Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Reddy Zoo

The Reddy Zoo was established in 1995 when we got married. At that time, the Zoo consisted of the two humans (us), one cat (Lou) and one dog (Kenobi). And we were living in an apartment. Not much of a zoo...YET!

Soon after the wedding, the Zoo moved to a new location, but not before adding another resident, Dave the dog.

Once in it's larger location, the Zoo quickly began to expand. Scully came along during our first summer there.

By Christmas of 1996 our house was already quite a zoo, with three dogs and a cat.

Our next resident, however, had only two legs and considerably less hair.

Miss M changed everything. Before Miss M came along, the animals were like our kids. Once we had a real kid, however, they knew they had fallen down a notch on the totem pole. Fortunately, they all still loved her.

Continued below

The Reddy Zoo - Part II

Unfortunately we had to find a new home for Dave the dog when we discovered we couldn't keep him in the backyard. We nicknamed him "Houdini" because each time we'd try a new way to keep him in, he'd still get out. He was hit by a car once (thankfully unhurt) and he REALLY irritated the next door neighbor (a story we won't tell here.) Needless to say we were worried about his safety. Even though we were very sad, but we just couldn't keep him anymore.

Since we were missing our dog, and since Lou was not the friendliest cat, we decided to get a kitten. We thought that if a kitten grew up with a toddler (and survived being picked up and poked and prodded) she would probably turn out to be a very sweet cat. We went to the pound and picked out an adorable little calico kitten. We named her TK-421 after the only stormtrooper mentioned by name in the movie Star Wars. We usually just call her TK, unless she's in trouble. And by the way...she DID turn out to be a very sweet cat!

It wasn't too long before our niece's guinea pigs had babies. They were so cute, and we were told they were pretty easy pets. Being the crazy people that we are, we said, "We'll take two!" We were lucky we got two males, otherwise we could have had many more.

Rascal and Baby Squeak took up residence in Miss M's room. She was very good about feeding them and petting least at first. Cleaning their cage was, of course, the responsibility of the Zookeeper. Yeah!

As if two cats, two dogs and two guinea pigs weren't enough, the Zookeeper decided to add a frog to it's resident list. Pooch, a White's Tree Frog, made for an interesting pet. Nocturnal by nature and fond of being alone, we didn't see much of Pooch unless we threw some crickets in his cage. But he was a cute little guy and very low maintenance.

Continued below

The Reddy Zoo - Part III

We finally figured out that we were adding more pets to the Zoo because we hadn't been able to add more children to our family. Miss M was almost four when we decided to apply to adopt a baby. She had been asking for a brother or sister for quite some time, and we had been praying for a baby. We finished the application process in June of 2001 and we received a call about a baby boy in October. After three and a half months of anxious excitement, Big D came home on Valentine's Day 2002.

But we didn't stop there. We just knew that we were meant to have more children. As soon as Big D's adoption was finalized, we put in the application for another baby - thinking it could take a while. We thought wrong. We actually got a call about C.B. the week after we sent in the application...also the same day we sold our house and bought a new one. C.B. was only two months old when we brought him home. We moved into our new house the next day. What a weekend!!!

Were we done now??? Not yet! We needed another girl to round out our gang, of course. So as soon as C.B.'s adoption was finalized, we put in another application. But this time it was different. This time we asked specifically for a girl. And this time we had to wait. More than a week. More than a few months. More like two years! But Banana was worth any amount of waiting.

A lot changed over those two years of waiting. Our frog and our guinea pigs (all of whom we got at around the same time) seemed to have roughly the same life expectancy. They all died within a few months of one another. Not only that, but our beloved dog, Kenobi, reached the end of her years at around the same time. That was the toughest loss of all. We will never have another dog like Kenobi. Sigh.

The humans finally outnumber the pets at our house, but it is still quite a Zoo here. Things certainly have changed quickly though. Ten years ago we had three dogs and a cat around our Christmas tree. We have two handsome little boys and two beautiful girls around our tree this year.

Updated December 2006