Our animals have always been important to us and at one stage we had about 40! Coming to our house was like coming to a petting zoo. I should have charged!
It all started when we first got together. A friend of ours turned up one night with a cat that needed re-homing . His previous owner had died, so we took him in. His name was Ug. When the pub around the corner from us started specialising in fish he absconded. The pub ended up with a permanent fixture, a food stealing cat who became a bit of a mascot. Ug lived to the ripe old age of 21.
Around the same time as we got Ug, the same friend turned up with 2 kittens, a black one we called Blackie (named after Dan's teddy bear when he was a child) and a tabby we called Kitzie. They both travelled from home to home with us until we settled in Sussex. Blackie went missing one day, he must have gotten hit by a car. Kitzie lived until she was 19 and died in her sleep sunbathing in the garden. I still miss her. She was my familiar. Everywhere I went she wasn't far behind. The only time she went missing was for 5 days after my son was born. I think she was most upset with me!
Our crazy dog Bramble lived for 11 years. He was half Bernese mountain dog and his dad was so massive that when he jumped up to say hello to Dan, his could put his paws on Dan's shoulders (Dan's 6ft 2inches). It was like hugging a bear! Bramble was lovely but naughty. He would often escape and be found rolling in silage at the neighbours farm! He had 2 major operations. Once he raided the bin whilst we were out and ate a smashed jar of mayonnaise complete with broken glass. The second time he ate a ball of garden twine. It wrapped itself around his guts and he nearly died. We were heartbroken when he did die and he is hugely missed.
Dan took a lot of persuading to get another dog. Six years of persuading. In the end he capitulated and we have a lovely rescue dog called Apollo, he is half Jack Russell and half Norfolk Terrier. He is my shadow, a dog version of Kitzie actually.
Now we have one mad cat named Lenny, the dog and a pet snake called Jake. At one stage we had dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, stick insects and a tortoise! In fact the kids at school started calling my son Noah.
Our daughter will have the cat when we move into the bus full time. The dog... well he will have his own bespoke travelling compartment!