Cat People, Dog People, Cat/Dog People, & Not People

Lad, Ching, my sister & me
I grew up on a farm. We had animals everywhere, in the house and in the barn. They were expected to earn their keep in some way. Our collie, Lad, (above) helped my dad and grandpa fetch the cows when it was time for milking. The cats kept the rodent population down in the barn and pretty much non-existent in the house.
Some were pets, of course, notably our Siamese cat named Ching-a-ling (above) whose main activity was looking down on any being unfortunate enough to not be Ching-a-ling. There were ponies who let us ride them when they felt like it. But mostly the animals contributed something--assistance with work, some necessary product like eggs or milk, and of course, meat.
Because of all the animals I knew as a child, I became a pet person. Though Lad was our only dog through my childhood (He lived to a ripe old age), I married a dog lover, and we always had one or two around when our kids were growing up. We usually had multiple cats, too, since they're company for each other. So when the question arises, "Are you a cat person or a dog person?" I can honestly reply, "Both."
However, we've found in our dotage that we're whittling down our numbers. When a pet died over the last few years, we didn't get another, so we're down to one cat at this point. We travel a lot, but neither of us is the type to travel with a pet. That means leaving them home with a sitter, which is much easier with cats, and we're lucky to have a sister-in-law very near who loves animals and treats our cat like one of her own. I'd venture to say that not only does our cat not miss us when we're gone, she often seems to resent our return and our irritating insistence on calling the house ours. I mean, really!
My two getting along...not
My Sleuth Sisters represent differing views of pets: Barb thinks she doesn't want one (but we'll find in Book #3 that she might be wrong). Retta loves her Newfie as if he were her child, and Faye loves any animal she meets.
Sig & Sam: my sisters' kids
Like me, the Sleuth Sisters were once farm girls, and I think when you were raised with animals around, it's hard to do without a furry friend--or hairy or scaly or feathery or, as my aunt used to say, "Something alive in the house."


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