Tag Archives: Ally

Rare Pairs

I heard one of the funniest stories about crazy animal pairings last week, right up there with that infamous elephant and dog story. (If you haven’t seen this, finish reading this blog first, of course, then grab a hanky and get ready to laugh and cry.)  The story I heard was also spawned by a rare pair such as that.      

Unusual BFF's-Simon and Cottontail

 

Every Wednesday, I take the SPCA Tampa Bay Pet/s of the Week on WQYK and WILD radio stations and on the Studio 10 daytime program to help get them adopted.  Last Wednesday I brought Cottontail the rabbit and Simon the guinea pig and their back story is seriously precious. This unusual pair was brought up together and are best friends. They live and travel in the same cage and in the first 15 minutes I spent with them I watched Simon burrow his tiny furry head into Cottontail’s side and fall asleep, THEN Cottontail used her teeth to pull a blanket over Simon like she was keeping him warm. I about died from the adorableness. (Is that even a word? If not, it totally should be.)   

So while the totally awesome twosome and I were hanging out in the radio station’s lobby, one of the employees approached me and when she heard about Cottontail and Simon’s rare friendship she told me she had an even crazier tale to tell.  She has an 8 month old Doberman puppy and his best friend is, (drumroll please)…a frog. How hilarious is that??        

Could this be your dog's next best friend??

 

 She told me it started a few months ago when she woke up to find her puppy had a new addition in his crate in the form of a sleeping frog. Thinking the  reptile had seriously wandered off course from her backyard, through the open sliding glass doors and through the crate’s bars, (and had gotten seriously lucky that he hadn’t become breakfast for the Doberman,) she shooed the little guy back into the yard and didn’t give it another thought.   

 That is, until the next morning when she discovered the same strange scene. This continued for a couple of weeks.  She’d put the frog outside each day but he’d unfailingly show back up each morning, either in the crate, in the dog’s food dish, and once, even on the landing of the staircase like he was headed up to their bedroom for a little snuggle. At first, she was just puzzled and a little amused, then she remembered hearing about some kind of toad that was poisonous to dogs, and she got pretty freaked out.   

 That’s when she got serious about the relocation process and had her husband take the frog several yards down to drop him off. Can you guess what happened next?  They then took the frog a whole block away, (do you know just how far that distance is for a frog??) but that persistent little bugger still found his way back somehow and was waiting next to his best friend to greet them the next day. At that point, she gave in. She did some research and determined the frog wasn’t the poisonous kind and considering the lengths he was willing to go to be with her puppy, she figured what was the harm? Sometimes there’s just no standing in the way of BFF’s.   

So cute! Sweetie grooms his buddy Louie

 

That story got me thinking about the various pairings-up of my animals. Unfortunately, none of my pets are BFF’s or really even FF’s. They basically just all tolerate each other, but occasionally I’m happily surprised to see two of them chumming around.  The cutest coupling is Louie and Sweetie.  Since he spent his first few years as a feral cat with very little interaction or affection, Sweetie takes forever to warm up to anyone, two-legged or four-legged. So the first time I  stumbled upon Sweetie purring contentedly while Louie licked and groomed his head, I freaked out and took about a hundred pictures. I took double that number when I discovered the tables had turned and Sweetie was the one doing the grooming on Louie. They don’t do it very often, and sometimes it devolves into a catfight, but it still thrills me every time I catch them cuddling up.   

Louie's cleaning fetish means he sleeps in the sink!

Louie must be a stickler for cleanliness because another pairing I’ll run across from time to time is Louie and our dog Maho.  When they’re not chasing each other for fun or struggling for the second in command position of power in the house, (Rhett being, of course, the long-running, undisputed head of the household,) Maho will suddenly decide that Louie’s crazy long hair needs to be tamed by her doggie tongue. Louie will lay there for a good minute, meowing sweetly while Maho laps at him like he’s a peanut butter bone.  But after that first minute, Louie’s tolerance takes a nosedive and his meows get increasingly more annoyed until they become more of a warning signal that he’s about to unleash his paws of fury.  Maho usually takes no notice at all and keeps right on licking until the inevitable happens and she takes an actual ‘lickin” from Louie.    

Rhett rarely pairs up with anyone...

 

...but he'd befriend Ally to take on a shared enemy.

 

And finally, even though Rhett rarely hangs out with any of his fellow animals, he would sometimes deign to pair up with his late sister Ally to take on a bigger enemy: The dog. None of the cats were thrilled when we brought Maho home as a 10 week old puppy, but as the two oldest and most set in their way of the bunch, Rhett and Ally were the most up in arms.  Sometimes it wasn’t enough for them to take her on one on one, so they’d gang up on her just to make sure she was well aware of their disdain.  It was quite comical to see Maho go flying by and a second later, Rhett and Ally running in tandem after her, hissing and howling and generally raising heck. 

  If you have any crazy animal couple tales to tell, we’d love to hear about them on the Adopt-a-human facebook page.  The page promotes the adoption of shelter cats and the more friends and interaction on the site, the more animals’ lives we can save!

