The Roving Richards

A family on the move


Click here for a pet photo gallery.

While we were in France in 2012 we kept checking out the 13th Street cat rescue’s photos. Calvin’s photo kept calling to us. The day after we returned, he was still not adopted and was going to be at a pet fair at the Petsmart right near our house. We had no choice but to go get him! Calvin is a good cat, a bit skittish but friendly and he has a really good motor when he’s petted. He tolerates Rogue and really likes Hobbes.

When Genevieve and I went to get Calvin, her heart was taken by this little tabby who had been abandoned at a vet’s office at two weeks of age. His foster mother bottle fed him and he is the friendliest, most fearless cat you’ve ever seen. He’s the kind of cat where, if the plumber is over working on your sink, he’s right there next to him saying “what are you doing?”. For some reason the girls call him Boozie, and he is a love bug.

I got Winstina while I was a Junior in college, in 1987. She lived first in an aquarium and then on the patio. She has escaped from the patio a few times, most recently in 2010, but has always been found (the latest time four months later in the backyard). We love ya Winstina!

We got Tope (which means speedbump in Mexico, we call her Topita for little speedbump) at the San Jose Reptile Show in July, 2010. She “spoke” to us like the other turtles didn’t. She is an Eastern box turtle, and she lives in a turtle playpen in the back yard. Cute!

Gone but not forgotten:

We found Rogue on We were looking for another golden retriever cross because Shadow had been such a good dog. We had her shipped in all the way from Perkins Oklahoma. She started out a very troublesome dog, would not listen or stop jumping or harassing the girls’ friends. Thankfully as she’s gotten older she’s gotten a lot better, and she’s always had a good heart (and not just the one on the side of her shoulder!). Rogue is a good swimmer and an excellent jumper. She likes to chase anything in the backyard, even bugs. She also really enjoys snow.

Pandora was our third bird (third time’s a charm, right?). She was a Pacific Parrotlet, and was very playful although a bit mischievous. She loved to be upside down and ride around on our clothing. She had a cat bell that she either loved or hated, we couldn’t tell, but she went crazy when we rang it for her. We called her Squeaky because of the incessant squeaking she made for attention every time she hears the front door open.

Samoa was Charlotte’s first pet, a guinea pig, purchased for her eighth birthday. Samoa was really the perfect pet for Charlotte, he was sweet and docile and liked it when she handled him. Samoa loved carrots and would “oinkle” for them whenever anyone entered the room.

We got Panino as a little kitten right after we got back from our honeymoon in 1996. She was a good cat, never did like to be held but she was very independent and loves to be petted. She once disappeared for over a month, it turned out she was stuck in our neighbor’s attic. Ever since that incident she stuck a lot closer to home! She loved to play with Shadow but never warmed up to Shamu or definitely not the rambunctious Rogue.

Shamu was a foster kitten we had from 1999 to October of 2010. We just couldn’t return him to the pound. It turns out he got something called cage rage (even as a kitten!) and became hostile when caged up, so they wanted to euthanize him. He was a sweet cat unfortunately plagued with health issues, and cancer brought him down when he was only 11 years old.

We had Shadow from September of 1995 to December of 2007. She was a very good dog, and following are some favorite memories:

  • She was an excellent frisbee dog, especially when Monica was the one throwing and she knew exactly which way the frisbee would hook.
  • She was a bed hog. In her younger days she would actually lay on top of us if we were cuddling until we split apart and she could be in the middle
  • When she was a puppy, we had a metal sprinkler head.  One of her favorite things to do was to push it around the back patio with her nose and then growl at it and attack it. Also as a puppy we returned home one day to find she’d eaten the entire potted cactus garden. She was pretty sick after that.
  • Aside from a terrible incident when she was a puppy when she ate my roommate Roxane’s childhood lovey, she instinctively knew the kids’ toys from her own. She would never chew on their stuff, but if it was her porcupine, watch out! She would carry them around for a week or two and then one fateful day, just gut them.
  • When she was about five, we had a bunch of people over for a barbeque. She pretended as if she just wanted pets from Mark’s friend Pete, and while he was distracted giving her some love she whipped her head around and grabbed his hamburger right out of his hand.
  • Our dining room table still bears scratches from the time we walked into the room to find Shadow ON the table, all four paws!  We’re still not sure what she was thinking.
  • When Mark and I were first married, he called me at work very angry to ask why I had finished all of the muffins we’d baked the day before, because he was looking forward to having them for breakfast.  Uh, no, I did not eat a dozen muffins.  Shadow…..
  • Shadow never was very good in the car.  She got very worked up, barking and whining the entire ride, even if it was a five hour drive! And heaven help you if you used your blinkers, her excitement reached a fever pitch.

Tiberius (Tibby)
Tiberius was Genevieve’s first bird. We got him from Julie’s birds as a hand-raised six week old budgie in November 2008. She hand tamed him and he was a very sweet bird who loved his bells. Unfortunately, one weekend while we were away his cage was found empty and open (Shamu…). No sign of Tibby ever was found.

Coba was Genevieve’s second bird, gotten from a pet store in Foster City in July 2009 after Tibby flew the coop. He wasn’t as friendly as Tibby, probably because he was a really good flyer even when his wings were clipped, but we loved his little chirples anyway. He was a playful bird who often slept upside down like a bat. He was very musical and would make a racket when he wanted you to replace his spinach.


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