Although Gary is actually the oldest in the family, he is not the oldest member of the family. Gary is a Chinchilla who we took in as a surrender shortly before we adopted our cat, Kalista.
Gary sparked a love for knowledge when it comes to small mammals and while I knew a little bit about hamster husbandry from our time with Twitch, Gary has given me a much different experience.
It took a bit of time for Gary to get along with the cats, or well… for us to train Kalista not to terrorize Gary when she was stealing his hay. While Kalista has gotten more secretive about the way she steals the hay, she’s left this adorable gramps alone!
Having Gary has kept me on my toes as a pet parent since I had to do a lot of the learning on my feet. Gary has had a few health scares such as him sneezing lots, us having to learn and discern why he was making certain noises, although the only serious matter was when he had bloodshot eyes from an ulcer.
I will admit, bonding with a chinchilla took longer than bonding with cats, but every time Gary gets excited to see me my heart melts.
Kalista is a rambunctious and naughty cat who is currently in her teenage years.
Kalista can often be found chewing on cardboard boxes, stealing Gary’s hay, and escaping into the apartment’s hallway. When Kalista isn’t being high maintenance she is sleeping in one of her many beds or spending all of her time on the cat tree.
Although Kalista is not the most cuddly cat, she is quite affectionate, often rubbing herself again us, licking us, or flopping herself right next to us. If we are away from Kalista for too long she will look for us, often marching into the room we’re in meowing her head off.
Kalista gets very hyper in comparison to our other cats and always wants to have fun playing with her favourite toys.
Crossed September 7, 2017
Twitch was our first hamster who was left outside of a grocery store near the end of winter. She was a bit of a trouble maker who refused to stop chewing on her cage and got us to do lots of research on alternative cages that she could not escape from. Twitch was a sweet girl who we loved spending time with, she was also the first pet I had ever lost.
Crossed February 25, 2018
Flub was another pet who we didn’t expect to adopt as he was surrendered at the pet shop I used to work at. Flub joined our other Betta and gave our cat Beau plenty of entertainment and someone to sleep with at night. It was amazing to watch our cat bond so closely to a fish and losing Flub was much more difficult than I imagined even though I experienced fish pass at the pet store.
I leave you all with a quote that helps me understand that grief is normal and makes sense when losing a pet. I hope you too can take solace in it if you are currently grieving.
Crossed January 7, 2019
By far Blub was one of the hardest pets to lose as he was the first pet my partner and I co-adopted. He was given to me by the pet store I worked for as training to become their in-house “fish expert.” Blub was a soldier who took a number of beatings from us. He experienced us trying to learn how to properly change tank water, he lived through 2 drastic moves, he survived Popeye, and throughout all of this, he didn’t stop blowing bubble nests until the very end. Blub really helped me learn how to be a good pet owner and lived much longer than we had been told Betta Fish live for.
Crossed December 6, 2020
Beau is the second cat I adopted, though he’s the first pet that my partner and I co-parented.
Beau is a shockingly docile cat who loves to be held, sleeps with us every night, and overall is the best cat you can ever ask for. The reason I say it is shocking is that Beau was a stray who became a people person within a matter of hours of bringing him in. Not only Beau lovely and cuddly with us, but he quickly accepted his sister Kalista into our family to the point where we’re fairly sure they are bonded.
Although Beau is very cuddly he has come with a few health problems including frequent blockages/UTIs that required him to get a Perineal Urethrostomy. Beau also struggled with bouts of Pica though at this point both of these concerns have been monitored and conditioned.
Beau is a silly and quite oblivious kitty. He’s highly food motivated so we tend to use his feedings as exercise times.
Beau passed due to heart complications which lead his lungs to fill up with water making it extremely difficult to breathe. Vets spent around 5-7 hours trying to stabilize him to no avail.