I talk about them a lot, and for good reason. They're our kids.
I often say Max is my toddler, as he has completely unreasonable fears (feet, things above his head, things on the ground, making the bed, etc.), is incredibly self-centered in his affections (he'll gladly lean on you and rub his head on you, but it's purely an exercise in getting you to scratch him), and is unfailingly stubborn (he turns into a solid, unmovable rock when he doesn't want to do something- you try budging an above-the-knee 75 lb brick wall). He is also unfailingly loyal, has perfected the "puppy eyes", and has the most hilarious and ungainly crazy-run (he looks like a walrus on land). He is my heart.
Sloan is more like a best friend- she will both listen to my conversation and mock me with her eyebrows. She is self-sufficient, but would prefer to be around humans. She is a passionate kisser/licker, to the point that she's turned my skin red from her scratchy tongue. (No, I've never had a best friend do that- that's definitely a dog thing!!) She believes all of life's problems can be solved with a tennis ball, that bikes/roller skates/skateboards are things she needs to save humans from, and can turn a bad day around just by laying her ten-pound head on you in a way that will inevitably lead to your limb falling asleep, or you needing to pee (you pet-people know what I mean!). She is my heartbeat- and when Max's orthopedic issues are flaring, she often is the only thing that can distract me from falling apart.
Mia is a weirdo. There's no other way to describe her. She acts like a dog, but comes by it honestly- our other cat died when she was 5 months old and she's been raised by these two fools. She believes breakfast is the most important time of day, and should occur the second the sun rises (3:30AM during English summer...). She is a great cuddler, and loves to be carried around koala-style, clinging to your shoulder and sitting on your hip- you don't even have to hold her. She is a serial stalker of the local rodents and birds, although she prefers bringing them in alive to play with for a few days over killing them outright. Because of this habit, we're able to free her victims, unharmed, the majority of the time. She comes when you call her, she has a vocabulary of 7-8 words, will eat anything that fits in her mouth, and thinks someone in the shower is a captive audience to listen to her stories. As often as I threaten to punch her in the face (our favorite threat, although neither of us would dream of following through!), I tell her everyday I'm glad she came to us.
Here are a few of my favorite dog quotes (and a cat one, of course!).
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.
Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.
I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.
W. Dayton Wedgefarth
*In other pet news, I read a post today from The Daily Tay that reminded me so much of Max's story, which I'll get around to sharing someday. His life-long orthopedic issues have re-shaped the way we live our lives, but the joy and love he's given back to us is infinitely more than what we've been able to give him. We will be the first to tell you that a medical-money-pit pet can be a challenge, but will also teach you just who you are at your core- and show you the true nature of those who hear his story.