Friday, October 3, 2008

PETS! Believe It or Not

My whole life I knew I was allergic to cats and dogs. My sisters were too. So we had birds as pets growing up. My own kids have begged for pets - I refused cats, dogs, lizards and turtles (they said I wouldn't be allergic to those last two). We did have birds and fish, but they don't last long.

Well last year, our neighbor got twin black kittens. They were outdoor cats and came over to visit – a lot! My kids adored the kittens and played with them all the time. The cats got so comfortable with us that they thought they lived at both houses. Anthony would sneak them food and left a bowl of water on the stairs for them. They even wormed their way into my heart. I tried not to touch them or let them in the house, but they “accidentally” got in a couple of times. The kids would even leave the garage open a bit so they could get in and stay warm. When one of the twins was hit by a car and killed, the other kitty (Snowflake) suddenly got free reign at our house – relieving our grief. Miraculously I was not allergic. We figured that after years of visiting Anthony’s family with their multitude of pets, I had become used to them and maybe built up an immunity. Sadly, after a few months the cat disappeared. The kids thought they saw Snowflake at another neighbor’s house, and they would chase any black cat in the neighborhood to see if it was “our” kitty, but they could never find her.
Then a couple of months later when Jessica’s friend needed to find a home for their cat that wasn’t getting along with their other pets, Jessica was passed excited to bring it home. Since I no longer had the excuse that I was allergic, and the cat was a short hair and already litter box trained, I gave in. So we have had our own cat since April. Sammy is a snow bengal - a cross between a snow leopard and a bengal tiger. He is a very curious cat and gets right in the middle of whatever we're doing, but he has been a lot of fun and we all love him. (Even better, the kids clean the litter box - not me!)
Then, of course, Anthony HAD to get a bunny now that he is a full time magician. That makes two furry pets. At least that one stays outside and I don't have to clean up after him.
Well, surprise! Yesterday Jessica had another friend who had given all his kittens away except one. She jumped at the chance to get another kitten and so she just brought it home with her! I wanted to say no, I tried to say no. But when we saw that cute little tiny kitten with a teeny tiny little meow, so soft and cuddly, we all instantly fell in love. We don't know what kind of cat she is, but she supposedly is also already litter box trained. We've named her Pepper. That makes three furry pets! Me - with three furry pets! Can you believe it? I still can't hardly believe it. Sigh...

Smile :)

After many years of wishing for braces and being embarrassed at her crooked smile, Jessica finally got braces. Don’t you love the purple bands? Jessica takes after her mother in having a small jaw and not enough room for her teeth. But instead of pulling teeth (like they did to me) she is getting her jaw expanded.

The “expander” should be called the torture device. She has to put a tool into a small hole in the center of the device and turn the screw that pushes the bands and her teeth apart widening her upper palate. At first it was once a day, now she has to do it twice a day! With all that equipment in her mouth she is having a hard time speaking clearly. She sounds like she has a mouth full of mush – but no, it’s a mouth full of a metal torture device.

She’s excited though, because she can already see some movement in her teeth. She smiles bigger now than she ever did before the braces. We can hardly wait to see the beautiful straight smile she deserves!