Pets Over the Years, Part 2 | 31 Days of Growing Up

Rabbits were our first true pets.

One day, we drove in our big van to someone's house where there were baby rabbits for sale, and the three oldest kids each picked out a bunny. We named them Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut, and Brownie (hey, we liked food!). Behind the shed, we built elevated cages with plywood shelters and food and water containers, and fenced in the whole area so we could let the rabbits out when we were playing nearby.

Patches was our first cat. He was a fuzzy grey and white kitten with energy to match all of ours. We loved playing with him, and letting him fall asleep, purring, in our laps. We (namely the kids) were thrilled (at that point in our pet owning) when he caught his first bird and brought it to the backdoor to "show" us. Sadly, he died when he was just a year old.

But, we had many more cats, two of which still roam the fields at my parents' house. One we named Bucephalus after the black horse of Alexander the Great, which we were studying in history at the time, though he is known as Seffie. My sister and I, who shared a second-floor bedroom, would sneak Seffie up to our room (he was technically an outdoor pet) and let him out on the garage roof, which was accessible through one of the bedroom windows. (I don't know if our parents know this? :))

My sister and I also had gerbils for quite a few years. The original two guinea pigs were named Bethany and Ellen. They lived in fish tanks that we put bedding in the bottom of and water dispensers that hooked over the top edge, which would bang against the side as the guinea pigs drank. We learned to imitate their squeals almost perfectly.

But (aside from horses, for me personally), our new puppy became the most loved of all our pets. Chlothilda (another historical reference), or Chloe, is a yellow Lab who joined our family when I was thirteen and also still lives at my parents. She came to live with us right after we moved up north, and we played hide-and-seek with her in the new addition to our house before it was finished. Chloe was truly man's best friend when we were in a new place and missing our old home.

And then there were the chickens ...but they weren't good for much except laying eggs.

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