The Name Game

maho

She's named after a beach so Maho loves to surf!

What’s in a name?  Well, when it comes to our pets, a lot. Most of us put a lot of thought and time into picking out just the right name for our animal. Unlike with our children, it’s our chance to let our creative freak flag fly without fear of them one day being traumatized by the playground bully. Name your child something weird or silly and they’ll be paying for it for years to come. Name your dog or cat something off the wall and their playmates couldn’t care less. (Now, put them in sweaters or bows, and that’s a different story.) But as much work as we put into picking those names, have you noticed that many of us promptly stop using them in favor of crazy nicknames or even downright gibberish? I’ll give you an example. Actually, I’ll give you six of them. 

rhett

He's as dashing and debonair as the real Rhett Butler, no?

 The first cat I ever owned as an adult is Rhett. If you’re a ‘Gone with the Wind’ fan you know where that moniker came from. I had just discovered the dangerous, dashing character of Rhett Butler thanks to a boyfriend addicted to old movies. I was completely swept away by the rocky romance of Rhett and Scarlett and couldn’t wait to bestow that name on my cat. (On a side note, I was so enamored of the movie that I also named my hamster Scarlett. Unfortunately she passed away many years ago, and no, it wasn’t at the hands of Rhett.) But as much as I love that name, I found myself calling him almost anything but Rhett. It started with ‘Boots,’ thanks to his little white feet. Somehow that degenerated into ‘Booter’, then, ‘Bud’, then ‘Budrow’ and finally into ‘Bubba lou.’ Try following that chain of thought.

That trend continued when we got our second cat, Ally. I’m not ashamed to admit we named her after the character Ally McBeal. (Come on, it was a huge hit and you KNOW that dancing baby was hilarious!) Anyway, since she was such a sweet girly cat, so dainty and petite, I almost immediately started calling her ‘Girls.’ Then I added princess to it, as in ‘Princess Girls.’ She was also known to respond to ‘Princess feet’ or ‘Girly cat.’ Yeah, I know, clever nicknames are not my forte.

louie

Louie, the Heavyweight Champion!

Now, those of you who know me from my time in television news may not believe this next one, but my third cat was named in honor of a boxing champion.  I know I don’t look like the typical boxing fan, but trust me, put me in a bar with 100 men watching two men duke it out and I’ll be the one screaming for blood the loudest.  Just about the time my favorite heavyweight, Lennox Lewis, was enjoying huge success, we got our Persian kitten and I decided to pay homage to the heavyweight great by naming the new kitty after him.   I thought Lewis was a tad formal for the kitten’s silly, smushed face, so I shortened it a bit and voila! We had Louie.   Over the years, Louie has turned into ‘Lou Lou’, ‘Lulu-belle’, Boo, Booie, Boozer and Booher.  I’m just assuming that’s how they’re spelled since, as far as I know, gibberish cat nicknames are not included in a dictionary.     

  Next came Sweetie, who I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t actually name.  One of my fellow crazy cat ladies at work named him that when she discovered him living in the woods behind the TV station.  Since he was used to it and would actually respond to it when we’d call him, the name stuck.   It turns out, it fits his sweet and loving personality perfectly.  Even so, it wasn’t long after I took him home that I started in with the nicknames.   ‘Sweets’ came first, then “Tweeter”, “Tweetie” and finally, just plain “Tweets.”  (I’m wondering if I can claim some naming rights money from Twitter since I came up with that, like, six years ago??)     

lucy

Lucy Jane with her ugly yellow cast.

By the time I found our soon to be fifth cat, injured in a CVS parking lot, I was running a little low on creative name juice.  But as I sat with her in our ‘cat rehab’ room while she recuperated from surgery on her foot, a light went off.  I should skip a step and give her a name that’s already a nickname. My dad, who passed away many years ago, always called me ‘Lucy Jane’ when I was growing up, so I figured I would pass along my childhood moniker in his honor.   Now, occasionally, I’ll call her ‘Lucy-cat’ or ‘Little girl’, but since her name means so much to me, I mostly stick to calling her Lucy Jane.  (Ironically, the ONE cat I call by their given name the most is the deaf one, and can’t even hear her name!)      

maho bay

Maho Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I.-our dog's namesake

As for our dog, I gave her naming honors to my husband, and I must say he did quite well.  He named her Maho, after our favorite little beach on the Caribbean island of St. John where we hope to retire someday.  Not that it really matters, since I started calling her crazy nicknames right off the bat.  Maho is, at various times, known by Mee-maw,  Meems, Mi-mi and Mims.  And like the good dog that she is, she responds to all of them.  Especially when there’s cheese involved.      

I know I’m not alone in my nickname-itis.   What silly, bizarre nicknames have you bestowed upon your animals?  I’d love to hear them and share them with our fans on SPCA Tampa Bay’s Adopt-a-human facebook page.  Head over to our facebook page and leave us your thoughts in the comments section under the blog.   And be sure to check back with my blog next week, when I’ll have details about how you and your animals can win some cool prizes and even a chance to strut your stuff on TV!