Sunday, November 10, 2013

I grew up in a zoo...

That may be a slight exaggeration but not far.  I didn't actually grow up in a zoo.  I did, however, grow up at a house with tons of animals.  You may remember from the blog post Random Stuff That Happened This Week - Week of September 9, 2013 that my mother (not my father, even though they live together) has a ton of dogs.  Now it may seem a little abnormal to have 9 dogs living in one household but it never seemed abnormal to me.  I grew up on a farm.  We did some farming when I was a kid but we did not have a big huge factory farm.  Just a small one.

Country life is different than city life.  I guess the same can be said about city life being different than country life.  Both are fine, they both just have their pros and cons.  In my country life, there were always tons of animals around.  Below are a list of animals that we had at our house at one time or another.  We didn't have all of these animals at once, they all over lap.

  • Horse - Just one, Sunshine Jim

  • Cow - Joey.  He made a good burger.

  • Goats - Burt and Ernie.  I was four when we got them.  Give me a break.

  • Dogs - Too many to count.  I do know that we had so many over the years that we had to start reusing names.

  • Cats - When we first moved into our house, there were a bunch of feral cats.  This happens when you live in the country because assholes think that because you live in the country, it is okay to dump there unwanted cats at your house.  It's not dickhead.  That's not cool.  Love your animals.  Anyway, so we had a bunch of feral cats that we couldn't touch.  They didn't like people.  Since we couldn't catch them.  We couldn't remove their reproductive organs.  We did spay and neuter all of the kittens.  But for year's we couldn't catch the original cats and those cats kept on multiplying until they final died.  But at one time, we did have 17 cats.  In the immortal words of Bob Barker,  "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." 

  • Hamsters - We had two, Bud and Bart.  Naming was not our strong feature.

  • Guinea Pigs - Just one, Sandy.  We would let her run around the bathroom, not all the times but sometimes.   And she loved to squeak.  That thing about drove you crazy with all that squeaking.

  • Chinchilla - We only had one of these.  I can't remember it's name.  The curse of having a lot of pets is that you can't remember all there names.  But that critter was fun.  We loved to give it dust baths.

We also had a ton of birds.  I am not sure why but there were always birds roaming the property.
  • Guineafowl - Not sure what to say about these.  They are like chickens but not at all.

  • Parakeet - His name was Petey.  Yes, like the parakeet on Dumb and Dumber.

  • Cockatiel - His name was Max.  He loved the blow dryer.  We would give him showers with a spray bottle and dry him off with the blow dryer.  Anytime you blew dry your hair he would go crazy because he wanted a blow out as well.  We kept Max in the bathroom.  With a house full of cats, small animals live in the room with a door that closes tight.

  • Pheasants - Boring old garden variety.  When I was a kid my grandfather* was very active in the local conservation club.  One of the projects they worked on was bringing back pheasants to the area.  Apparently there were not many in the area.  They would deliver hundreds of baby chicks to my grandfather's house and he would put them in this HUGE cage in his backyard.  I can't even describe how big it was.  The cage was bigger than the second house I owned.  Then when they were all grown up, we would round them up.  Each person would take a dozen pheasants or so and release them in different parts of the county.

  • Golden Pheasants - Not sure where we got these but they were pretty cool looking.

  • Quail - Bob White - About as exciting as they sound.

  • Doves - We had one really ugly one that we named Steve Urkel.  He was popular at the time.

  • Peacocks - Peacocks are beautiful but the make crazy noises.  Their screeches sound like women screaming.  When we first got them the neighbors would stop by just to make sure we were all okay.

  • Geese - I hated those things and they hated me. They once chased me through the yard peeking at me the whole time.  They cornered me in the barn until someone came out of the house to rescue me.  This story always gets big laughs but I am telling you, that shit was traumatizing.  I hate geese to this day.  NOT FUNNY.

  • Chickens - We had a ton over the years.  But we did have this one rooster that hated men.  I didn't know a rooster could have those kind of emotions.  But he did and he hated my father.  If my father was walking around the barn, the rooster would run the other way around the barn so he could attack my father at a corner.  That thing was evil, pure evil.

  • Ducks- We started out with 5 but had over 100 in a year.  They would hang out at our house in the spring and summer and then every fall they would migrate, well I guess I don't know where they went but they came back the next spring.  The story of how we got them is also quite funny.  When I was a kid, we had a Schwans Man.  He drove this huge freezer truck and drove around selling frozen goods (pizza, ice cream) out of his truck.  My dad mentioned to him once that he wanted some ducks.  The next time the Schwans Man came around, he had a box of ducks in the front seat of his truck.  I guess he was full service.


* Mutters under breath - Son of a Bitch