Monday, April 21, 2008

Our family's menagerie

This household has more animals (pets) living here than humans. And, like humans, each has its own personality. Here are some recent photos (and a couple of videos) of each of them.
This is Avalanche. He is the oldest, and brother to the next two cats, Misty and Midnight. They were all born in late April 1996. So that makes these kitties all 12 years old later this week. It's hard to believe these cats are siblings, but they were all part of one litter.
When my husband and I moved to Albuquerque for a few years, we took our only pet cat with us. Red and our son were going to stay back here in California, and occupy the house while attending college in the Silicon Valley area. Consequently, Red missed Kitty quite a bit; so she went to the Humane Society and adopted a cat, a black female who had not yet been spayed. And these kitties are the three survivors.
Avalanche was born first; he was pure white when first born, thus the name Avalanche. He is the most tolerant cat and the most loving. When he was younger he used to retrieve small objects when you would toss them. When he was a kitten, Red used to take him everywhere she went. I wonder if that has something to do with part of his loving and tolerant personality.

This is Misty, a beautiful and elegant looking cat. We often call her Princess; and she acts like one, too. She was the third kitten born. She is also very sweet, but prefers to lay in your lap when she feels like it, not when we would like her to. The photo above kind of says, "I know I'm beautiful and you can admire me from afar. I am a purrrfect model kitty. I would like to think it beneath me to play games and act silly. But I'll chase small toys and carry them around when no one else is looking."

And this little girl is Midnight. She was the runt of the litter, the fifth and final kitten born. Mama kitty was too exhausted to clean her up, etc. right after birth, so it was left to Red to stimulate this little one and get her to breathe on her own. Midnight has stayed on the small size compared to the other two, but she is still a "force to be reckoned with." Midnight is our perpetual bird watcher (and chaser) from indoors. She loves leaping (and flying) to the window sills where we have window feeders and scaring the birds away. The most comical incidents are when we have birds who ignore Midnight's "attacks." Some birds, I'm not sure if they are the young offspring and don't know any better, aren't bothered by her. And it is so cute to watch Midnight continually scratch at the window (and get frustrated) that the birds are not showing any fear and flying away. Oh such entertainment!

And this little black kitty is Tornado, a long and sleek looking cat with a long tail and large ears on a rather small head. Red and I acquired Tornado from the Humane Society, late spring/early summer of 1999. We got him as a kitten and he was more or less replacing my beloved Kitty who we had to put down because of kidney failure. She was a sweet and loving cat, too.

Red was to attend college in Kansas (fall 1999), and planned to rent an apartment and take all three cats with her. But the lease only allowed her to take two cats. That meant she had to leave one of the cats behind. That was a difficult decision to make since all three cats were inseparable. But Tornado helped her make the right choice. The only cat who would tolerate this bundle of energy was Avalanche.

When Tornado was younger, he was a holy terror. He is the most stubborn of all the cats and is definitely not a lap kitty. Also when he was younger, he could leap higher than any of the other cats - but of course he is 3 years younger. He's the one who can tear through a room like a tornado or a flash of lightning. He's also the most vocal.

And this is one of my son's two dogs, Redd. Redd was also born in 1996, but in the fall. Tim picked him up from the breeder after the Christmas holiday 1996. Redd is such a well-trained, well-behaved dog. Tim trained him well as a puppy. He's another one who went everywhere with his owner. Redd is a pure-bred Siberian husky (like Kody was). It's amazing to think this dog has traveled all over the country. He was born in the central valley of California, taken to Fairbanks when Tim moved up there to attend college, moved to Oregon for a year, and then for another year to Saranac Lake, New York, and now back to California. Redd, a typical husky, loves to run when he gets loose; but he is loyal and will come back after his "exercise."

And here is Mick, short for McKinley (Mt McKinley/Denali). Mick is the youngest of this household menagerie, born in Alaska in the summer of 2000. Mick is one of those dogs who has endless energy, and I mean endless. She is what people in Alaska call an Alaskan husky - dogs bred for pulling sleds. She is part husky (note the blue eyes) and possibly part border collie or Australian shepherd. She definitely has the personality that could make her a "working" dog, but she is just a pet to us. Mick is very loving and always happy to be around people, much like Redd is. Mick is the one whose tail is always wagging, and when she is excited to see you she jumps like a Mexican jumping bean. I've added a couple of videos of Mick so you can see a bit of her personality when she gets a new toy. Let it be said, though, that new toys don't last very long with Mick. This toy you see here in the photo, and in the two videos, lasted only a few hours.


Red said...

Technically, only 5 kittens were born to Serena... Avalanche was first, Cyclone (charcoal gray short-hair), then Misty, then another white one (probably siamese-like as well), and finally Midnight.

The un-named white one never had a chance... I gave it a shot to stimulate it, but either I was too late, or it wasn't meant to be. It's really a miracle Midnight survived. Cyclone died 3 weeks later as mama Serena wasn't very patient and he wasn't very pushy about getting his milk.

But three awesome cats were born... and I think I took Avalanche everywhere with me because he was the calmest... and I babied Midnight and was afraid to take her anywhere... Misty, was just Misty and hated to be held, lol, so she stayed home too.

Anonymous said...

What a delightful menagerie! They look like good friends and good company.

Mary C said...

Thanks, Red, for the correction of 5 cats. I couldn't remember if it was 5 or 6. I think I'll correct it in my post. I just noticed that our survivors are all odd numbered - 1, 3, 5. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Awwww, love 'em! Avalanche looks like he has some Siamese in him, very handsome!

Red said...

odd numbered... odd... that sums it up, lol!

Adam... my theory is their mama was a tramp... at least three different fathers ;)

Mary C said...

Thanks, Wren. They are all good friends and good company for the four of us humans in this household. Unfortunately, Mick thinks the cats are "toys." So, the dogs sleep in a kennel out in the back yard; and the cats "rule" indoors. lol ;o)

Hi Adam. Thanks. Yes, Avalanche has quite a bit of Siamese in him. Blue eyes and something I think experts call "seal point." And he also looks like the type experts call "apple head." Even though he is a beauty on the outside, it's his personality that is such a winner, too.

RuthieJ said...

Well Mary, it looks like you have a lot of fun with all those pets. Misty does look a lot like my Penny except Misty looks like she's got much longer hair.
Do the dogs and cats all get along?
It's sure nice to have pets, isn't it?


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