Wicked Wednesday–Thankful for Our Animal Friends

Thankful for Our Readers Giveaway:  For a chance to win a copy of Purring Around the Christmas Tree by Liz leave a comment below.

Regular readers know Liz Mugavero as our lead animal lover, but many of the Wickeds do have or have had pets–or other meaningful encounters with animals. Wickeds, tell us about a current or past relationship with an animal.

BirdyTrottingEdith:  I’m firmly in the cat camp, and each of our cats gets a role in one of my series. We currently have only Cristabel and Preston because my dear Birdy died last summer, the cat on the cover of every Country Store Mystery. He was a fostered kitten whom I got when he was twelve weeks old back in 2003, and he acted like a kitten for the next fourteen years. Always curious, always dashing through an open door like it was an illicit activity. I could NOT keep him off the kitchen counters. He loved to be petted, to be hoisted up to ride on a shoulder for a while, to sleep in even the tiniest of cardboard boxes. Miss you, Birdman!


Sherry: Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows Lily. I often post pictures of our morning walks. Lily is the first dog I’ve ever had. Before we got her I said I wasn’t going to be one of those people who wouldn’t take her to a kennel when we traveled and I also said she wouldn’t be allowed on the furniture. Ha! She went to a kennel once and got sick so she’s never been back. We’ve been fortunate to have friends and neighbors we could trade pet care with! And it wasn’t long before she ended up on the furniture too. She was a great antidote when our daughter was a teenager. We might all be mad at each other but we all loved Lily. I didn’t know how much I would fall in love with her.


Liz: Wow, how do I pick just one? Everyone knows how much I love Shaggy, so I’ll spare you the repetition of that. Instead I’ll tell you about a really special kitty named FerrisFerrisFerris was a stray who ended up at the shelter I was working at years ago in New Hampshire. He’d narrowly escaped a kill shelter, and had been living on the streets eating from garbage cans. He was prickly and fresh and I fell in love with him. He had SUCH an attitude, and major trust issues. I remember one of the first nights after he’d moved in. He still wasn’t sure how he felt about me (plus, he bit sometimes). I woke up and found him sitting inches away from me, just staring. I thought – if I move the wrong way he’s going to bite my face off! But he didn’t – and I guess after that he decided I was trustworthy. We became best buds after that. Like me, he loved potato chips and was famous for climbing inside an open bag to eat them. Which I can totally respect…I lost him in 2011 to spinal cancer, but his memory definitely lives on.

Jessie: I am sorry to have to mention it but I have allergies to both dogs and cats. Also rabbits, a great number of plants and a bunch of foods. Fortunately, I am not allergic to birds and so for many years I had the pleasure of enjoying the company of Miss Kim, an African Grey parrot with a sharp eye and a curious nature. She loved to ride around on my shoulder as I moved about the house and was always good company. She passed away about ten years ago and I still find myself calling “goodbye” to her as I about to leave the house on errands or “good night” as I mount the stairs to head for bed.

Barb: Jessie, I love the image of you calling, “good-bye,” to an empty house. I’ve had cats, but I have to say we are much more dog people. I grew up with a mutt called Tiger, a collarless puppy who followed my dad home from the park. When my kids were three and six, my sister-in-law showed up with Jessie, a mostly golden lab puppy. Years later, after she had her own children, she apologized for that little maneuver. When Jessie died, my son was a junior in high school, but my daughter was still in middle school. “Oh, Dad,” she said, batting her very thick eyelashes, “the house is so empty when I get home.” I said, “No, no, no, no. The kids will be off to college and we’ll be rushing home from work to let out a dog.” Then guess what happened? And then guess what happened? Nonetheless, we all loved MacKenzie.

Fred and GingerJulie: Sherry came to visit last weekend, and met Fred and Ginger (and took this picture). I adopted them a year and a half ago. They were rescued from a house in Stamford CT, both have feline AIDS, and were tough to place in a home. Ginger (top of the picture) was feral. Nevertheless, and despite the fur all over the house, they are great company, get along well, and have settled in. As a matter of fact, Ginger is resting her head on my lap as I type this.

Readers: Tell us about an animal in your life–or simply say hello for a chance to win.

