New year’s day was a sad one around here. My sweet Raymond-dog, who has been ailing for a couple of months, shuffled off his mortal coil. Only inconsiderate thing he’s ever done, waiting for a holiday when I’d have to pay emergency vet fees, but there wasn’t any option. Poor bunny. He had a great life, and my only regret is that I couldn’t spare him that last three or four hours. But our local vet was wonderful, and we should all get such a peaceful end. He was a good dog, and now he’s stowed on a shelf in the new greenhouse room, waiting for spring when I’ll buy a new rosebush and plant him in the garden with everyone else.
So, I sort of thought that Owen, also known as “Little Lord Fauntleroy” around here, would be pleased to be an only dog, but he seemed lonely. He’s never really been an only pet.
I’ve also had a mouse problem the past few months. Early in the fall, there was an infestation in the pantry, and Himself, who is an accomplished setter of mousetraps (he has several vacation rentals) managed to get them. About two weeks ago, there was another one! A bold mouse, scampering around on my pantry shelves in broad daylight. Owen was useless.
So Monday, drove out to the Humane Society. I told Gwen, who was working the desk, that I was looking for a cat who was good with dogs, and might catch my pantry mouse. “Oh!” she said. “You want Van Gogh!”
We had a little meet-and-greet with Owen in the Humane Society office. It all seemed well. So “Van Gogh” (note the missing ear, she’d been abandoned in Clyde Park over the deep freeze, and lost half an ear) came home with us. We kicked around some names. I crowdsourced on Facebook. Then Himself came home. “Holyfield is too long,” he said. “What about Getty?” Getty also sounds a lot like kitty, but I didn’t want a pet’s name I was going to have to explain all the time, so she’s become Betty. Betty seems to have stuck.
And then yesterday, while I was down here on the post-new-year treadmill desk, Betty came down to the basement. She was all over the place. Up in the rafters, behind the dryer, up in the pipes. Then I went upstairs to get more tea, and found her in the pantry, stalking the mouse. Five minutes later, Betty-cat showed up in the basement, mouse in her mouth. Good kitty! You can stay.
So there we are, 2014, minus our Raymond, who we loved, but with a new member of the household.