Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No Stable Required

Violet is an animal lover. Thinking she'd like to watch the ponies at a recent festival, we walked over to take a look. Violet was done watching in about 30 seconds and wanted to RIDE! She spend the duration of the 3 minute ride making her horse noise and swatting at Shawn trying to get him to let go of her so she could ride her pony solo. And I thought she was too little!

I am sure when she gets older she will show up at the front door with puppies who followed her home and kitties she "found" in the street. I know that to be true because that's the kind of kid I was. Any animal, whether he was truly homeless or just strayed to the edge of his driveway, became my pet for the day. I would work on luring the cat or dog home, usually with a Kraft Single as my bait of choice. I succeeded in getting quite a few of them back to the house, only to be denied entrance by my Mom or Dad at the door. "We already have two cats" they'd say, and reason that bringing in the newcomer in will throw off the tentative balance in the house. So I'd set up a creche in the garage and hold vigil with my new pet until it eventually tired of being a prisoner of love and escaped back to the mean streets of Indianapolis.

Many of Violet's first words are animal noises. Do those count? She can imitate a dog, (ruff, ruff), a chicken (bok, bok), an elephant, (bbbbbvvvvrrrrr), a lion, (roar), a snake, (ssssss), a horse, (pbpbpbpb), and an owl, (who, who). When she began walking this spring, Scout was often her first destination. Violet would muster all of her balance to toddle over to the dog who would snarl a hot-breathed growl in her direction when she arrived. Scout's out and out loathing of her new owner has only grown, and seems inversely proportional to Vi's love for her dog. The low grumble of Scout's growl served as a daily reminder for me and Shawn that this Lhasa we own is not a family friendly pet.

So, we did what any good parents would do. We got Violet a pet of her own. After we got settled in the new house, we spent the better part of the next month looking for a cat. We combed Craig's List and PetFinder, we visited the Humane Society, we even drove to Muncie to meet a potential adoptee. Our cat standards really aren't that high, we just kept hitting road blocks. The Indy Humane Society only had a handful of cats up for adoption because many of their animals were quarantined after being exposed to a virus. We'd find what looked like the perfect pet for Violet, make the call to the owner, and hear that he had just been adopted. All we wanted was an declawed adult that didn't have any history of mauling babies. And finally, we found her.

We adopted Sasha from a rescue group that operates out of a local pet store and we definitely found the perfect animal for us. She is litter trained and friendly and, most importantly, she will let Violet have her way with her. The cat is either extremely grateful for being rescued, really a fan of 1 and a half year old lovin, or stupid as hell. Violet makes sport of chasing her from bedroom to bedroom and still hasn't gotten that Sasha's tail is not a handle to be pulled. There is a certain shriek Violet reserves only for her kitty and, miraculously, the cat takes it and comes back for more. Ears splayed, tail flitting, she lays on the bed next to her toddler and begs for more. I can't help but think of a pledge at a fraternity who wants desperately to fit in. "Thank you, sir! May I have another!" It's Sasha's motto.

So, Sasha is the anti-Scout. Even after a day of Violet's special brand of love, she'll curl up right next to her at night.

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