The King family has not had the best track record with pets. This is probably the reason that for a very long time I was anti-pet, but I've come to terms with my issues. I started to detail each one of the major catastrophes, but in doing so, I realized that we sound like horrible rotten people. Therefore, you get the nutshell version. (So it might be a big nutshell, whatever). Judge us if you must.
The dog that lasted the longest was a white chow/Samoyed mix named Kasper. We must have had him for about 14 years. My younger brother, Jonathon, grew up under the cloud of knowing that if push came to shove, the dog had seniority; and we, being the outstanding siblings that we were, never let him forget that. Kasper had a little wiener dog friend named Wendy, but she didn't last nearly as long as he did.
I grew up in the day's before xbox and the like, so we resorted to playing baseball in the backyard. When looking back, I realize there were two major things that went wrong with the game. 1) We didn't have enough people to have an actual pitcher, so we resorted to the ever faithful 'self pitch-ee' game. 2) We used the dog's ball.
My older brother, who has been over 6 feet tall since about the 6th grade, was up to bat. He tossed up the ball and swung for the cheap seats. The ball bounced on our makeshift home-plate, Wendy sailed down the first baseline. I don't remember what the ruling was on that ball, but that's neither here, nor there.
Then, when I was about 8, I was skipping out to the car and our brand new kitten followed me out of the house. She had the bad habit of wandering in and out of your ankles when you were trying to walk. I was usually pretty aware of where she was, but not that day. Poor little thing didn't stand a chance. I don't think I have skipped without guilt since then.
Moving right along, we had one cat get hit by the trash truck and left on the sidewalk in front of our house, one got eaten by the rottweiler who belonged to the ex-con's down the street while they, being the hood rats that they were, sat in the back yard and cheered, and one cat escaped to the desert near our house.....that one may have been part tiger, so I am sure she's fine.
My younger brother inadvertently drowned a bird. He didn't fill up her water dish and the poor thing had to lean over so far to get water, she fell in and couldn't get out. We, also, had a basset hound that for some reason, I can't remember why, we couldn't keep. My dad gave her to one of his students and she mysteriously 'disappeared' the very next week. We think they may have eaten her. And finally, we were camping on the beach one year and we decided to go for a walk along the cliffs of the cove. We heard the pop of what we thought was just seaweed.....but it wasn't. My sister stepped on a drowned rat and popped all of it's guts out of his back end!! She took off her shoe, threw it in the ocean and refused to walk back by that spot. She changed her tune once she realized that her choices were go back or be crushed against the cliff walls by the rising tide.
My point in telling you all of this is that my nieces and nephews are dying for a pet! I am DYING to get them one for Christmas, but harbor and overwhelming fear that the King family curse will be passed along. I had hoped that it would skip a generation, but I don't think that is the case. Before they moved from Vegas, they came out to Calif for a weekend visit. While gone the freaking cat sprouted thumbs and somehow opened a window and clawed her way through a screen! My niece prayed for a good two months that Sandy would find her way home. When she came to terms with the fact that might not happen, she changed her prayer to, "Please help Sandy find a home where she will be safe and they will love her."
My sister has tried to pacify them with fish but my 4 year old nephew called her out on that the other day. Hilarious. "Mom, you can't hug a fish, or take a fish for a walk. You could only take a fish for a walk when it was dead.....and then you hafta to drag it. (Begs the question, does he have any experience with that?!?!) When could we get a pet with some legs?" If you could only hear that everything he says is said with a Scooby Doo accent, you would realize how adorable he is.
Bottom line....screw the King family curse, but keep the Humane Society on speed dial.