Instant Mama

04Feb14

I am going to preface this now by saying I know having pets is 100% different than having children. With that said…

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My animals are my babies and I feel like their parent. Animals have such an innocent and loving soul, all I want to do is protect them. From the moment we brought Riley home, I felt a new sense of responsibility. Things I was completely turned off by before didn’t matter anymore if Riley needed them. I used to (and still do) constantly worry if she was getting enough food/water, or feeling okay or if she was getting enough social interaction and attention. We became the people I used to joke about. You know, the people so completely obsessed with their pets that their entire world revolves around them. I used to get so frustrated when friends couldn’t make plans because their dog had been left alone for too long and letting them out and leaving them again wasn’t an option. I understand it now – it’s not fair for them to be locked up all day by themselves just to be left alone again all night. I am a little ashamed I was the person who couldn’t see things from every angle. Every since, I have tried my damnedest to see it from all perspectives. Everyone has different priorities and responsibilities. Top on my list are my babies.

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I was a little concerned bringing Kitty home. I don’t know anything about cats, I hate litter boxes and I didn’t want our house smelling like a zoo (even though getting Kitty was completely my idea). All the doubts and worries went away the second we brought her home. She has adjusted so well after just a couple of weeks. It’s amazing compared to the transition we went through with Riley. I was really expecting the worst – we were bringing in another rescue who had been through hell and back. We have not had any incidents with Kitty so far *knock on wood*. She has taken all the changes with stride. It’s like she was meant to be a part of our family, you would think she has been there forever.

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I love watching Riley and Kitty, they both have these quirks about them. It’s amazing watching their personalities come out as they become more comfortable with each other. Kitty constantly wants to play and likes to chase Riley around the house. The other day, Riley was walking past the couch and Kitty jumped on her. I have never seen Riley run away so quickly. I joke with J that we have a dog that is a cat and a cat that is a dog. Riley would much rather cuddle with you on the couch, but she is not about playing and she is really not comfortable around other people. It takes her forever to warm up to anyone. She is also more comfortable with people when we go to their house as opposed to when they come to ours. She is very protective about the house. She loves bones and will chew on her rawhides all day long. She is very curious and mischievous when left alone and she loves to chew any type of paper, toilet paper in particular. Kitty is only nine months old, so she is still very young and very playful. Her favorite toy is her Millennium Falcon on a string (PetCo has a whole new Star Wars line… J was like a kid in a candy store). She could chase that thing all day long. She is very vocal and kind of whimpers/whines like a dog when she wants attention. She looks like a mammoth with all her fur but can fit in the smallest of spaces. She kneads me all the time – every single time she jumps into my lap. She meows and kneads and sits on my chest in the mornings to get me up. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it. I was doing Dance Central the other day and that stubborn cat would not stop wrapping herself around my legs because she wanted attention. There were times she laid down right in front of me and wouldn’t move. Leave it to us to get the two most stubborn animals. Oh, she also likes blinds apparently – anyone have a magic solution to getting cats to leave things alone? We currently have three blinds we will need to replace because of teeth marks.

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When we are relaxing at night, I usually have Riley next to me and Kitty on my chest. I woke up the other morning to each of them curled under an arm. I think we have permanently lost our bed to the furry ones. Kitty likes to lie on Riley and of course Riley does nothing about it. Riley can get extremely jealous when it comes to attention. I was very concerned how Riley would do with another animal in the house, she is so particular to begin with. So far, it has been great. The two of them like to hide under the bed together. When I take Riley out, Kitty is waiting by the front door until we get back and then she sits with Riley while I dry her off. Our friends gave us a catnip bag that Kitty likes to hide in. Whenever she does that, Riley jumps off the couch looking for her. I think they will be good for each other, maybe Kitty will teach Riley how to act like a normal dog! haha The only issue we had was Riley would constantly bark when the two of them were left alone, which she would do when she was left alone with any animal. We are hoping it is just a phase, but since we live in an apartment complex we needed to find a fast fix. We bought the PetSafe Ultrasonic Bark Collar and it seems to be working. The thought of putting her in a bark collar made me ill, but this one doesn’t hurt them. When they bark, it sends out a sound that only they can hear. It doesn’t work for all dogs, but it seems to be doing the trick for now.

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Every time I watch them there is still an ache in my heart for Pug. I know how much he would have loved Riley and Kitty. We lost him two years ago today and it still hurts. This post is dedicated to him and his memory. He opened our hearts to the animal world and I haven’t looked back since. I am a sucker for a rescue and I really do wish I could give a home to every stray. Is it a problem that I want to be everyone’s mama?

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