Natasha, whose blog can be found here, commented on yesterday’s blog that she would like to hear more about my pets and my pet peeves. I could also probably write a post about my pet pet peeves (issues I have with my pets) but that just sounds silly and a waste of your time so I won’t. Today I will just concentrate on my pets, from the two cats who currently possess me, to all the wonderful animals I have had over the years. An article on pet peeves will come at a later date (I promise Natasha).
So, pets. Who out there has some? For as long as I can remember, I’ve had pets. Either my own or those that belonged to my roommates or other members of family. There are some photos floating around albums at home of young Penguin in Wales sitting with some of the biggest rabbits the world has seen. Mind you, I was only 3 years old at most in these photos so the rabbits may not have been that big at all. We had a couple of rabbits while in Canada as well – one we found in our backyard and dad decided to make a hutch for it and the rest was rabbit history. One we got from a shop – we called him Ted. Ted couldn’t jump very well because he had the biggest set of rabbit nuts ever. Well, my exploration into rabbit nuts is limited, but Ted could have been in X-rated rabbit movies.
We had birds too, of course. Just your typical budgies (nothing fancy). I don’t really get the appeal of keeping budgies. If the bird can talk, that’s pretty cool, but budgies don’t do shit. There, I said it. Speaking of not doing shit – we had a plethora of fish too. Dad created this backlit aquarium under the staircase leading into the basement. It was pretty cool, but fish are fish, right? We had one of those suckerfish we called “Sucky”, as we were so dynamically creative it hurt. We had a couple of crayfish at times, and even an eel. The eel managed to escape the tank though and I came downstairs once to find him dead on the carpet, all dried out like a twig. Instead of a proper toilet burial I just took him into the laundry room and tossed him down the drain. Life is cruel, he had to learn. One of our newts went missing however. We think he crawled his way down the drain on his Shawshank Redemption route to freedom, but we’re not sure. For years we thought there might be a 200 pound newt living in the sewers of Edmonton, but we can neither verify nor deny this with facts. Some things are just best left to the imagination.
I was a young lad of around 8 when we got Fluffy, the husky-collie cross that would become my best friend growing up. He lived outdoors year round, even in the dead of a Canadian winter. When we brought him inside he would lie by the backdoor panting to be let outside again so we’d take him back out, chain him up, and let him bounce in snow drifts. We’d walk him every day (or he’d walk us seeing as though he topped out over 100 pounds), and he was the best neighbourhood protection ever. He would bark if anyone lingered in the back alley too long, and my dad and neighbours caught several people trying to syphon petrol or steal things from the yards of the houses around us. His weakness was people though. If you approached the fence he would put his front paws on it and expect some love. Good thing his bark kept most people away.
On no less than three occasions did we come outside to see that someone had cut through his chain. On each of those occasions, something had been stolen from neighbouring properties. Coincidence??? I think not. One day he got so worked up he tore a whole section of fence away. Not sure what got him riled up but my dad received a phone call from the police saying they had found our dog on the opposite side of town – he was dragging an 8 foot wide piece of fence behind him on a 30 foot chain. He was an absolute legend, and the day we put him down is the single saddest day of my life. It was awful so I will not talk about it now in this blog.
All told I’ve had nine cats. I had one growing up, that was left to me by some people on my paper route, to the few I shared with exes in Canada. I currently have the privilege of working for two domestic short hairs, who I brought over to Dubai from Saudi Arabia. Their mom was a rescued street cat, and despite telling my friends they should get her fixed, they opted to believe she was a good girl and wouldn’t succumb to any of the big tomcats that prowled the area. One litter of five kittens later … they still didn’t get her fixed. The friends who I took the cats from are South African so I gave them Afrikaans names – Liefie – meaning darling, and Meisie – meaning little girl.
Funny story about my current cats – they’ve been on more airplanes than some of my friends. I find this completely baffling to me. Seriously, how is that even possible? They have passports (I have friends who don’t have passports). What is up with that? Hmmm, that could totally segway into one of my pet peeves so I’ll leave it alone for now.
Meisie and Liefie have been with me through some pretty tough times. And even though cats are the most aloof animals on the planet, these two do seem to know when I could use a cuddle. Unlike most cats though, they are pretty sociable. I always tell friends not to wear really nice clothes over to my house as it is only a matter of time before one of my cats will sit in their lap. Seriously, they could have been dogs with the way that they act. They are sisters from the same litter, and although they will always have that bond, it is very rare when they will lie down together – the only exception is when they both curl up on the spare blanket I have in one of the drawers under my bed. Apart from that, they will fight for the prime space of being on dad’s lap. I can’t blame them, I am pretty cuddly myself.
Meisie is the more mischievous one of the two, although Liefie does like to sleep on my shoulder when I’m Skyping people. They both hate the vet, but Meisie will try and rip him apart, whereas Liefie just resigns herself to her fate and mews incessantly as she’s prepped for any inoculations she might need. Chicken is popular treat, as is tuna, but they prefer it from my plate rather than in their bowls – the cheeky buggers.
It’s just dawned on me … I’m one of those people who talk about their pets! I have no children, this is as close as I will get to having children (which is by choice by the way). So I’ll sign off on this tribute to my pets now. But just in case you’re curious, here they are, in all of their cat glory.