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Quite literally, it has always seemed to rain animals at our house. Little ones, mostly. Of all types. Squirrels, various birds, snakes, lizards, rabbits. And the occasional cat or dog. Not that they fall out of the sky. But they might as well. They fall into our laps.

Usually it's been one of the kids finding some critter that fell out of a nest. Or that they somehow came home from school with. Like the crawfish. And the bullfrog. And, of course, Treasure the Chicken. Who lasted a few days until she hopped the fence, and was summarily adopted by a nice Mexican family down the street. Thank God. Jake the Snake, of course, slithered into the neighbor's wood pile, never to return to our house. Pancho the Conure flew into the trees to join the other wild parrots who live in the area. And so on.

The children are grown now, and the onslaught of critters has slowed. Somewhat. This year has brought a baby mockingbird, who only lasted a couple of days, as baby birds (except the big species) are prone to do. Also, it has brought us Jada the Puppy, who was abandoned in a nearby alley. The neighbors, knowing us, brought her by. The vet says she's probably about twenty different breeds. A full on mutt. Which is a good thing. Except when she's chewing on your shoe, or chasing a cat, or like today, got ahold of an ink cartridge for the printer and gnawed on it on the living room rug.

The other one who fell into our laps is a tiny kitten, who our oldest son found abandoned at his new house. She/he is maybe two weeks old... eensy weensy, her eyes just opened, her ears just opened, and she's just learning how to poop without being stimulated.

The good news is our youngest son, who brought so many critters home when he was little and basically handed them to me, is raising the kitten. And doing a wonderful job. He feeds her from a bottle, keeps her warm, tucks her into her little kitten bed, and so on. She's already getting bigger and healthier. And more vocal.

So those are the new additions to the menagerie, which also includes Jack the Cowdog (who is a very spry 11 years old), Todd the Cat (who is old as Methuselah but still dragging himself around), and Jill the Cat, who is 8 or so and pretty much runs the show.

And we thought things were going to change as we got older. Well... not so much.

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Comment by Helen on September 14, 2010 at 4:14pm
Great blog, David! Humans are such suckers for animals. They really have it worked out right!

I love animals, but have restrained to having just the two cats at home. I volunteer at my local SPCA for the rest. It's a good deal - I get to play with them and give them fuss and attention, then I get to go home and leave the cleaning up for the staff! ;)
Comment by David Vidal on September 12, 2010 at 11:50pm
Thanks, Stephen... these things take time and practice.... much like mastering the piano, which is something I never did : )
Comment by stephen dijoseph on September 12, 2010 at 11:32pm
".....learning how to poop without being stimulated..." ..haven't quite mastered that one... : )

love the names and personalities and synchronistic experiences..
Comment by Ericka Gray on September 11, 2010 at 10:00am
I love this! It reminds me of my childhood where it rained cats ,dogs, guinea pigs, snakes, turtles , lizards, birds, crayfish, tarantulas, and rabbits. :-)
Comment by wiffledust on September 10, 2010 at 11:57am
i've been babysitting a puppy alot recently. and i've been observing how her stress is the same as ours, but it lasts for about a second or two. she freaks out about nothing just like we do. but then she seems to tell herself everything is cool or distracts herself much faster than we do. she doesn't seem to mull anything over.but she startles just like we do. also she has imaginary friends. when it suits her.i know some people like that!
Comment by David Vidal on September 10, 2010 at 10:45am
Pets lead a remarkably stress free life when they're treated well. So when everybody else is freaking out over human realities, they generally are a calming influence. Unless the puppy is chasing the cat, or the cat upchucked some unidentifiable object in the hall...
Comment by wiffledust on September 10, 2010 at 10:08am
but ohhhh the comic relief!!!
Comment by David Vidal on September 10, 2010 at 10:04am
Oh I know it must sound like Tippy Hedron meets Leave It To Beaver. But... it's really not all that hunky dory living in a zoo. I mean, it's okay, but after a while it makes the road look pretty inviting....
Comment by wiffledust on September 10, 2010 at 7:45am
ohhhh how wonderful! a house full animals is a house full of love! and kids raised with animals have to do better, i'm convinced! sounds like you've got lots of fun and lots of perspective over there at Farm Vidal!

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