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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Regarding Puppies and Kittens

My first year at Prescott College was spent in the student housing situation located directly across Butte Creek from the college, the Agave House. That was probably one of the hardest times of my life. Not socially or academically, I was loving all my classes and all the new friends I was making. Rather, my life was missing something else, something that normally clung to my thick fleece jackets back home in New Hampshire, and occasionally made others around me sneeze.

Fur! Of course! I spent all year in increasingly depressing pet withdrawal, without any snugly animals to make my fleeces into allergy magnets. I missed my dog, Cody, my cats, Mya, Sabbath, Gus, and Cosy, and my rats who I had to give to a friend when I left for college, though I still think they would have been fine hanging out in the dorms. Of course, the college recommends not bringing pets with you your first semester, given that you'll be out on orientation for three weeks, which makes a lot of sense.

I was lucky that this is a school where the vast majority of students live off campus, where they're allowed to have pets. I only survived my first year by obsessively saying hello to every single dog or cat I passed by on the street. The decision to rent a house with a few friends my second year of school turned out to be a fantastic one, for now we could own PETS!

The first fluffy resident of our household was Mr. Whiskers, a Manx (tail-less) cat whose owners were moving away to the west coast and couldn't take him with them. It's a good thing he showed up, too, for any longer without a critter running around and I would have dyed my hair black and started wearing death metal t-shirts (but not really). Suddenly, life was an adventure. Would my shoelaces be viciously attacked upon my return home today? Who knows!

Mr. Whiskers stayed with us until this past summer, when he went with us on a road trip across the country; seeing such exotic places as New Mexico, Texas, Texas at night, Texas the next morning, New Orleans, Georgia, and South Carolina. He now lives in a little house on the coast of South Carolina, with all the fresh seafood he could wish for.

Our next furry friend started her life with us this summer, when she was adopted by my parents after being abandoned in a house in Tennessee, found by a rescue organization, and brought to Massachusetts to be adopted. Suki, a Siberian husky mix with heterochromia (different colored eyes), ended up being a bit too high-energy for my parents, and was handed down to my partner and I. She got to enjoy a road-trip with us as well, this time heading westward.

Now, of course, our house had a dog but times during the day where she had no one to play with. Whatever were we to do? Apparently, the answer to that question was at the humane society. Kittens! But wait, they have an adopt one, get one free day today! Oh, oh no.

Two weeks later, I am awakened every morning to the pitter-patter of kitten feet in the hallway (aren't they supposed to be stealthy?), and the occasional *THUMP* as one of them runs into our door. This wakes Suki up, of course, and then she stands at attention like Doug from Pixar's "Up," pointing at brightly colored birds. I don't mind, though. I rather like being roused by furry things than a screeching alarm clock or my partner waking me up because I forgot to set the alarm again.

The great thing about the college is that many people around here have the same love of animals that we do, so it's usually quite easy to find a dog or cat-sitter right in the local community when you go out in the field.

Prescott College: "For the Liberal Arts, The Environment, Social Justice, and Furry Friends

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