Growing up, my house was one animal short of being the 21st century’s answer to Noah’s ark.
From terrapins to budgies, fish to cats and dogs, and even the occasional earthworm and snail, it’s fair to say that my parents were pretty open to the idea of having their house destroyed by their adorable children and cohort of creatures in tow.
As I sit here in absence of a little lapdog to keep me company and bark at the postman, let me introduce you to the little family zoo of my childhood.
And spoiler alert – none of them are still with us (so no more sh*t to shovel). And sadly, all have passed away (or escaped like a kid from a cult).
So let’s begin:
Let me start by saying that my parents introduced me to the world of ‘pets’ rather gently, no kid above the age of 8 wants a slimy fish, so that’s exactly what they got me. But not just one no no, there had to be fish no. two AND three. Because I have two other siblings who need to feel ‘cared’ about just as much as I did. Anyway, so three fish are in the bowl:
Fish 1 – My brother’s, it gets killed in a ‘hit-and-swim’ by my torpedo of a goldfish. To be fair the thing was a kamikaze ever since I released it from its carnival plastic bag and into the fishbowl, it was like a dog that’s got the zoomies/ or a bag of the good stuff.
Fish 2. – My sister’s, a pretty little thing, with one of those long swooshy tails, not exactly a goldfish, but we’ll just say it was for simplicity’s sake. Death by amputation of its left fin courtesy of my ravenous one. Without it, her fish couldn’t swim very fast and so it didn’t eat enough and well……you can guess what happened next. ‘Why didn’t you separate them?’ I hear you say, well, much like a game of Cluedo, we didn’t know who the culprit was until the damage had been done. My assassin of a goldfish only needed a week to take the other two out. I knew there was something fishy about the look it had in its lidless eyes let me tell you.
Fish 3 – My baby, favourite little fishy, – dead the following week. How? It jumped out of its bowl and onto the fireplace. My mum and her overly warm hands (shame not heart) scooped it up again and placed it back in it’s tank which wasn’t a great idea because she must’ve electrocuted the damn thing. All night it convulsed with moves reserved only for dads on dance floors of wedding receptions *cringe. A few hours later ‘Tiger Lily’ was floating on the surface of the water like one of BP’s oil spills.
So a bit morbid I know, how about an escape story to cheer things up:
For anyone who doesn’t know, no they are not ‘turtles’ that’s offensive. To call them one of those is to call a diamond a pebble. 😦
Oh who cares, let’s just call them turtles because I really don’t know what the difference is. Anyhow ‘Hedwig’ and ‘Buckbeak’ were their names, if you’re an HP fan then you’ll get the references. And no, they did not bestow upon us the same level of magical awe as the characters they are named after did in the films.
Instead, mine almost gave me MRSA from a claw-scratch, they were loved however, despite avoiding eye contact by staying in their shells any time I said ‘hello’, running in the opposite direction when I tried to feed them and well…basically avoiding me at all costs really.
Eventually I grew tired of their lack of affection! And sent them to a better place – terrapin heaven. Joke – to a nice man in the countryside who has a pond with a giant catfish-looking thing. So I hope the
turtles terrapins are alive to this day. And didn’t instead get eaten by Northern Ireland’s answer to the Loch Ness monster. I can’t imagine they’d be that easy to consume with their hard shells and scaly appendages……..
Ok….. I feel a bit overwhelmed now with sadness 😦 I think I’d better stop now before I reveal too much!
Join me next time for budgie shenanigans and snail races ahehe