The One-Eyed Wonder

When Turtle and I started dating, I came with just two fish, two pets rats, and the promise of a dog.  I suppose for some people the fish and the rats were negligible, but there they were.  Within the first few months, my fish had both leaped to their deaths, drying out next to my keyboard at work.  This was very sad, but educational: turns out betta fish in their natural habitat jump from puddle to puddle and are excellent and skilled jumpers!  What it does not explain is why petstores sell betta bowls with open tops, or why it took me two jumpers to learn that fact.

Turtle, on the other hand, came with The Prettiest Cat in the World, who took awhile to warm up to me.  The first time I met her, I was all, “She’s so pretty! I love her!” and she was all, “My eyes are glinting and I will probably kill you with my expert killer skills if you come any closer. Or just run away.”  I asked Turtle early on in our relationship who she would pick if she had to choose between me and Piper.  (Note: this is probably not a good question to ask your significant other).  The answer was, of course, Piper; several months later, I knew Turtle really loved me when the answer was “I’m not sure.”

Daphne joined our family before we were really a family; we lived within a mile of each other but had our own places and hadn’t been dating six months yet.  Our big move-in came 7 months later, and the animals transitioned relatively well.  I won’t show you the videos of PiperCat putting Daphne in her place.

And then! And then the cat I got in high school who still lived with my parents got sick.  Huge weight loss, regular vomiting, and he was missing an eye! Well, the eye part wasn’t new, but he moved in with us (temporarily! We promised!) until we could get things sorted out.  Folks, working at a vet and getting the discount makes big things possible.  One-Eyed Jake was diagnosed with something along the spectrum of irritable bowel disease and lymphoma (apparently it’s a spectrum. learning is fun), we treated him, and then… we kept him.

he is the BEST cat... which is not to say the most photogenic.

He is always in need of a lap, and if you are not sitting down he will put his paws on your lap and meow.  He likes to sleep under the covers, and snuggles up against me on cold nights.  He is absolutely unafraid of the dog, who is five times his size, and swats at her like he’s in charge.  Sometimes he bites her ears.  He has survived cancer and has no teeth. He really is a one-eyed wonder, and I kindly request that he live forever, please.

And today is his birthday! Happy 11th birthday, Jake! In honor of our One-Eyed Wonder, I suggest that you all walk around with your left eye closed, or at least wink more than usual.

Who brought the beasts in your relationship?  How’s the integration working out?  Do you wonder why I didn’t talk more about our integration?  BECAUSE IT CONTINUES TO BE STRESSFUL.  Ahem.  Because it would be a long post.  Tell me your stories.

Jake and Piper delicately coexist



Filed under Menagerie

15 responses to “The One-Eyed Wonder

  1. OK: you guys play a LOT of scrabble! What happened to the rats?

    We just have Cowboy, whom I found advertised and we both chose him (except we couldn’t only chose one pup so we convinced my parents to take our next fav). We used to have a cat called Melon who I think was Pol Pot’s reincarnation. We inherited Melon (so not my choice of name) from someone else because she was a “problem cat”. My advice is: if an animal is known to be a problem animal, rather don’t invite it into your home. Eventually Melon died (of natural causes, ok??!!). And although I wasn’t cheery (but given the evil streak in that beastie, I might have had cause to be), I was rather relieved. I hope that doesn’t make me a despicable person…

  2. Jenn

    Hi! Do you know what breed your dog is? My dog looks so similar, in the face at least, and I’ve been trying to figure out what breed she is for years. Your animals are adorable!

    Jenn (Plaid from Weddingbee)

    • Haha, we say that she’s a purebred Australian Flying Dingo. So really, no, we have no idea 🙂 Sometimes we see pictures of basenjis and think she MUST be part basenji, but she definitely has some hound in her. No clue. I’d love to see a picture of your dog!

      • Jenn

        Here’s a pic of Olive I posted on my blog. Please ignore the veil. I’m cruel and I like to make my dogs wear things that they probably don’t enjoy.

    • Ahh she’s so cute! Are her ears like Daph’s? Nothing better than putting clothes on dogs… except how happy they look when you finally take them off!

  3. When Jeanne and I moved in together, I had one cat and she had no pets at all. She was not a “cat person”, but accepted Beauregard as part of the deal. They soon became fast friends, and she grieved as much as I did when we had to put him down 5 years later. Since then, we had gained and lost several animals, most of whom we acquired as “previously owned” – either rescued from the side of the road, as in the case of 3 dogs, or given to us by owners who no longer wanted them, as in the case of 3 cats. We do have a kitten right now who we have taken care of since he was 1 week old, as he was abandoned by his mama. We have lost a couple more along the way, but we always seem to get more, so our menagerie stays full. They all mostly get along – after an initial period of adjustment!

    Love your blog – am catching up on past posts. Congrats on the wedding back in September!

    • Haha I love that she was “not a cat person” but that you’ve had so many cats since then! We got Truman when he was four weeks old (he’s 10 weeks now) and he was TINY – I can hardly imagine the size of a one week old kitten!

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Happy Birthday, One-Eyed Wonder! Also I totally feel you on the integration. 2 years later, my cat and Dave’s cats (well, one in particular. [BUSTER] still fight/hiss/and just generally misbehave around each other. Sigh.

    • Haha, yeah it’s SUCH a delicate process! Our cats are doing especially badly right now because of the kitten (don’t they know how CUTE he is?!) but there is always swarming and batting around dinner time especially (“MY dinner!” “No MY dinner!”). I’m not sure why they haven’t yet figured out that they will, in fact, both get fed.

  5. Happy birthday, Jake! I am so jealous that you are able to have furry pets — I am allergic to just about every hairy beast on the planet. That means we have fish. Two koi, one feeder fish who never got eaten and therefore thinks it’s a koi, a feisty cichlid and a huge plecostomus. The cichlid and plecostomus begrudgingly share a tank — the cichlid tries to pick fights and the plecostomus does its best to ignore it. The koi and feeder fish share a tank and love each other so much that they swim in a school, pretty much always touching one another. They make me happy. 🙂

    • I want fish so badly! I just have such a bad track record and at this point we have nowhere to keep them. Have you heard of Siberians? It’s a supposedly hypoallergenic breed of cat; not 100% but close enough that a lot of people have no problem with them.

  6. Kristine

    Happy birthday Jake!

    Now I’m going to have to take a video of The Cat putting my dog in her place. I guess we are “transitioning”. Still. After a year and a half. Does integration ever stop? I hope, I hope, I hope.

    Piper is gorgeous, by the way.

    • Does integration ever stop? Hm…

      We’ve had really good luck teaching Daphne (dog) that she’s not allowed in half the house, which has helped the integration immensely. Piper knows where in the house she is safe, and wanders out into the rest of it when Daphne is sleeping or not at home. It has made a HUGE difference in everyone’s sanity.

    • also, re: video? Yes please.

  7. you have a beautiful family, bird. and my how it’s grown over the years!

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