61 Thoughts

  1. We have three cats. Dexter and Lila are siblings from the local shelter, and Oliver showed up and looked pathetic so we took him in too (the name comes from Oliver Twist: “Please, may I have some more?” Need I say he was one hungry cat?) They’ve worked out their relationships by now and get along well. Dexter is the most affectionate.

    Staying in an unfamiliar place at the moment, I keep looking behind me whenever I open a door, since I expect a cat to dash through the door (ours are strictly inside cats).

  2. My hubby us allergic to cats so even though I grew up with cats we now have two Cairn Terriers, two totally MANIC Cairn Terriers lol (Toby is the one in my Avatar)

  3. I’m with Jessie–allergic to both dogs and cats. I learned that when my hay fever worsened steadily after Spooky came into my life. All black, born on Halloween, such a character! I struggled along with allergy pills until he passed at age 8 1/2, but never got another cat . . . and I LOVE CATS! Sigh. But that’s what fiction is for, right? I’ve got a new series brewing with Spooky in a feature role 🙂

  4. I love all animals but I’m really partial to dogs. We had several as I was growing up. As an adult, I fell in love with golden retrievers. I’ve had three—Casey, Sadie, and Brittany. Right now, I have a black lab—Bandit. A friend found him wondering in her neighborhood. When she took him home, the owners didn’t want him anymore. He is a fabulous dog!

  5. I am firmly in the cat camp. I have had several, but one remarkable one stands out. Moodie. He is my avatar on facebook. He was one-of-a-kind. Did not know a stranger, would bring his toys out to show off for company. He was the runt of the litter when I got him, so tiny, but had whiskers longer than his head. He was a gorgeous tuxedo and my bosom companion. Would get on the bed and scoot over to get right next to me, sleeping on his back right by my side. Sadly, he developed diabetes when he was about 8. Lived for 3 more years and you never would have known he was sick. So playful. Then he got a saddle thrombus and that is what did him in. He couldn’t walk and he quit eating or drinking. We knew it was time.

  6. I used to have both cats and dogs, but when I had to move back home my father refused to allow any cats. Since then I have been firmly in the dog camp. Although when I see kittens on fb I lust for them, lol. If anyone knows me on fb (Betty Tyler) then know my dog Tyler. He rescued us after I lost my service dog/yorkie (yes he was a service dog too). I was against getting another dog or at least not for a very long time. Then I saw him online and fell in love. It finally worked out and he brightens each and every day. He has ocd(a bit) a photographic memory and is the sweetest fellow you could ever want. He brightens all of our days always. I also had wonderful dogs and cats through my childhood and adult life. Sammie lived to be 21, an 80 plus pound gentleman. Deedy was my 32 pound (Not an ounce of fat) cat that insisted he was a dog was diabetic for the last 10 years of his 17 years. Killian was a rescue that walked into my backyard because she was in love with Sammie. Everyone in the neighborhood was afraid of her because she was seen walking around with the head of deer (rack and all). She was a super sweetie and was terrified of the blimp. Sorry you just cannot get me to talk much about my loves, my animals, my sweet Tyler, lol

  7. Our little guy adopted us after he was dumped in our neighborhood 14 years ago. He is a beautiful gray domestic shorthair with some siamese. he enhances our life every day.

  8. We have a dog, Rusty and two cats. We enjoy all three of them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Five cats now – all rescues. Hutch a rare breed – He’s a Miami Sewer Cat. Discovered with his two siblings in a sewer just before an expected hurricane. None of the kittens had their eyes open yet. My vet took them in, hand raised them to adoptable age and I adopted Hutch. Zoe, another adoption from the vet. She was dropped off at the age of five by her then owners for euthanasia. They’d gotten a dog and wanted the dog, not the cat. Our vet asked the owners if they would be willing to surrender the cat to the local cat rescue instead and they agreed. I happened to be president of the rescue, the cat was traumatized so I fostered her myself with the intent of socializing her and having her adopted. Instead, I fell in love. The case of the failed foster! Then there are Jenny, Piper, and Cub. Six years ago this week we heard a car door slam late at night followed by the sound of cats crying. Some idiot dumped a mother cat and at least two very young kittens in our yard. Jenny, the mother was seven to nine months old, the kittens, Piper and Cub, two to three months old. The Humane Societies in the area were full and the other only option was the county animal shelter which, while it tries to place those it can…. So, we currently have a house of five cats.

