My family has always been blessed with pets in the house. My parents have always had cats and dogs. The household raised parakeets, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs. We had a parakeet named Mike that lived in the kitchen when we were little. He loved to tell people that he was a dirty bird. I had a pair of parakeets, Leslie and Pete. They would fly around my room, sit on my shoulder, and play with toys.
Matt, Fritz, me, Spooky and Mom 1966
I had a hamster named Priscella that had a tendency to bite but I stilled enjoyed her as a pet. My brother and I had guinea pigs, mine was Butterscotch, I think his was named Fred. We had many cats. Our first cat was Spooky - a slick black cat that used to hunt us when we walked down the hall. Later we had a tom cat named King George the Fury that followed me home. Mom and dad said that is he was on the porch in the morning I could keep him - he was there! George loved sitting on my father in the recliner. He also brought gifts home for us - usually some type of rodent, sometimes a bird. He like to sit in the basement near the air vent and yowl so it vibrated through the house. We also had a cat named Ralph (female) that we rescued from my grandparents house. My grandfather thought we should just let the cat die but I cried until my parents decided to take her home - she was sick all the way home - my parents spent a good deal of money in vet bills bringing her back to health. I loved that cat....
Mom and Taffy the Great Dane 1970
Our first dog was a dachshund, his name was Fritz. At the same time my father came home with a Great Dane that he rescued. Her name was Taffy. Dad would exercise her by running her while he rode a bike. It worked out well until the time Taffy stopped but Dad went over the handlebars. Once Taffy got loose and ran away. Mom called the police to report the dog missing and he police said that would explain the calls about a lion rooming the neighborhood. Another time Taffy got loose and wandered over to the neighbors and tried to take a steak off their grill. We had a German Shepherd named Elsa after Taffy passed away. Elsa ate a chair and took off the handle to the sliding glass door. Elsa was devoted to my mother.
Our household has gone from four cats and five dogs and one guinea pig to just two dogs and two cats. Our pets passed of old age and complications. We just last year got a puppy named Leroy Jethro Gibbs to keep our only dog, Callie, company. We now have a seventeen year old cat named Frank and a six year old cat named Stinkie. We lost our guinea pig a few years ago after having him for more than ten years. I miss Piggie, he always whistled when we came home or entered the rec room. Funny how a rodent could mean so much.