Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Animal Companions

It's time to share space with our four-legged companions. They've been constant in their affection and have given us many hours of sheer delight and a small measure of grief.

That's Tink, short for Tinkerbell, on the left. She's 9 years old and a Devon Rex. Tink arrived shortly after our last dog, 12-year old Dillon, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, died of cancer. Our daughter, Cecelia, had always wanted a cat of her own, but I have major allergies to cats. When we discovered the Devon Rex breed and learned that most people with allergies, including asthmatics, can live with them, we were sold. Learn more about them at Planet Devon -- The Devon Rex Home Page.

When Cece left for college 5-1/2 years ago, Tink was unconsolable, but she adapted over time. I learned to hold her for what seemed like endless hours, and Tink learned to sleep in the crook of my arm, meaning that I couldn't turn over all night. By the time Cece moved into her second apartment in her senior year, Tink had become my cat, and it didn't seem fair to uproot her from her house in Colorado to move to a tiny student apartment in Ohio. Tink's favorite hangout is anywhere near my computer, which is where I am most of the day. It used to be on top of the satellite receivers, but after her body heat and shed fur burned out the seventh one, we went to cable and now "hide" the receivers in places inaccessible to Tink's little 8 lb. cat body.

So, two new Devons appeared on the scene, sibs Q-Tip (Q-T for short), a girl, the white one on the left, and her brother, Archie, who's silver and red. Q-T and Archie are now almost three and the most delightfully entertaining kitties. Q-T is the shy one, and Archie is the jumper and affectionate one. Devons are known as "monkeys in cat suits" and for their talkative and friendly natures. You have to lock them up when service people come over, because they will get into everything and delay the work as the service people stop to pet them!

The pretty girl on the left is Sihaya, a short-haired stray that Jamie rescued on a cold rainy night near campus in Columbus, two years ago. She is Archie's rambunctious playmate, and they chase each other all over the girls' Springfield house, waking you up if they think you're sleeping too late into the day.

These canines belong to our friend, Steel. They really are as smiley as they appear. The one on the left, the golden lab, is Honey, who still visits me almost everyday with Steel. All of Steel's dogs loved to swim. Harley, the golden retriever on the right, passed on to doggie heaven earlier this year after a courageous fight with cancer, enduring a leg amputation.

This little guy is Bear, who wasn't much of a bear at all, unless you count teddy bears. He belonged to Steel and also went to doggie heaven this year as a very senior citizen. Bear always waited patiently for his doggie treats, because Harley and Honey would get served first, being both bigger and just plain more rambunctious than the very gentle Bear.

We miss you, Harley and Bear. May your doggie dreams all come true in doggie heaven!

Even my mother, Frances, who professes not to love animals, is fond of our animal companions. The provide a lot of love and companionship in small packages.

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