Here's a recent layout to share. This is one I've been meaning to do for a while. Our pets are a significant part of our family, and I don't give them much play in the scrapbooks that document our lives. So…here we go. I'm very aware that I do not take enough photos of our animals – all of these photos (with the exception of those of Maddie) are a year old or more! Yikes! With 13,000 photos of my kids and hubby from last year, there's really no excuse for that! You'd think I'd be able to find decent "head shots" of our five feline and canine family members. :o)
Journaling (individual boxes from left):
Since Chad and I got married in 1999, we have been slowly but surely growing our family — and not just by adding human beings! In fact, our first “child” was Cole, our now-almost-11-year-old black cat, and we have added four more canines and felines to our brood since. We can’t help it. We’re animal lovers at heart.
We always had at least one pet when I was growing up, I think, and so it was natural for me to want to have pets when I was out on my own. (As a child/teen, I had also for a time thought I’d be a vet when it came time to pick a profession. That didn’t quite come to be, however, as science and biology were not my favorite subjects in school!) Chad never had a dog or cat as a pet when he was growing up, but thankfully he was all for having pets when we got married, and he’s enjoyed having them around as much as I have!
I am so glad we have had animals around the house since the kids were babies. I love that they are growing up loving animals like I do. There’s something wonderful about having and loving pets.
Here is a little about our canine and feline family members right now.
We adopted Cole from the Humane Society of Indianapolis July 20, 1999, shortly after Chad and I were married. He was only 9 weeks old, and we chose him because he was super sweet and friendly. He seemed to choose us, really. We brought him home to our apartment in Greenwood. (His Humane Society name was Juan!)
Our first pet, we often treated him like our first child, buying him toys at the pet store, snuggling with him on the couch at night and even coming home from work at lunch to spend some time with him!
Now almost 11 years old, Cole is HUGE. I am not sure how much he weighs, but I’d say it’s safely above 20 lbs. He spends most of his time under E’s bed, his favorite spot in the house, only coming out at night when she’s in bed or during the day when it’s only me at home. He rarely makes an appearance when we have company over.
Some things about Cole
- When I pick Cole up (and I’m really the only one who does), he launches himself over my left shoulder and purrs loudly.
- He loves being brushed. He even knows the word “brushed” and actually runs to me when he hears it!
- He has to have help getting up on the kitchen table, where we keep the cat food (so the dogs don’t eat it).
- He might be having early signs of arthritis, but it’s hard to tell if it’s that or if he’s just getting too large to launch himself up to the table or the bathroom counter for a drink of water.
- At one time, he would sleep at the foot of our bed, but it hasn’t happened since the arrival of Lucy and Jack!
We bought Molly in May 2000 from Uncle Bill’s pet store in Greenwood, long before we were aware of the horrors some pet-shop puppies and adult female dogs go through. (We would never buy from a puppy store today.) At 3 months old, she was sitting in the cage with her perfect puppy-dog eyes, floppy ears and giant paws, just waiting for us to take her home. So we did!
Molly is a perfect dog. She is sweet, loving and friendly, and is perfect around adults, kids and babies. In her younger days, she loved going for walks, playing in the snow and just sitting on the sidewalk, basking in the sun. Now 10 years old, she hurts when she walks, sometimes with an audible pop in the knees. She’s on medicine for arthritis, thyroid and upset stomach, and we just lived through a scary episode that lasted several weeks and made us worry we would lose her. We stopped her weight-loss medicine, and she’s feeling better now. Still isn’t up for long walks.
Some things about Molly
- She’s been overweight for several years. Recently lost about 20 lbs. on weight-loss medicine.
- She loves to be outside, even if it’s just for 20 seconds while I go get the mail.
- She loves company.
- She loves for people to rub her belly.
- She greets us at the door every day.
- She lives for her medicine – only because we wrap it in bread, her only people food.
- She placed 1st in her puppy behavior/obedience class…then immediately came home and ate the first-place ribbon.
