Growing up with animal lovers was sometimes quite challenging:
- Walking into the bedroom and finding my sister’s Catfish, Hotstuff (named for the Diana Ross song) on the floor was extremely disconcerting, not to mention stressful as I tried to scoop him back into the tank without squishing him! She trained him to jump out of his tank, which he did repeatedly even when we were not encouraging him.
- Rescuing stray cats & dogs and then agonising about what to do with them, happened more times than I can recall.
- Weeping over fish, hamsters, rabbits & dogs who passed on, also happened more times than I would like.
- Dealing with my siblings’ love of exotic reptiles was pretty tough; think: chameleons perched on my sister’s shoulder (she adopted 3 of them, named Dude 1, 2 and 3, when she was in Zimbabwe) or a Boa constrictor coiled around her shoulders – shudder! Fortunately, the snake stayed in the nature reserve! My brother wasn’t much better – there were all manner of arachnids & reptiles around him, the most memorable being a tokay, a gecko he adopted from Chiangrai. Again, shudder!
But when all is said and done, there is nothing quite like the unconditional love of pet.
Feature photo: Younger Daughter (at about 9 months) sharing a moment with Brooke, my mom’s Corgi.