In Good Company: Having pets in life Saturday, 7 February, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in General Advice Humour.
Tags: animals, cat, childhood, companionship, dog, home, Humour, Love, pain, pets, tortoise
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“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France
I was brought up with pets. Plenty of them. Two parrots, a dozen dogs, many cats, 2 goose, a dozen pigeons to start with. I am not sure whether the innumerable cockroaches, few lizards & spiders should be considered as pets too. The house we used to live in north Kolkata was built in old villa(ge) style with a central courtyard, a good-sized garden overlooking a large pond.
My family members were fond of pets. My earliest memory till my college days was a life with pets at home. Spending good years of my life with various pets taught me a thing or two about them.
“You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets.” — Nora Ephron
Why have pets?
1.They are good companion (at times better than human company)
2. Keeping pets increase the owner’s organ size e.g.- heart.
3. Pets take care of their owners in some way or other.
4. Kids grow faster in company of pets.
Cons of having pets at home
1. Mobility reduces grossly
2. Pets demand dedicated time.
3. Pets petrify some selected people (blame it on the people)
4. Pets normally die before the owner does.
“Man is only animal that blushes-or needs to.”– Mark Twain
Based on my experience with various pets I have lived with, let me share my thoughts here:
Dogs: Universally most commonly loved pets & great faithful company. Dogs never cheat, argue or ask questions. Dogs can guard, sing, dance, & scare unwanted guests out. But dogs may get jealous of a newborn in the house. My first dog-friend was “poila” [Bong version of pehla, as he was the first puppy among other 6]. He loved Dharmendra’s action movies & used to enjoy Chitrahar every Wednesday, sitting under the sofa, his favorite place. When I was 10, my grandfather expired & poila stopped eating. He died after 4 days of starvation. Poila did not have any pedigree, but had a heart full of love. After few months Kuttus was brought in [ Kuttus is bong version of Snowy, Tintin’s dog]. Kuttus was again a furry mixed breed with Alsatian looks. He gave me company during my night-outs to finish my Design assignments for days at a stretch. He never objected to the heavy metal of Def Leppard/ GNR I played. He died when he was 8.
I decided not to have a pet dog, ever. They take away a portion of your heart.
Cats: Real politicians. You feed them, cajole them, feed them more & still they will sip the milk or steal the fish. You kick them out of house; put in a sack & drop them far far away; they will return & sneak inside your blanket. I have seen kittens sharing mammary of mother dog with pups. Cats proliferate in geometric progression. A pair of cats may multiply to more than a dozen within a year. In cat family biological relations does not become a deterrent to copulate. Cats are difficult pets to get control over; they go out & flirt with the neighbor’s cat. Also they are inventors of catfights, which is not visually pleasing scene (even w/o cats). Aspiring models can learn catwalk from them.
Finally, the melancholic cat cry can be the owners & the entire neighborhoods nightmare. Cats have 9 lives & normally they run away on their 9th life.
Elephants: I always wanted to own one like the Maharajas of yesteryears. Needless to say I never had the space to accommodate them. Moreover, the thought of controlling an adolescent elephant during its puberty scared me. Thus I would not recommend elephants as household pet unless you own a mansion, a banana garden & a pond. Nevertheless, they symbolize prosperity ( at least before owning one 🙂
Pigeons: The good thing about these birds is you can set them free & they come back to you. Pigeons are peaceful & bring a sense of freedom & peace, just keep the cats away from them. You can use them to send love letters too.
Cockroaches: Contrary to popular belief, roaches can be very faithful & useful pets. To believe it see the movie called “Joe’s Apartment“. You can give interesting names to them eg. Roachmary, Moulin Roach, Roachelle. For male roaches Alfred (Hitchcock), Thomas (cock) is suggested. Cockroach Theory argues that bad news (& also good news) tend to get released in bunches. The name cockroach because there is never just one roach – if you find one, you can be rest assured there are many. I like them because of their “never say die attitude”. A roach can live & walk without its head, but it can’t eat so it dies eventually. I still have couple of them hidden somewhere in the house & I rescue them from my wife’s hits & laxman rekha. I am yet to see a woman likes a roach. Hence if you have women on the house having a pet roach is not encouraged.
Fish: I personally don’t like colorful fish kept inside a claustrophobic aquarium. It looks like jail. However, I have seen people absolutely passionate about fishes & leaves everything else behind to feed them, clean the water, or just simply watch. Feeding fishes is the most difficult thing, as fishes always seem hungry & they need to be forced on controlled diet. No one likes obese fishes. I know a friend who’s dad left him responsible for feeding his fishes for a week while he was on tour. The guy put entire week’s food in the aquarium to save time & did not care to change the water. It took us 2 days to discover the source of the stench & subsequently had to dispose the still floating dead fishes off.
Guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, rodents, and squirrels are common pets. I have seen pet lizard too. I can go on, but I think by now the readers get the point.
My suggestion is if you wish to keep a pet, try a Chelonian (commonly .known as tortoise).
1.They live longer than the owner, thereby avoiding the painful experience of losing a pet. After the owner’s death it becomes uncle-tortoise to his children, grampa-tortoise to his grandchildren, so on & so forth.
2.Tortoises are no-nonsense cold-blooded peaceful animal- you don’t have to walk them in the park, they don’t bark, steal milk, jump on guests or fly away.
3. They eat simple veggie stuff with good calcium content & don’t make any fuss about the taste. Feeding cat/ dog food to tortoise is a common mistake. They don’t like it.
4. They are slow, but steady- learn the trick of winning the race from them.
5. They breathe easy as Pranayam, a real good company for yoga sessions.
6. The owner can have fun playing with it in the bathtub.
1. Like everything good on earth, they are endangered species today, so to get one, is tough.
2. If you manage to get one- chances are you will eventually transform into cool, lethargic, relaxed couch potato.
“Lots of people talk to animals…. Not very many listen, though…. That’s the problem.”– Benjamin Hoff
Trivia: Adwaitya was the oldest tortoise in India who died at 250. He was the pet of Robert Clive, later shifted to Alipore zoo.
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