By Mike Wilcox, Publisher
I must have been a frog, or maybe a moose in my prior life. For some reason, now that I am a human being (sometimes my wife thinks otherwise) animals are indeed a man’s best friend, or at least mine.
When I was a young lad I confided in my loyal German Shepherd. That dog knew all my secrets, my plans for life, and what I received on yesterday’s homework assignment. No one else knew, but that dog, my very best friend and confident at the time, was closer to me than anyone else.
Since then I have always been around a myriad of pets whether it be dogs and cats, or goats and reptiles. I or my family have had them all. Recently my wife brought home two kittens. They were found wandering around an abandoned house. The mechanic shop next door coaxed her in to taking them. She couldn’t refuse.
Mind you we already had three dogs and two cats. A month ago one of the kittens gave birth too three kittens. What a surprise that was. Now the second stray cat is also pregnant. Just our luck. We try to do a good deed by taking in two strays only to now learn they were both pregnant. No wonder the previous owners left them behind.
A few years ago my ex-wife was forced to stop on her drive home. In the middle of the road was what she thought was a domestic pet pig. For some reason she decided to get out of her car, grab the pig, and toss it in the rear seat and bring it home.
For a couple of days she let it roam the house by day, and sleep in the garage at night. Our pet dog at the time was not too hospitable to the pig, and vice versa. Soon the stench from the pig was overwhelming. I demanded she find the pig a new home. Later she drove it to a pig farm where the owner declared “this is not a domesticated pig, lady.” She was told Porky the Pig was actually a wild feral piglet. Just our luck, at least the pig wasn’t pregnant.
Did I say animals are attracted to me? As I’m typing this column a cat is lying in my lap and another is laying on my desk in front of the computer screen. That’s great but it’s not so fun when you have a six or was it eight foot water moccasin knocking at your door trying to get in. Just my luck.
I’m not making this up. A few years back we were experiencing one of Florida’s daily thunderstorms when lo and behold I hear this rap, rap, rap noise coming from the living room sliding glass door. I go to find out the source of the commotion only to see this long serpent beating its head against the glass.
Now not one to be especially afraid of snakes, this one had put the fear of God in my soul. It kept beating on the glass and no matter what I did to shoo it away, it wouldn’t stop. I beat back with a broom, I went outside in the pouring down rain and threw rocks at it, and I approached with a shovel ready to cut it in to pieces, but when it turned and showed it’s fangs I decided the shovel was not a good idea.
So I went back in the house and prayed the evil creature would not break through the glass. It didn’t and eventually slithered away.
My life has been filled with animal encounters of one type or another. I have been chased by a Gila Monster and swam with manatees. I have endured an elephant charging my jeep and alligators sunning my backyard.
I always thought God put me on this earth to be a journalist, but now as I recall my life, I was probably better suited as a zookeeper. Animals have been a major part of my existence and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.