We didn’t have any pets as children which is surprising in a way because my mum’s family had carts, and my dad’s always had dogs – I heard so many stories about two of them, Sam an Irish wolfhound retriever cross, and Digger a liver and white spaniel. We lived in a flat and dad always told us that pets weren’t allowed… which was not exactly true, but I guess there were reasons why we never had a creature in our home.
… I say never, but in fact we did have goldfish – my sister who was the most cack-handed thrower managed to win seven goldfish at Midsummer Fair. (I just looked up the etymology of cack-handed, and actually, you probably don’t want to know what its origins are!) Somehow, and I can’t remember how, we managed to persuade the parents to let us have a budgie.
Our first budgie was called Twinch and was a real character, very aggressive, full of himself, but at the same time could be affectionate. Budgies don’t live very long and he was replaced by Brindie who was a much calmer bird with blue colouring but a yellow face. Our last budgie was mac,who was a great talker, but he did get a bit muddled with the different phrases he had learned, jumbling up the words to make his own sentences.
When we had children they too wanted pets, but in our case it just wasn’t practical, for various reasons we had to do a lot of travelling and we both worked all day. However, we did have two pairs of rats, who were the most delightful, intelligent, friendly and sweet creatures with impeccable table manners! Babe and Tallon, then Fifi and Sox – sadly none of them got much past their second birthdays. Then came the Ninja rabbit, Solo… she was a Netherland dwarf and very malevolent lop-eared bunny; much as I tried to love her, she reciprocated with bites, growls and scratches.
Now we have no pets, only our visitor, and much-loved Smirnoff: