By Rosie Preston
It’s no secret that we love our three dogs and two cats like family. Dexter is a Terrier-type mix and weighs about 35 pounds. Layla is a white dog with spots of brown and black. She is a middle-size dog and weighs around 45 pounds. Then there’s the little Chihuahua named Dixie, who weighs around 6 pounds.
These animals have their own likes and dislikes. Dexter and Layla can’t be out of their crates or in the yard at the same time or they will fight like pit bulls. They share a large crate, and I found out one day when Layla was at the vet having surgery that Dixie cried like a baby. Many times, I’ve found Dixie using Layla as a pillow! I’ve also seen Dixie bathe Layla’s face. But I’ve never seen Layla pay Dixie much attention.
Several years ago, we found Preston Kat at a church down the street. He is a beautiful long-hair bobtail. I kid around and say he acts more like a dog because of the way he communicates. PK often will wake me up and go berserk as he purrs in my ear. It’s impossible to get any sleep with that noise going on!
During the day, PK is on a bed. Anybody’s bed that will allow him to stay there is fine with him. PK tells me when he thinks it’s my bedtime when he sits in front of my chair and start to meow. It’s not like his regular gentle meow, because he puts a bit of a growl in it. He then follows me when I stop to brush my teeth and walk in front of me like he’s leading me to my bedroom. When I tested him to find out what he would do if I stopped, sure enough, he stopped! PK is a good cat who has never been out of the house except for the few times he escaped. Now that he’s older, we have that in common, because I don’t get out much lately.
Our second cat is named Mocha, whom my granddaughter Breanna found our front porch one day when she was just a small kitten. There is no way that cat got there by herself, so I believe she was “gifted’ to us.” Mocha has the markings of a Siamese in color and is very beautiful. She seems to love Breanna the most as she curls up with her. Many times, Mocha will lie on Breanna’s back and stay there until Brea gets up. Mocha has a very low-key meow, and I’ve often wondered if she was injured before we became her family.
All our pets eat the food bought from the grocery store. I’ve had a few people who were visiting who offered the pets some table food, and they literally turned up their noses!
All of our animals have their own special personalities which makes them unique. Dexter seems to love Phil the most because he gets most of his affection from him. The same goes for Dixie. She will lie in Phil’s arms like a little baby.
My granddaughter Briella loves Dixie the most because she can pick her up and carry her around and snuggle up with her. Layla seems to be my dog, and I have a special way of petting her with my feet. She especially likes her belly rubbed this way. I started this years ago with another dog because I won’t touch them after I take a bath. So I’ve trained them that if they want me to pet them, they must lie down in front of me. Layla would love to get up on the sofa, but she accepts her fate.
We don’t do the “here kitty, kitty” thing. All of our pets know their names. The dogs seem to understand what we are saying. I read the other day that the animal’s intelligence is equal to a two or three-year old child. I can see that as I have observed these pets for years and know they are pretty darn smart!
When I had surgery on my neck, Preston Kat stayed as close as possible to me on the pillow. I had back surgery a few weeks later, and he stayed close to my back. The other day I had a terrible headache, and Mocha came jumping onto my bed and proceeded to put herself on top of my head, much like a football helmet would fit. She had never done anything like that before. Later, my sister Mary Beth came to visit and was wearing a knee brace. We were surprised when Mocha came and laid down on her knee. I think it is correct that animals can somehow know when someone is in distress.
Many years ago, I had a friend who loved her animals. She often said she loved them more than she did her “people.” When I asked her about it, she answered, “It is because the animals are so loyal. They don’t cheat, lie, steal or gossip, and they give me so much love and affection.”
During the past few years, I’ve come to understand that is so true!
Keep smiling, Rosie
Contact Rosie Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org.