World Animal Day Blog Hop: Homage to the Dirty Half Dozen

World Animal Day Blog Hop

World Animal Day Blog HopOver the last thirty years I have owned many pets. When I was born my parents already owned an English sheepdog named Suzy, who didn’t take kindly to the arrival of another screaming baby – I was the second of two sons. Throughout my childhood we also had goldfish, gerbils, hamsters, even terrapins at one point. However, Suzy was the one that we always held the most dear, the one we had the longest, and I can still remember the day she died. It was my first day at secondary school and having had a relatively carefree opening day, I returned home to find out our dog had been put to sleep, an act of mercy from the vet given that she had sadly been diagnosed with cancer. That was 1993. I didn’t own another pet until 2010.

I often think of my wife, Donna, as a criminal genius. We first got together in 2009 and if she’d have said to me at the start of our relationship that one day six cats would come to live with us I would have laughed so hard my eyes might have popped out of my nose. Well, in 2010 two cats – Razz and Kain – came to live with us. I had no experience of cats, so having the feline world thrust upon me was quite a shock.

CatsRazz and Kain were rescue cats, having spent eight months unwanted in a shelter, and we were only too happy (gullible sounds better but only when Mrs B isn’t around to correct me!) to take them in and share our home. We managed the take them in part but the sharing of the house hasn’t quite worked out the way I imagined, certainly not to the ratios I assumed. Since Razz and Kain joined, the numbers have increased dramatically from the feline equivalent of Starsky and Hutch to the Dirty Half Dozen.

CatsOwning cats coincided with me starting a blog and a part of me wonders if I was subconsciously trying to share my pain and suffering with the world. These six cats are undoubtedly naughty on a daily basis though I’m the only one that seems to realise this. To Mrs B they are six celestial beings that brings warmth and affection to all that come near them. I reached out to my readers through numerous posts about the cats and those endeavours have culminated in my latest book – Man vs Cat – due later this year.

CatThe book is intended as an honest (some of it might be made up!) account of my experiences of living with these six cats. While my wife dotes on the Dirty Half Dozen, I spend each day in fear of them and what they may do to the house when left to their own devices. Our cats leave a path of destruction and devastation wherever they wander. I’d get more peace having the Incredible Hulk as a tenant. I have spent the last two or so years locking horns with the cats and trying to gain the upper hand. It hasn’t worked.

Cats are fascinating pets and it is hardly surprising that they have replaced dogs as the most popular choice. Among the feline’s greatest hits are the ability to look at you with utter contempt and malevolence, claim the best seat in the house leaving the owner to find an alternative spot and wreak domestic havoc in the form of assaults against the curtains, wallpaper and furniture. Nothing is sacred when it comes to cats and I don’t just mean the six that I live with.

CatsThough I am constantly at war with our cats I do see the benefit of them. My wife, Donna, is much happier when they are around and though they put us through worse ordeals than a victim of the Jigsaw Killer in those Saw movies, I won’t deny the house wouldn’t be the same without them. When one of our cats, Kain, was seriously ill Donna and I sold our games consoles but most importantly our engagement and weddings rings to pay the vet bills. Kain is still here so it’s the best bit of business we’ve ever done.

Here’s to the arrogant, superior and condescending cats that we share our humble abodes with. Why we do this though will always be a mystery to me.


The World Animal Day Hop is being sponsored by Terri Giuliano Long and David M. Brown. Terri is the author of best-selling novel In Leah’s Wake, while David is the author of The Elencheran Chronicles.


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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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  1. Ha! I can't wait to read "Man vs. Cat" ~ I have mixed feelings about felines at times, too, but in no way do I see them as benign little bits of fluff, as cute as they are. :) Then again, I had a rabbit (or it had me?) and I pretty much had to share the house with the little devil, and he ended up being more of a roommate than a "pet" so I can understand the need to compromise with animals, as they are definitely their own beings with their own ideas about a proper life, sanitation, times for attention and whether or not our belongings should be chewed on, stomped on, shredded or otherwise mauled for the vagaries of their emotional needs… :)

  2. Having a pet is more expensive than a child. However, I would never give up a pet because of money. The love from a pet is something no human can replace. I would be totally lost with out any of my babies.

