I’ve missed The Theme Game for a few weeks, what with our trip to Spain and trying, and failing to get back up to speed with things. I noticed that this week’s topic is Animals and I had to find time to join in again. I’d love to write a post all about the amazing animals I’ve seen on holidays in the past, but as I can’t access any relevant photos, that seemed a bit pointless.
I have a love of animals, something that comes from my Dad, our resident entomologist, but also from the crazy animal menagerie we had as children. Animals, we had the normal gerbils (they bred like mad), goldfish (they died regularly), hamsters (they didn’t fare much better) I wasn’t keen, they bit me, terrapins (I did love them). We had rabbits, in fact we had a purpose-built run for them. How they never burrowed out of it is beyond me. My bunny Benjamin was the lord of the manor, he had his little harem, and we had lots of bunnies, a lot!
Animals of every kind. We had two beautiful Macaws in a special aviary. They were the most majestic of animals. My Dad donated them to Birdworld in Surrey, when we moved to Oxfordshire. I tried to find out if they were still alive a while ago, but sadly Birdworld had been taken over and the records weren’t there, so probably they had died some time before. Beautiful animals, beautiful birds. We had parrots, mynah birds and budgies, lots of budgies. God it must have been noisy, but to me it was normal. We grew up appreciating nature and animals of all shapes and sizes. We had a couple of Cockatoo’s. They scared me.
We had a wonderful Tortoise, who lived for years and years. We all loved Rosie.
Then there were the insects! Stick Insects of every variety you could imagine. The eggs used to fascinate me. I loved looking at our stick insects, but was never too keen on handling them. Dad was always finding some insect that was about to pupate, we’d wait and out would hatch some beautiful butterfly or moth. I took it all for granted, didn’t listen enough.
Any photos that there are of our animal menagerie are in Spain with my parents. It was a childhood full of animals. But the most loved, adored and photographed were our cats and dogs. Excuse the quality of this photos of photos! I grew up in a pre-digital age remember.
I can’t find photos of our first two cats; Niki (named after Niki Lauda – I told you I was a Ferrari Fan didn’t I!) and Jumbo – the biggest, fattest tabby cat you have ever seen. My brother and I wanted to call him Fatso, that got Mum’s veto, so we compromised on Jumbo!
Then there was Lady, our beautiful Tabby and White cat, bought just before the royal wedding in 1981. She lived until she was 19 bless her, died in my Dad’s arms, the only time I’ve ever seen him cry. Her son, Sweep, who I adored. Our Dogs, Tracey the rescue Collie cross and Rio the Black Lab cross (Can you tell I was a Duranie by the time she arrived on the scene!).
When I bought my first house with my ex, I wore him down until we got two little kittens, our Monty and Roxy. My saggy old cats who lived to grand old ages. Monkey doesn’t remember Roxy, but he still just about remembers Monty. I’m sure that memory will fade though, sadly.
Now there’s Brewster, the first pet he will always remember. Hopefully they will grow up together, and Monkey really will learn to love animals as much as I do.
I can’t imagine ever having anything other than cats now, we have a tiny garden so no space for a rabbit run. I can just picture Daddy P’s face if I mentioned Stick Insects! But I’d always encourage a love of animals in Monkey. I honestly believe that all children should have a pet of some description. Yes, Mum always ends up doing the feeding, walking and cleaning up after. Yes, it is awful when a beloved animal dies. But children need to learn that all animal life revolves in a circle, life and death. It’s a hard lesson, but one that must be learnt.