Thursday, February 9, 2012

A chronicle of long-gone pets

Something got me thinking about all the pets we had when we were growing up on Apache Street. I realized that—with the exception of the newborn baby rabbits we took from a nest in the woods (our intentions were good but we were fools)—I don’t recall any of our pets dying. Here’s a list of the pets and what happened to them

Gypsy, the black Cocker Spaniel. If memory serves me right, Gypsy was specifically assigned to be the pet of my brother Steve. She bit that bratty Corridon kid across the street. I probably would have bitten the kid myself, had I had the chance. After the biting incident Gypsy was sent away to live on a farm.

Slinky, the mixed breed cat. Slinky was my pet. One day she just disappeared. Fifty years after her disappearance, my mother mentioned how much she hates cats and specifically mentioned that she found Slinky on the kitchen table, licking the butter. Slinky was never seen again. Maybe she went to live on a farm.

Various unnamed pink and yellow Easter chicks. They lost their downy feathers and began to look like real chickens and they pooped a lot wherever they wanted to poop. I don’t believe chickens can be house trained. I think they went to live on Vince’s chicken farm. Now I feel ill—we probably ate them.

Chiffon, my parakeet. I presume Chiffon was a girl, but I have no evidence of that presumption. I pronounced her name “Cheephon” with a French accent because I thought she seemed like a French parakeet. I used to put her under the covers of my bed but she had mites and I think I got the mites too. Chiffon took her cage and moved to a farm.

Oscar, the duck. Yet another Easter pet. Oscar developed a limp and my mother put him in the oven and turned on the gas to put him out of his misery. We were all getting asphyxiated, but every time my mother opened the oven door to see if he was dead, he just looked at her and quacked. So she finally turned off the gas and released him. He never limped again. But soon after the gas chamber failure, he was taken to live on the pond at the local cemetery. Although we couldn’t distinguish Oscar from the other ducks at the cemetery pond, I’m sure he lived a long, happy, limp-free life.

Babette, the Maltese. Babette was a repulsive little dog who smelled bad and had no charm whatsoever, despite her stupid French name. I love dogs and I couldn’t find it in my heart to love Babette. She left one day not long after her arrival and went to live on a farm.

It’s amazing that none of us kids left home to go live on a farm.

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