Growing up, we were like most other families, we had pets; dogs, cats, rabbits and fish. Once I even begged my parents to let me have a ferret, but that didn't go over too well. There was always a dog running around in our house either shitting, pissing or vomiting. That's when my father got pissed one day and yelled, "Good God, we live in a $60,000 shit house!" We all stopped and looked at my father then busted out laughing. So from that day forward, whenever someone asked any of us where we lived. "Oh, we live in the $60,000 shit house on Anderson Avenue." People would look at us like we were on drugs or something. It was our own family joke.
But of course, my mother, God Bless her soul, did a wonderful job of cleaning up after these animals, in spite of her arthiritis. She would scrub and scrub the carpets until there was no color or fiber left on the dang floor.
I remember one Easter Sunday, I was about nine years old. I walked downstairs to see what surprise the Easter bunny left for me. I remember the strange smell when I walked into the kitchen. It was a scent that I never had smelled before. I searched around the kitchen, sniffing my nose, trying to find the source of it. I walked towards the laundry room which was adjacent to the kitchen and there was the Easter surprise. My dog, Daisy had a litter of puppies. Eight puppies to be exact. I remember screaming for Mom to come downstairs and when she came and stood beside me, she about shit a brick. No one knew that she was pregnant. Of course I was just a kid back then and never paid much attention to the dog's growing belly, but how could my mother and my father not know that their dog was pregnant? I mean, come on now.
Anyways...later that day, I walked outside to blow some bubbles from my new bubble machine that the Easter bunny got me when I heard a strange screeching sound coming from our shed. I walked around to the front and to my surprise....One of our cats was lying on the pavement giving birth to kittens. Yes, eight kittens to be exact. So that Easter morning...we had 16 puppies and kittens. A few months later, I remember bawling my eyes out when Mom decided to give away the puppies and kittens. I begged her to keep them, but of course the answer was NO! The answer was always no or maybe. That was their cruel way of teasing us just to get us to shut-up for awhile when deep down they already knew the answer was no.