Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pepper The Manx Cat... Camera Critters Meme

Camera Critters is the brainchild of Misty over at Camera Critters and this meme takes place every Sunday, so come and join the fun!


In the past, I've always had a house full of kids and animals, so I sometimes find it amazing that I am down to only one cat now. The kids and their friends are grown and gone. The only animal left standing is Trouble The Cat. However, back when we first acquired Trouble we also had another kitten named Pepper who was truly the animal love of my life. She was also Trouble's best friend and constant playmate.


When they were just little kittens, we used to take them and the dog on the 5 hour trip to the lake with us. The trip was always made with very little trouble out of any of the animals. They got along so well and would usually sleep together (all three) for the entire trip.


Now, as time went on Pepper became my favorite. For a reason. I've always loved Manx cats because they could leap tall buildings and they have the sweetest temperament and personality. Pepper was no exception. This cat was only part Manx which left her with a funny little tail that curled tightly into a coil. You could stick a finger through the coil, but it would never unwind... ever.

The most interesting thing about Pepper was that she used to fuss at me and nip my heels if I yelled at my children. I kid you not. If we were late leaving for someplace and I was yelling at the kids to hurry up... she would start fussing at me verbally and then she'd come over and nip my heels. I always thought that was so amazingingly in tune to humans for a cat. Pepper also loved to be brushed. I swear, she'd let me brush her for hours on end, if I could have. Trouble hates it and still won't let me brush her, so she is The Hairball Gagging Queen. Pepper never upchucked a hairball.

Pepper also took to sleeping with me every night of the world. She would even lay her little head on my pillow and when I had to get up and take the kids to school, I'd pull the covers back up & over her and when I returned, she was always still there... sound asleep. Trouble has always had a *bread making/ kneading problem*, so she has never been allowed back to the part of the house where the bedrooms are. She could certainly draw blood when kneading bread... trust me. It hurt. Pepper only showed her claws to Trouble, who usually deserved it.
Since I've always had numerous boxes lying around the house full of shipping peanuts, one of Pepper's favorite things to do was get inside the box, burying herself amongst the peanuts and wait. As soon as one us or Trouble would happen by, this funny character of a cat would pounce out of the box, totally surprising whoever it was. She was so funny.



Anyway, at one point in time we had some horrible neighbors down the alley that had two completely untrained dogs who never were walked or played with or anything. One day, their two dogs figured out how to jump the fence and the entire neighborhood was terrorized by these two neglected dogs. For many weeks.

One Sunday afternoon, Pepper was outside in the alley and the two neighbor's dogs got out and came after her. Since she had been raised around our dog Lulu, she thought she liked dogs, so she wasn't scared and didn't run. Unfortunately, they got hold of her and basically pulled her apart. My other neighbor had the seen the whole thing but by the time she got outside to Pepper, the dogs were gone and the damage was done. Since it was a Sunday there were no veterinarians open. I kept Pepper in bed with me until 6:00 the morning, but I knew things were bad. She had soiled the sheets and did not purr. Her eyes were foggy and vacant looking, but I stupidly believed that there was still hope. Until the next morning.

Apparently, she had gone into immediate shock. I took her to the vet on Monday, first thing, but the vet called as soon as I got home to tell me her spinal chord had been severed and that she had been in total shock since then. She also told me she'd had to put her down. My heart was heavier than it had ever been. Pepper had been the closest thing to a soul mate that I'd ever had. Friends heard about it and called me with their condolences, but I couldn't talk about it. I literally cried for a straight 3 weeks. I still can't even talk about it, even though I can write about it. I'm bawling while I'm writing this. I just loved her so much and it broke my heart to have lost her, especially the way she died.

For weeks & weeks my neighbor and I plotted to kill those two dogs (they were both Rottweilers). I honestly thought I would feel better if I could kill them. I wanted to watch them suffer with all my heart. I wanted to see them dead with glazed over eyes and their tongues hanging out so that their stupid owners would know how I felt. I wanted them to feel the horrendous heart break I had felt. But then, you can't suffer heartbreak over the loss of an a pet if you never cared for them in the first place, right? Then, when it came to actually executing our plan, neither one of us could go through with it.



You see, I had finally come to realize that there are no bad dogs... only bad owners. Besides, I love animals and I've never in my life killed anything bigger than a Cicada (locust). I went to the City Animal Control, but they are such wusses. They said they could do nothing more than issue a ticket to the neighbors. I said let's do it then. Funny thing was that this family had already been issued 4 tickets for their dogs being out of the yard (one of the tickets was for biting our mailman) and still, the Animal Control said they could do nothing. Typical City Government and typical City Government employees (here, anyway). I guess the only thing Animal Control is good for is capturing dogs that roam free and euthanizing animals on a weekly basis. I still dislike the Animal Control people immensely.

I will never get over losing Pepper but I've at least learned to cope with the pain of that tragedy. Still, it remains with me to this day. The family who owned the dogs down the alley eventually got rid of those two dogs... then THEY GOT TWO MORE DOGS. I was floored by this and I actually went to see them and ask them why they thought the first two dogs were so bad. They didn't give a rat's ass, which I kind of expected from such a wonderful family as they had proven themselves to be. We had a party and celebrated when we discovered they had moved away. I can only imagine that they took those two poor neglected Rottweilers to Animal Control and had them euthanized because they were so bad... Due To Neglect.