  10. My lily 16 , we got her at the humane society and Marion was found with a broken back. My son foster dogs (Every dog counts) and this how we got her. He nursed her back to good health. I love them both very much!

  11. Our fur-baby is a 13 year old chihuahua named Snickerdoodle. He is the love of our life and definitely the center of it. As we often say, he owns everything but allows us to use it from time to time.

    He’s never been boarded and the only one that has kept his was my Mom. After her passing, Snickerdoodle was just to old and set in his ways to be left with anyone else. Well, the fact that no one would pamper the little poot like we do has been a major point in that decision. 🙂

    Two years ago we took a major and long trip that had been on our bucket list for years. We took a 32 day trip traveling through the New England states in the fall coming home by way of Niagara Falls and Amish country going through Shipshewana, IN. It took over a year to plan. Not really for what we wanted to see because we knew that immediately, but rather we had to plan where we could go and stay because of traveling with a four legged bundle of love. It was all so worth it and all worked out. Snickerdoodle loved it and all the attention he got.

    At 13, Snickerdoodle is entering his senior years as are we. He also has some health issues including just recently becoming a diabetic and on insulin shots twice a day. We plan our days around when he has to eat and get his shots. Is he worth it? Your darn tooting he is! Just praying for many, many more years to spoil and pamper our precious Snickerdoodle.

  12. We have a miniature long-haired dahcshund named Oscar and 3 Ocicats named: Legolas, Arwen and Gandalf. My children loved The Hobbit…..hence the names. Life would be boring without my furbabies now that all 3 sons are in college.

  13. We have 4 furbabies, 2 cats (Malachi and Muff-Tuff), and 2 dogs (Gracie and Rupert). Rupert is the newest addition to our family and it quite the problem-child. I had him DNA tested and he’s 1/2 beagle, 1/8 chihuahua, and 3/8 ???????. I’ve decided that the 3/8 is devil. He thinks he can do anything the cats can do and even follows them up onto the kitchen counter—I’ve never had a dog try that before.

  14. I’m with Jessie in the allergy department, so I never had pets and am a bit skittish around animals until I get to know them. I’ve had relatives with pets, and I came to love them, o I understand that connection.

    1. I understand that, Mark. We never had a dog growing up, and I’ve come to realize that the dogs I like are because their humans have trained them well!

      1. Oh, don’t get me started on owners who don’t train their dogs and think that you should love their darlings. When I’m out running, I try to give dogs a wide margin and I have no problem doing that. But there is only so much I can do when the owner doesn’t have them on a leash (like they are supposed to in all parks in town) or let them run wild anyway.

  15. My daughter had two mice which we loved dearly. They passed away and I told her maybe in a few months we could start looking at rescue cats. One week later I went on a retreat. I came home to a husband and a daughter practically bouncing about a cat they found at our shelter. I hesitantly went with them to see this cat, insisting the whole time that it was too soon. I found out that this cat had been there for over a year, had been terrorized by a 5 year old in her former home, and was very very very shy. They suggested we see if we can get her to come up to her door, she doesn’t really show affection and that was why no one had wanted to adopt her. My daughter had been petting her through her cage the whole time. They said we should try to see if we could coax her to come out, she was hard to handle sometimes. They opened her cage and told us to not expect a lot. My husband reached in and picked her right up. She snuggled against him as he petted her. The shelter volunteers eyes nearly popped out of her head. I still hesitated, we didn’t have the money for fees, food, and litter. I was then informed, because she was a senior cat the fees were waived, and they were giving away a months worth of kibble and litter with each adoption. I silently told god I got the hint. Murr has been with us now for three years, chasing red dots, sleeping on our beds, cuddling on the couch.

  16. I grew up in a house full of pets. We always had at least one dog & cat & at different times also had gerbils, fish, frogs, turtles, & rabbits. I have a sweet tuxedo cat. I’ve thought about adopting another cat, but one seems to be enough for now.