- She didn’t take to Maddie like we’d hoped! They get along, but aren’t close buddies.
We adopted Lucy from the Humane Society of Indianapolis on Dec. 17, 2005, when she was 4 years old. She actually was my sister Erin’s cat before we adopted her, but Erin had to give her up due to developing an allergy to her. At the time, we had Cole, Molly and a stray cat named Lilo we had planned to keep, so we didn’t feel like we could keep her. (Seems silly now that we have five animals!) Lilo soon ran away, and we decided to give Lucy a home. We knew Erin would be much happier knowing Lucy had found a good home. (Lilo reappeared within a day or two, but we found him another home.)
She isn’t wild about the kids touching her, but she is pretty lovey around me (probably because I work at home and am with her all day) and is getting to be more social with company.
Some things about Lucy
- She does NOT like Maddie one bit! She is definitely the alpha personality between the two. When Maddie first came home, Lucy hissed at her and lunged at her for days (maybe weeks!), and Maddie quickly learned that she was never going to have the upper hand when it came to Lucy!
- She loves to sit on the armrest between the two rocker-recliner chairs in the living room.
- She paces across my keyboard, back and forth, back and forth, several times a day (while I'm working).
- She prefers not to be picked up, but lately I have been able to pick her up for a short time in the mornings while I stand still in the closet and decide what to wear.
- She likes to stay in the bathroom while I get my shower every morning.
- She sleeps at the foot of our bed each night.
Jack was not at all planned! While out shopping and running errands one weekend, we went into PetSmart in Plainfield for some kitty litter and decided to check out the kitties from Putnam County Human Society. Jack was a love-bug and caught our attention right away. He had lots of energy and lots of love to give!
We had gone to the store for kitty litter and hadn’t planned on coming home with another cat, but we decided to go for it! We brought him home on Sept. 30, 2007. We think he was about 3 years old at the time.
His Humane Society name, Bart, just wouldn’t do, so we named him Jack Garfield (a combo of my and G’s choices).
Some things about Jack
- He’s very loving and social. He will curl up on the laps of anyone.
- He’s very tolerant – allowing E to play rough with him daily. He doesn’t often show any kind of irritation!
- His left eye was scarred when we brought him home. It seems to have gotten a little worse with time. The pupil doesn’t dilate correctly, and we anticipate more issues in the future.
- He is bossy around the other cats, moving in to get water or food whether there is another cat there or not.
- He is playful and tries to get Lucy wound up, hiding behind items on the floor and jumping out at her when she passes by.
- He sleeps on my head every night. He curls up on my hair and puts both front paws over my head, resting his chin in the middle of them. He loves hair.
- He loves Maddie, often rubbing his head against hers. He likes to walk under her legs, too.
Maddie is the most recent side effect of Chad’s and my weak hearts. We brought her home as a result of hearing news stories about all of the people who could no longer keep their pets when the economy tanked in 2008. The shelters were filling faster than they could adopt animals out. We decided adopting another dog would save a life and maybe bring some companionship to Moly, who was 8 years old at the time.
We looked at all of the sad eyes in the dog cages and settled on Maddie. She had come to the edge of the cage and leaned the top of her head against it, longing for someone to pet her. We brought her home the following Monday (per HS rules), on Dec. 7, 2008, and named her Maddie. We think she was about 3 years old when we got her.
Some things about Maddie
- She is wild! She jumped over the couch with ease when we first brought her home.
- She has tons of energy.
- We never take her off her leash or lead outside, because we’re afraid she’d run off and never come back.
- She has a licking problem and is always licking her behind. (I’ll spare you the details!)
- When we first brought her home, she would chew up stuffed animals. With two young kids in the house, that had to stop ASAP!
- She has been known to eat (and throw up) E’s little socks.
- She HAS to be touching someone at all times – even if it’s just someone’s feet. She has definite personal-space issues!
- She eats whatever is within her reach.