NO MORE PETS
by Emilie Hance
for the American Dachshund magazine, July, 1969
It began when we promised each other that there would be no more pets. To seal it, we signed a lease for a beautiful apartment with wall-to-wall carpet and no pets allowed.
Only a few days later we found Sylvester. He was such a small kitten, lying on the concrete patio of the office where I was working. He wouldn't eat and he couldn't walk. Rain clouds were gathering as night fell. He would be dead in the morning. How could I leave him to die in the rain?
Three months later, Sylvester could walk around and even run some, and he had developed that terrible Siamese howl so we were sure the landlord would soon find out about him. The howl and several other Siamese traits revealed at least half of his ancestry.
We started looking for a home for him. We asked everybody we knew - and that was how we found out about Charlie's puppy.
Our bachelor friend Charlie had acquired this adorable puppy, which had just eaten $110 worth of couch, $50 worth of shoes, and other items such as trouser legs, socks, and pillows. Somehow Charlie was sitting on our couch with the puppy, and the puppy looked almost as sad as Charlie. He told us she was a longhaired Dachshund from a good family. We could see plainly that she was made to love. But we were firm. Only as a last resort - if he could find no one else at all - would we take this puppy.
Well, we named her Sugar. And that is how we got evicted from our beautiful apartment and went looking for a new home with a half-grown Siamese cat and a 6-month old Longhaired Dachshund puppy.
From the start, Sylvester and Sugar got along famously. They played, slept and ate together, and, when at last we found a home with a yard for them to run in, they hunted together. Cats will wander, and as Sylvester grew, he hunted farther and farther from home. He always returned at night, but Sugar was lonely in the daytime.
Which was how we came to get Little Lucy. A newfound friend had told us about Little Lucy, a Miniature Wire. After having been sold as a puppy several years before, she had been mysteriously returned. Apparently her life had not been happy.
Lucy was granted to us on probation, as it were, to see if she would fit in. At first she was reserved, but soon her outgoing nature overcame the shyness and she attached herself to all of us - except Sylvester. The cat was too much for her. Lucy ate Sylvester's food every chance she got, and teased and tormented him to the ragged edge of his great patience.
Until the night of the attack, when the Tom from up the hill got our cat and bested him and finally cornered him screaming against the stairs. The dogs flew out of the house. Sugar separated the cats, and Lucy took after the Tom, sending him scooting up the tree and out of the yard. We got our battered cat into the house and discovered he was not too badly hurt, just painfully clawed, and Sugar and Lucy sat by, anxiously waiting the first response from their friend. I imagine Sylvester was surprised to feel Lucy licking his face! Well, they are all a happy family now.
The first hunting trip Sylvester made after his recovery, he brought back the prize pieces of what must have been a rather large gopher and dropped them by Lucy's dish. It was nice of him, but when I found them - by stepping in them at 5:30 on a Monday morning, groping for the light switch in the kitchen - I just said "Someday," as I bent down to see in what I had stepped, "someday we are not going to have any more pets!"
I hope nobody was listening.