The One with Our Menagerie

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I have loved animals since I was a little girl. Or maybe I just liked feeding them... Anyways, I have had more pets than I can remember so I will just write about the ones that come to mind and that I have pictures of.

My very first pet was a guinea pig named Tanmerry. Where did I come up with that name? Well, she was a tan color and I liked the name "Marie", put them together and you've got Tanmerry. I guess technically I should have spelled it Tanmarie, but I was only 7 or so. I remember I was sooo happy to finally have a pet. My dad was reading about guinea pigs one day and found out they like to be in groups so they let me get another guinea pig. I named her Squeaky because she squeaked all the way home.Around the end of October in 1994, my aunt and uncle found abandoned kittens in their yard. Being the sweet and caring people that they are, they took the kittens in and hand fed them. I desperately wanted one but the 'rents said no. My uncle had to take the kittens to work with him every day to feed them and since he shared an office with my dad, eventually he gave in to their cuteness and let me get one. I remember before we went and picked her up we stopped off at a bread store and I swear we spent five hours shopping for ingredients... I named my kitty Tip Toe because that was what I decided I would name my first kitty when I was about 5 years old. If you do the math, Tip Toe will turn 14 this October. And she's still young and spry!
In 1997 my sister went to a birthday party and got a goldfish. I took him as my own and named him Karp. Have you ever read the book "A Fish Out Of Water" about the goldfish that gets bigger and bigger and bigger? That's exactly what happened to my goldfish. Every time I gave him a tank upgrade he would grow. He started out about 1/2" long and eventually grew to about 7" long and 1" wide. He was HUGE! When I left home to go to college, his tank got moved into my sister's room. One night she heard a noise, got scared and went to sleep in my parent's room. In the morning, she went upstairs and Karp was missing from his tank! She looked around and found him tangled in the curtains. Amazingly enough, he lived! 7 hours outside water and the silly goldfish lived! Karp died in 2005 at the ripe old age of 9 years old. That's gotta be some kind of record. (Sorry I don't have better pictures of him, it's hard to get good photos of a moving fish in a glass tank! Just look at the size of him compared to the rest of the stuff in my room.)Of course once I had a cat I needed a dog! It wasn't until right before 9th grade that my family finally bought a Shetland Sheepdog - or Sheltie for short. We named him Sneakers and I wish he liked me more. But, I guess it's true what they say, a dog is a man's best friend. Sneakers prefers my brother Eric over anybody.
When Chris and I first started dating, we got a hamster named Kissyfer. She was super cute. She wouldn't run inside her wheel, instead she's situate herself so her tail would stick out and she'd run on top of the wheel. Watch the video to see her in action! (I don't know why the lights were off in the room when I took the video, but you get the idea.)
Like I said in the post about my scrapbooking career, I bought myself a pair of zebra finches as a "reward" for getting a new job. That was in 2005 and I still have them. I first found out about zebra finches when I was in 6th grade. I remember visiting a retirement home with my youth group and there was an aviary filled with the little birds. I needed some. I begged my dad for months to let me get some birds. Christmas morning came - no birds sitting under the tree. Our last present comes at the end of a treasure hunt in the form of clues and my last clue said something like, "I love Reeses Pieces, your present is over at Larisa's." I ran across the street to Larisa's house in my pajamas and there was a cage with two little birds! Two weeks later, they laid three eggs. Two weeks later, I had five birds. Six months later I had eight birds! Zebra finches are known for being quite prolific, although the pair I have right now are not.In the summer of 2006 I decided I needed more money so I got a second job at PetCo. While working there I acquired lots of pets. The first was a chinchilla that I named Li'l Chinchilla (creative, I know). Apparently she was pregnant because one day while she was running around there suddenly appeared a baby chinchilla which I named Li'l Chinwilla.

While at PetCo, I was in charge of filling food dishes in the aviary and this one little conure was so nice to me. I had to have him. Or her. It. (You can't tell the gender of this specific type of bird unless you get DNA testing.) And so, I bought a maroon bellied conure and named "him" Jadis after the evil ice queen of Narnia. He likes candy just as much as me!
Chris and I were out running errands in the summer of 07 and stopped at PetCo to pick up some supplies. We were looking around at all the animals and my eyes fell upon this sweet bunny. I had to have him. And so we bought him and we named him Chandler. He's a Netherland Dwarf and he has the cutest little ears and a fro!I did my student teaching Fall 2007. On the second day, as I was walking the students to the cafeteria, I noticed a kitten trying to get in through the front doors. I ate lunch outside and fed the kitten some of my sandwich. I didn't want her to get run over by any cars so I put her in my car. And then I took her home. The first thing she did was plop herself in the very middle of this huge love sac and fell asleep. A side story - I kept a drawer full of change for over five years. We sorted all the change into rolls and took all $50 to the bank. When I went to Wal-Mart that day to buy kitty supplies, it came out to just over $50. I like to say that I saved for five years to buy a kitty. After no one called saying they lost their cat, we kept her and named her Rachel.
No more pets! It takes me about 4 hours every Saturday to clean all the cages and tanks and the litter box... But I love them all and wouldn't trade them for anything. Right now in our apartment we have:
1 Cat named Rachel
1 Conure named Jadis
1 Rabbit named Chandler
1 Chinchilla named Li'l Chinchilla
1 Beta Fish with no name
1 Guppy Fish with no name
2 Zebra Finches I just call Birdies


  1. You forgot all the rabbits. We had so many we had to build a fancy cage outside. And then the vet bills for that rabbit. And what about more guinea pigs: Oreo, Circuleze, etc. And tropical fish in your room in San Jose. And the tadpoles. And the frog in the tank. And the Siamese Fighting Fish. And those mini fish you got at Target. I'm sure there are a lot more. Every closet in the house has various pet tanks.

  2. ha ha WOW!!! You do have a lot of pets! But you wouldn't be you without them!! thats awesome! ha ha


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