Pets have their uses

My older sister had a dog when I was young. Me myself I’ve never had a pet apart from a few goldfish that kept dying, To avoid personal grief for the children I replaced the fish until they were old enough to understand that their old man was pulling the wool over their eyes. I mean, it’s a given, isn’t it? Fish are like flowers- they all look the same.

Anyway, there’s been a few close family additions on the pet front. My sister has a cat and my son’s girlfriend has a rabbit. The cat is a nightmare. Scratches, bites and runs about like mad. Cute little kitty, my left paw. The rabbit on the other hand. A gift from the gods.

He’s very sociable and I’ve rabbitsat him a few times. He likes football and I can practise some of my soccer skills with him. His slowness on the turn makes my flip-flap manoeuvre on a level with Roberto Rivelino though it is difficult to nutmeg him.


13 thoughts on “Pets have their uses”

  1. He might be good at football, but I bet he is useless at rugby! I should warn you that Mrs FEEG had to go to the local A & E the day that Margaret Thatcher opened it after being savaged by a rabbit! Personally, I would love a dog, but cannot spare enough time to look after one properly.

  2. Unfortunately wouldn’t last long round here! Three dogs tend to decimate all comers. The latest victims being two chickens that had the temerity to visit!

    I have never been dogless since Uni, used to take them to work. can’t actually function without dogs, after all with whom is one left to converse? More dogs less brats!

  3. I take it that the rabbit is still a youngster and learning this footballing stuff. As he gets older and improves your going to need a back up plan, have you considered a tortoise?

  4. Royalist, I cannot imagine a more different upbringing to mine, when you say “To avoid personal grief for the children I replaced the fish until they were old enough ”
    When I was a child my parents kept all sorts of animals, chickens, rabbits, ducks goats etc.
    One day when I was about eight years old I asked my Dad if I could have a pet rabbit of my own. My Father said that would be ok, but I have to feed him, clean him out etc. otherwise he would go in the pot for dinner.

    From a few pieces of wood and a handful of nails (and I guess some help from my Father) I build a hutch,and had one from a new litter. I named him Tumbleweed after the horse in an Audie Murphy western.

    One day we were sitting round the table eating our Sunday lunch. I said “wow Dad, this is nice. Is it one of our rabbits?”
    My father said “well, I did warn you son. If you didn’t clean him out regularly he would go in the pot. Yes, this is Tumbleweed.”

    My two brothers burst out laughing. I cried. So much for avoiding personal grief.

    I must add though, despite the grief, I happily cleared my plate. 🙂

  5. Oh dear what a dreadful tale!

    No chance of replacing the boy’s goldfish, they were immortal! One that he won at the age of seven lived 22 years!!! Died not long before its owner. When I came to turn out the freezer in the flat before moving back here I found a mini ‘sarcophagus’ with three large very dead goldfish kept there. Hmm, not exactly the best present for a new tenant!! they sort of had to go! Don’t ask where!

    Apart from that, the hamster burial was noteworthy. Everything the boy had died of old age, he was manic about feeding them properly. cleaning them, taking them to the vet etc etc. This bloody hamster was six when it died. The wretched thing went back and forth to boarding school, he even had a padlock on the cage to stop other brats interfering with it. At home it never lived in its cage, just ran around his room and ate his mattress! He lived inside the mattress in the side of the spring base. Used to pop its head in and out so you had to leave the sheet not tucked in that side or otherwise it would have eaten that too! God knows what the help thought. At the time I had a large restaurant in Devon, with a large staff. Ully, short for Ulysses duly died one holiday. The boy was distraught. I suggested a funeral to alleviate his suffering. Worst idea ever! Or at least one of the funniest. This was deemed most suitable. The boy built a coffin and found a trolley to act as a ‘gun carriage’ (suitably got up) At this point I involved the staff as it needed a full coterie of ‘mourners’! Having explained the situation they were then threatened with firing and P45s if they laughed before they got back to the kitchen!!

    Solemnly we dead marched up the lawn singing as we went. The boy had found a James VI bible. and as you can imagine a dead pan intonation of-
    “Hamster that is born of hamster hath but a short time to live….”
    God how we managed to keep straight faces I will never know, no one had to lose their job!!

    As the boy was a great devotee of the original funeral service I bribed the dean to use if for real for him.
    Unfortunately the ex and I caught each others’ eye during “Man that is born of women etc etc” Both of us knew what we were remembering and nearly disgraced ourselves by bursting into guffaws of laughter. A hideously near miss. I can absolutely never hear that phrase with out a grin. I think I had better order it for myself just to have a last laugh as one exits!

  6. I just realised that that I missed out some commas in comment #1. 😦 It was not Maggie who was savaged by the rabbit but Mrs FEEG!

    When we were young, my Dad and my uncle, who lived nearby and like my Dad had been brought up on a farm, kept some chickens in a run in our garden. I had to feed them and one particular one always tried to peck me when I did. I was most disappointed when my Dad would not let me wring that one’s neck at Christmas time!

  7. Christina: My brother found my nephew’s goldfish floating on its side in the aquarium, so he duly bought a replacement without telling my nephew. When he went to dispose of the corpse, he decided to flush it down the bog, as you do. In order to save water (there was a hosepipe ban at the time) he had a widdle in the pan before flushing. The goldfish immediately sprang into life and started swimming around frantically.

    He then had the tricky task of explaining to my nephew where the extra goldfish had come from! The revived fish went on for a long time after that and even outlived its replacement by a year. I am not sure, however, if I would recommend this as a general method of resuscitation!

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