  3. OMG, you sound like my poor husband – he had cats thrust upon him as well, but he's set a limit of 3 on the number of cats I can have at any given time. Selling your rings for vet bills – OMG, you guys are awesome!

  4. Lovely post! I love cats! Sadly, my boyfriend is allergic, or so he says… You and Donna are amazing Cat Parents for sacrificing tokens of love in order to save one of your fur babies!

  5. I love, love, love this!!! I am a huge animal lover and have been trying to get some feral cats that live in the farm behind us to come up and eat. They will eat all right as long as I'm at least two feet away at all times! They are super cute though and I'm working on them.

    I actually introduced our dogs the same way. Jax was our first and he was a Christmas present for the hubby. Of course he is MY puppy though :D

  6. Wow, you sold your rings? I'm so shocked. I wish somehow you could have got them back. I once had a £700 vet bill for my cat Mogsy's brother, Kurt (he died when he was only one :( ). He had to have an operation on his belly cos he was always eating everything inedible. The vet, who was lovely, gave him a 40% chance of survival. He was only about 2 months old at the time. Anyway, she was brilliant and he survived. And he spent 3 weeks at the vets recovering and being pampered. Our pets are definitely worth it. I love cats. They're amazing, but yes, they can be naughty. I reckon it's cos they know we can't live without them.

    1. Thanks for commenting Vickie.

      It was either the rings or Kain. He was very ill and in danger. Thankfully he's okay now. He'd wiping his nose on my hands as I try to type this comment!

      I'm very sorry about Kurt :( It sounds like you did right by him throughout his life though.

      I think you're right about them being naughty. They know how fab they are and take full advantage :)

  7. Thanks for commenting :)

    I hope Man vs Cat will be my literary will and testament, a stark warning to the world that our six cats know where everyone lives and they are coming to get them :)

  8. Thank you for commenting and a pleasure to meet you too :)

    Kain is doing good after that serious health scare. My only regret is that it was my wife that thought of selling our rings first and not me. In that moment they were just pieces of jewellery to us. Kain's life meant more than any material possessions. I'm just so relieved he's doing well :)

  9. Thanks for commenting Giacomo.

    We're lucky also. Thanks again for your post. I've read all the blogs today and think despite all the posts being excellent yours edged it as my favourite. It made my wife cry and I was moved as well. Wonderful story :)

  10. Thanks for commenting Terri.

    I set limits too. First I said 2, then 3, then 4, then 6! So far, 6 remains the limit but for how much longer?

    No hesitation on selling the rings whatsoever. We thought we were going to lose Kain and we did what we had to. We don't have our rings but we do have Kain. That's all that matters :)

  11. Thanks for commenting Lauri.

    Sorry your boyfriend is allergic. You could always test to see if he really is ;)

    Amazing cat parents? Thank you. We just do what any other cat owners would, I'm sure :)

    1. Part of my plan for world domination is to bring home a sad looking kitty in need of a home and guilt him into letting me have a cat. Our pup likes him best so I think it's only fair I get to have a kitty.

  12. I've never had more than one cat unless the mother would have kittens, but they couldn't stay (mom and dad would make me get rid of all but maybe one kitten). A couple years ago my old cat died at the grand old age of 23 (our years).

    1. Thanks for commenting Amanda.

      Sorry you could only have one cat at a time.

      23? My goodness. That's an impressive age for an impressive cat. I'm am sorry for your cat's passing but what a good long life.

      Thank you for taking part in the blog hop :)

  13. David, I think you will have a great market for your book, as it seems there are many in the Man vs. Cat category. Thank you for hosting the blog hop and allowing pet lovers to unite virtually. :)

  14. Thanks for hosting. Sorry it's taken so long to get round to all the posts, I have been travelling and not always able to connect from Budapest!

    I totally understand your bond with your cats. My husband is not a cat person (yet), although we did have a lovely old rescue girl. I would love to get another cat, but it would need to be super-robust to get on with Boxers!

    And like you, we would do just about anything for our animals x.

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