  17. I had a cat growing up that was an outdoor cat (I am allergic to cats and my Mom didn’t want cat hair inside the house) that was the sweetest cat. Surprisingly she lived to be 16 years old, which I think is unusual for outdoor cats. She was the sweetest cat and used to go on walks around the neighborhood. I still look for her whenever I am visiting my Mom and Dad’s house.

  18. I cannot imagine my life without dogs and cats!

    I have a 15 year old beagle/basset mix who is the apple of my eye! He’s ornery but the sweetest hound I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I would trust him with anyone but not food- he is unreliable around food! !

    We also have four cats. I did not intend to have four cats but well, things happened. My partner lost his cat of 18 years, Jake, last October and when a tiger striped cat showed up on the front porch looking a lot like Jake, he was welcomed into the home. When my beloved black cat died this spring, I went to a local shelter and discovered a beautiful white kitten with black ears, a long black tail, and two different colored eyes. We named her Alice and she has charmed everyone she meets. Before being put up for adoption, Alice was fostered. I firmly believe that the fostering helped my Alice be so confident and I decided this summer to try my hand at fostering two kittens. Well, my partner was kitten smitten. So, Brownie and Gremlin have stayed. But we will not foster kittens again. 🙂

  19. Currently, I have 6 cats. It was 4, but my daughter gifted me 2 for my birthday! cheers at marjimManor dot com.

  20. I grew up with a toy poodle, but am now firmly a cat lover. Over the years, we’ve had many. Right now we have 3 – all rescues of one sort or another. Kaboodle is the dominant male, but is getting to be pretty elderly. His harem is two females, Miss Marple, a calico who, at 7, is still very much a kitten and a handful; and Agatha, a black 12 year old who was huge for most of her life. We used to call her a bowling ball with ears. But a couple of years ago because of several factors, she lost a lot of weight. Too much, actually, but now she is back to being a slim, healthy, beautiful little girl. All can be very loving. The two girls don’t get along, but they both adore Kaboodle. We didn’t mean to have 3 cats at once, but life happens and who can say no to needy kitten?


  21. We have Grand-critters now that live with our children and are very dear to us. And, we have a fountain in our side yard that keeps the birds, squirrels, raccoons, fox and deer…oh and the neighborhood cats from being thirsty. All the animals seem to think our yard is a good place for naps and nest building and we enjoy seeing them sleeping on the deck outside our kitchen window and flitting around in the trees.

  22. I have two wonderful cats, Hamilton and Jefferson. They are a little over a have old and they make me smile everyday. Hamilton is into everything and Jefferson is my lap sitter. They bring so much joy to my life. I love them so much.

  23. My pugs Jack and Sophia are the loves of my life. Everybody knows I refer to them as “The People”. They are so chill and are with me at all times. Little ambassadors of love, they let their 17 year old cat Madison think she runs the show. This year they went to Pug Camp and the Cape. We moved to a new condo and they love it. When my children visit the pugs act like they haven’t seen them in years. True happiness.

  24. We currently have three cats, all rescues. The black cat, Eartha Kitt’n, lives up to her name in sassiness and self-assuredness. The “twins”, Maurice and Monique, were adopted from a friend who couldn’t keep them due to allergies. They are very French in sensibility and also very large. Each is close to 20 lbs. And strangely enough, they both LOVE to have their bellies rubbed. Maurice even allows my husband to brush his belly, which makes me wonder if we don’t actually have two dogs in cat suits. Thanks for the giveaway and the stories about all your furry friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

  25. My rescue Jax was set to be killed at the ripe old age of 6 weeks due to overcrowding in a shelter down south. The rescue we follow on FB saw him and got him out of there just in time. We saw him the next day and even though we weren’t looking for a puppy, he chose us and we took him home as a foster with possible intent to adopt. Took us a whole 48 hours to fall in love which was lucky for him since he got deathly ill a week later and we paid over $3000 to get him better. Totally worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. He made me a mommy and saved me from major depression every month when I would find out I wasn’t pregnant. So we rescued each other, I’d like to think. He’s my soul mutt.

    1. What a heartwarming story. Animals do so much for us. And you obviously appreciate it more than most. Thank you for sharing your love with Jax and with us.

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