But around five years ago, we did something a little different. And as I was at my parents over the holiday watching White Christmas with my dad, I looked at the cat on my lap and the dog on the floor and I thought- you know, these beloved pets were all from the island of misfits. Two of them were specifically Christmas misfits.
I mean misfits in an endearing way. Because they were all adopted into our family. Unwanted by someone else. This is their story.
That Christmas approximately five years ago, somebody suggested we visit the local animal shelter where Paint Girl and her cowboy had adopted a kitten several months prior. Dad and the cowboy did not want to go. They stayed home and watched football. No surprise there. But we ladies bundled up and drove to the shelter.
At the time, my parents had an aging beagle named Riley. My mom had been talking about getting a dog that she could take on walks. Riley wasn't much of a walker. He was often too distracted by his superior snout.
We ogled and awed over the many kittens and older dogs at the shelter. Then we saw a dog in one of the rooms that seemed a perfect age. She was around 1 and half years old, a medium-sized Australian Shepherd mix.
She was sweet, but really hyper and eager to get out of her doggie room on the leash. We also saw a cat in one of the cages we knew my dad would love. He was big, furry, had huge paws and a regal face.
Back at the house, we told my dad and Paint Girl's cowboy all about the dog and the cat. Absolutely not, my dad said. No more dogs. But we were able to convince them about the perfect dog and the awesome cat. Being animals lovers at heart, I think they were curious. And they decided to go back with us just look. MMM-hmmmm.
Although my dad was skeptical, my mom had already fallen in love with the scrawny little dog. And as we suspected, my dad took the big cat into the "cat room" for a visit and immediately fell in love with Frank, a blue-eyed Norwegian Forest cat that snuggled up next to my dad's leg. He was mellow and yet quite the character. The next words I heard my dad say to my mom were well, if you get the dog, I get the cat.
The adoption papers were started and two new pets came into my parents' life. Rosie, the Aussie/Border collie. And Bogart or Bogey, (despite the blue eyes, Frank just wasn't working) the Norwegian Forest cat.
Bogey is playful, whether he lays on your shoes, attacks your shoelaces or a rolled up piece of paper. He is addicted to drinking water from the sink or bathtub. He has been known to be a little of Jekyll and Hyde at times. He spends his cozy afternoons cuddling on the foot of the bed with my parents' other cat, Lily.
This picture really shows how big Bogey is. Lily is an average-sized 9 lb. cat. I don't know what Bogey weighs but he could take me down if he wanted to, I think!Even though my dad initially didn't really want Rosie, she has become his constant sidekick and partner in crime. It wasn't hard to fall in love with Rosie's amber colored eyes, loyalty, and quick intelligence. As anyone who has owned a herding breed can probably attest to, these dogs are practically telepathic! By the way, she has the name Rosie (which she came with and we kept) because of her rosy pink nose!
She goes everywhere with him, hopping in the car even for just a ride to the store. He faithfully walks her in the park every morning, rain, shine, or as of late, snow.
I wonder if we'll make it through the day without visiting the shelter again? It is always tempting. It is what they call a "no-kill" shelter so we don't feel as depressed looking and not adopting. I am glad that a few Christmas's ago, we were able to give a few unwanted pets a second chance on life.
By the way, it is spitting a little snow. Again. It looks as if I will be getting two white Christmases this year!