To this day, when someone talks about getting a new dog, I relentlessly question them about the time they have to give to the dog, their space, can they afford it, do they plan to train it, etc.... It's the only thing I can do. Yada, Yada, Yada. There are far too many people in this world that just *think* they want a pet and yet, they do not have the time or the money to dedicate themselves. It's like having children. Sure, they will live if you just push the kids outside the front door with a box of cereal and tell them to fend for themselves. But, will they end up being responsible citizens that way? Will they wind up being decent human beings? NOooooooo. The same can be said for pets, people.

IF you want a pet and don't have the time or the money to devote... then JUST DON'T GET A PET, PLEASE! Get a fish or a hamster or something first. Maybe a houseplant. If you can go a year without killing a plant or a hamster or a fish, then you might be ready for a cat or dog. Just don't add any more neglected dogs or cats to this already overcrowded world of pet animals.

17 comments:

i beati said...

horrile loss I lost 2 this year to quick illness and I've never been the same

Ladynred said...

I like that cat who climb up the tree. What an adventurous cat!

Christy said...

I am so sorry that you lost your beloved cat that way. Such a horrible thing. I feel bad because I haven't been able to keep up the vet visits for my dog. I do my best when we have the funds but when you have a 50% pay cut because the only job you can find is minimum wage well that's another story.... Very nice shots of your cats though.

Mental P Mama said...

Great post Snooty. All my pets are rescues, and I couldn't agree more. My heart ached when I read Pepper's story...

elizasmom said...

Oh my god, that is awful. Poor Pepper, she sounds like such a fantastic cat. I was right there with you on wanting to kill those two dogs and I applaud you for your restraint. Some people definitely shouldn't be allowed to have pets.

Kristin said...

So sorry about your kitty. How awful!
I'm with you on the pet ownership thing. I have been involved in dog rescue for years and applaud you for questioning people regarding new pets.

Lori said...

My, you showed amazing self-restraint. But you are right - it's not the animals that are bad, it's the owners. My neighbor has 3 dogs - he never puts out clean water, gives them very little food, and nothing in the way of shelter. Does animal control do anything? No! So, guess who ended up feeding and watering them daily? Yep, me! Now that we work on the road, another neighbor has had to take up the slack!!

noble pig said...

A cat that nips at your heels? That's hilarious, she was like child protective services right in your house...no yellin at the kido's...smart animals, it always amazes me.

Treasia said...

What a horrible thing to have happened to her. My heart aches for you and your loss. Pets become in so many ways like our children.

Daryl said...

Sweet post ... adorable felines...

My sister's Ally passed last week and she has - encouraged by me - adopted a just 2 yr old orange tabby (male) who she named Milo ... he is a love who loves to be loved which is just what she needed.

N'awlins was FANTASTIC! I tried to get into Galatoires but they had nothing available that worked for our schedule but next trip we'll plan ahead.

:-Daryl

Janie said...

Beautiful felines...

I totally understand on pet ownership. You know we spoil our dogs, and sometimes, I think we don't do enough for them. I saw a lady this weekend at Petsmart, and she told me she had a GSP rescue that needed a home.

I knew MLH would kill me, so I told her, " I can barely keep up with the two I have" and walked away. But my heart was breaking.

Dang it! I forgot about Camera Critters being on Sunday. And you know I could have hammered it!

TSannie said...

Pepper sounds like an over-the-top pet. I'm so sorry you lost her the way you did. So unfair.

All our pets have been either rescues or found - and all were neutered. Wouldn't have it any other way. Our babies have all been wonderful, but we've also had one or two over-the-top pets. They're just the best!

Snooty Primadona said...

All three pictures were of the same cat, Pepper. She was very special indeed. I always regretted having her fixed before she had just one litter. She would have been the best mommy.

We've always had critters rescued from the pound and homes that no longer wanted them. It's the only way to go.

asthmagirl said...

Great post, Snooty...

All of our cats are rescues. The youngest two were feral and they have very unique personalities... the girl has a curling tail!

I love stories about great pets, and I hate hearing about undisciplined dogs. My little brute squad is naughty, but it's "barking at the neighbors" naughty, not "slaughter a cat" naughty. I couldn't live with dogs that didn't have the basics down. And I'm big on the spay and neuter thing... much to my pet's dismay!

Thanks for telling us about your Pepper!

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

Pepper sounds amazing. I too love animals and my eyes welded up with tears when you told of Peppers misfortune.
I agree about it being the fault of the owners. I get so pissed when people have animals and don't want to take the time for them.
I must admit though, I cannot keep a plant, hamster or fish alive for the life of me but my dog and kitty-cats are flourishing.

Mamahut said...

Great post Snooty. If everyone would listen, what a great life the animals would have. I have a manx named Stumpy. He is 9 years old and missing half of his teeth, but he is my favorite too.

Misty Dawn said...

My heart broke for you as I read Pepper's story. It sounds like the only thing as wonderful as Pepper was the relationship you had with her. I'm sorry for what happened, but I am thankful that your life was touched by her, and I'm even more thankful for what you said in your last two paragraphs. What you said in your last two paragraphs is SO TRUE and GREAT advice!

 

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