After Gretchen, we went mostly petless for years. We got the obligatory chicks and ducks at Easter and most of them died. Quit judging. It was a different time. And they were dyed pink and green and blue. We had a kitten or two but they died young (or Mother gave them away). There was also the odd turtle and hamster. And lightening bugs.
Then we got Phonsie. As I remember we begged for a dog and Mother said she wasn't going to have dog hair all over the house. Then she discovered that poodles don't shed. So they got us a small poodle. We named him Alphonse and called him Phonsie. (This was YEARS before The Fonz.) He was a puppy and a standard poodle so he did not stay small long. He was a nice dog who loved to chase cars and drove Mom nuts.
At one point I was living in rural South Carolina and a friend gave me a puppy. Max. Max was a trip. Also a large dog. I had a small red sports car and whenever I would leave Max in the car, he's pop over to the driver's seat with his paws on the wheel. I'd come back to the car and there would be crowd surrounding the car enjoying the scene. This happened twice a month.
The other major Max memory was having him with me at our house in Blowing Rock (the mountains of North Carolina). Mom had this habit of, while she was preparing a meal, wiping her hands on her backside. Max followed her every step in the kitchen and after every wipe, he'd lick her ass. It was hilarious.
When I moved from the area, Max went to live on a friends' farm. He lived with cows and loved them for years and years.
When I was in my late 20's, a friend gave me a kitten for Christmas. I named her Christmas and she was a fine cat. She hated my soon to be husband's dog and loved the little boy next door so when I moved, she stayed with him. My husband's dog was an ok dog. I don't even remember his name.
I lived lots of places where pets were not allowed. Then I moved to Minnesota and got a farm cat from a woman at work. Bubba was a wonderful cat. Huge and a love. When you picked him up, he hugged your neck. He moved with me to California where he got to go outside every day. A stray kitten, named Jake, adopted us. The two of them were frenemies. They moved with me to Seattle. Bubba lived to the age of 18 and Jake, til he was 15.
Then there was Betty. I got her after Bubba died. She was a long haired beauty who loved to hide. Also to escape out the front door, go down the hall and shred the neighbors newspapers. She would hop onto the couch and her act of settling in was like a feather boa being lowered onto the upholstery. She was quite elegant.
While it's not nice to play favorites, my favorite cat ever was Pizza. All my cats had died and I wanted one but didn't know where to go so I called my vet to ask their advice and they said they had an adorable little cat - about a year old - who had been brought in after she had been run over by a car and was basically road pizza. She was not expected to live but they named her Pizza but now she was healed and a love but they couldn't keep her. So I went to get her and OMG. She was the best.
She was very tiny and very soft. In the mornings, just before the alarm would go off, she'd stand over my face and wave hers back and forth so that I got a whisker wake up. At night, she'd sleep curled up at my neck. I loved that cat.
And now we have Zoey. Zoey was the first cat ever adopted at very brand new Pet Smart store. I got her in March of 2013. They said she was about 4 years old. She's a good cat and plenty enough companionship so that while I threaten her now and again that if she doesn't straighten up, I'll go to the pound and knock her off her Only Cat Throne. But, honestly, I probably won't. I'm too lazy.