Everybody loves their pets, no matter what variety of animal they are, pets are part of our families, and we have a tendency to give them human characteristics, particularly when it comes to their attitudes. While certain breeds may display rather distinct tendencies, most pets do seem to develop their own natures; some are friendly, and some are protective. Some are shy, while others love everybody. We’re a family who loves pets too. When my girls were small we had two bunnies of the dutch variety. “Casey” and “Clarabell” spent exactly one summer living in the rabbit hutch in our small backyard. As fall rolled in, we needed to find another home for them. Having been the “elected” hutch cleaner (even though that was the kids’ job), I knew the smell would be too much in our little house. We found a farm that raised rabbits, and they took them in. The next few rounds of pets in our home were fish – gold fish in bowls, guppies in mini-tanks, and then … well, then came “Dave” the Chinese Fighting Fish. Poor Dave. His bowl got little attention … oh, lots of food so he didn’t starve, but the bowl cleaning an issue. At one point, I was certain old Dave was dead. The bowl was so dirty, the water so thick I figured nothing would live in it. By then, I insisted it be cleaned up. And lo and behold, Dave wasn’t dead. Not right then anyways. My daughter cleaned his bowl, put in fresh water and food and two days later, Dave was a floater.
After that we had guinea pigs … three in total, but not all at once. It began with a smooth-haired black and white. The girls name her Squeakers cause man, could she squeal. She was friendly, and didn’t spend all her time in a cage. Her favourite spot to sit was on the back of the sofa, right behind my head. When the breeders we got her from were closing, they called us and we decided to get another … after all, we had two girls, so they might as well each have their own. So along came patches. Patches was what they call a rosette guinea pig. He was black and brown and white all mixed together. I guess we had them for three or four years before they went to the big GP in the sky. (Our third came a few years later – Shadow. He was mine.)
Next … uh, that would be the cat. She was a barn kitten and had some pretty wild tendencies and a bodacious attitude. She features in many of these photos (she’s the fat one). She had a long life with us, and she was 17 when we finally had to put her down. I cried like a baby, and I guess that’s how it is with most pet families. Some animals will just grab your heart, and they stay with you forever.