My husband and I have four pets. We got our first pet, a cat, in March 2001. She's a gray tortoiseshell with a cute little tan strip up her face between her eyes. She was a really adorable kitten that grew up in to a totally psychotic cat. We got our second kitten, Ziggy, a few months later because China was lonely. Ziggy is also gray, but his coat is all one color. His gray fur is very dark and he has a perpetually worried expression on his face. In April 2003 we got our first puppy, a nine-month-old papillon that we bought from a breeder in Nebraska. Her full, AKC registered name is Merric's One in a Million - Millie for short. Today, Millie is a little chubby and a little neurotic. There was a span of a few months about a year and half ago when Millie got scared of her waterdish and would only drink out of coffee mugs. Mark and I thought maybe she wasn't getting enough attention from the cats, so we decided to get her a puppy friend. We didn't act upon the impulse to get the new puppy right away. In fact, Quinn, our fourth pet/second puppy, came into our lives sort of by accident when Mark found himself holding the little sheltie/eskimo cross puppy at a pet store in Fargo (yes, I know all about how you shouldn't by puppies from petstores. It wasn't my idea to be there in the first place, but Quinn was so cute when he fell asleep in Mark's hands that we were totally lost).
Anyway, that is the story of how we wound up with four pets. But today I am going to write about our first pet, China. As I said earlier, she grew up into a psycho cat. Once she knocked my Dad's glasses right off is face when he tried to pet her. She is widely known among our circle of friends as being totally cranky and nuts. All her meows sound the same: her happy meow, her sad meow, her hungry meow, her cranky meow, her psycho meow... well, they all sound psycho. In her defense, however, she has mellowed a litle with time and especially since we've moved into our new house. She appears to like it here.
China not only grew up psycho, she also grew up fat. For much of her life, she has looked like a football on legs with a tiny head. In fact, she is so chubby that we actually sort of renamed her Fat China. About a month ago, we decided to move her food into the basement because feeding the kitties upstairs was taking up too much counter space (they have to eat from an elevated position because if we fed them on the floor the dogs would eat their food). This morning I noticed that Fat China wasn't nearly as fat as she used to be. Apparently, forcing Fat China to go up and down the stairs into the basement several times a day to eat is having a miraculous impact on her waistline. Granted, she still is round around the middle, but not nearly as much as she used to be. So, now we are faced with the dilemma: Is it still right to call her Fat China if she is not nearly as fat? Do we call her Regular China or Not-As-Fat China? Some may say, just go back to calling her China, but she has evolved from being plain old China. She is something beyond what she used to be and I'm not sure if she can go back to being Plain Ol' China.