snow with the “heel” of the bread loaf. Later when my aunt’s cat-posse grew and my parents complained of cat hair, she reminded them how it all began. Mom professing innocence saying she had merely done the humane thing (it was only the heel after-all) but it wasn’t an excuse to bring the cat inside.

I Almost Had Dog (s)

According to family lore, there was a moment in my nascent life I was faced with what I can only imagine was the quandary of a lifetime for a four year old.

My very own Sophie’s Choice.

After 4 years of my parents’ undivided attention I decided a playmate was in order. A vigorous campaign was mounted. I ambushed them, alternating between I want a sister!” and “I want a dog!”  No doubt believing that having at least one was a god-given right as an American citizen.

According to my Mom, about 7 months into her pregnancy I did come to her and announce that a dog was preferable. But apparently the “order” had already been placed. I did inquire about the return policy, but there wasn’t one it seemed.

If you know me, you know I have a younger sister Mar.  Don’t think I didn’t lord that one over her (“If it wasn’t for me…”).

The Man With Cat(s).

I led most of my adult life sans-pets. Then I met the man who would bring cat (s) into my life.

To be continued

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  • Evgeny

    yes, hamsters die in unclean conditions. you killed it. killer.

    when i was three i may have killed my cat … my parents still being dodgy.

    pet killing happens.

  • I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

    • T

      Thanks Jim – I really appreciate the support!

  • I can relate! I only had a goldfish as a child. Then I had 3.5 hamsters (the half is a long story!). Then I went to Wal-Mart one day to get a key made and somehow left with a cat!

    Great blog BTW 🙂

    • T

      Thanks Alison! Hope I can keep you reading! Can I ask how you found my blog? I am trying to find ways to drive traffic and have only started experimenting with this!

      • Hi! I actually ran across it on Blog Catalog browsing through the “cat” section 🙂

  • I’m just having a blast reading your stories. Your dry wit is addictive.

    I too had a hamster, Orky, named for Orka the killer whale at Sea World. I was only seven but I remember the day he left us like it was yesterday. He was an escape artist of sorts. Always finding a way out of his locked cage. One day mom placed his cage on one of those old metal folding TV trays. She stuck it in what we called the “third bedroom.” There was a trash can sitting just slightly underneath the TV tray. After a successful escape, Orky fell to his death. He was discovered one, maybe two, days later inside the cylindrical tomb.


    • tamcalinyc

      Oh no! Poor Orky! Wow, that must have been some tall TV tray!

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  • bditws

    Hah! The ol’ Golden Hamsters. What would children all over the world do without them? What would parents resort to after they pull the–allergies…can’t have a dog–excuse?

    Funny cause I just wrote something yesterday on another blog in response to a first pet thread and now hamsters are popping up everywhere I look today.

    I wrote:
    There’s not much to say about my childhood hamsters. They were cheap, slept by day, dug at night, and died after a year or so. Sometimes they would never even get a proper name and lived their whole life as Hamster.

    Hamster escaped again. Did you clean Hamster’s cage Ryan? Mom, I need some food for Hamster. Hey(new friend)! Wanna see my hamster? His name is Hamster. Here…have a Cheetoh, Hamster. You’re a good hamster, Hamster.

    Very nice read. I will subscribe.

    Also…a cat story for you.

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks for the compliment! 🙂
      And the cat story suggestion, i will DEF check it out!

      I totally forgot about the hamster-escaping part of hamster ownership! I recall my parents had JUST set-out mice traps and them Tigger got loose! We found him behind the oven eating a long-lost and forgotten xmas cookie! Tigger used to actually gnaw through parts of his plastic hamster cage with the attached trails etc!

      I HATE to admit it but i also used to throw Tigger up in the air and then catch him. That couldn’t have been good. I feel bad thinking about it. It used to make him pee. I hope he forgives me! 🙁


    • Ihavecat

      Okay, i just cried reading that sweet story and watching the video! How did you come across it? What a lucky kitty to have found that kind loving man for her short life!

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