Posted in Life, Memories, Pets

My Pets: A Minute Pet

It was a summer vacation when I was around nine years old. I was visiting my uncle, who lived in a small village; in an old, tile-roofed house.

One afternoon I was just dawdling around the house like I did every noon back then and at a corner near the back door I saw something wriggling on the earth. It was something small, reddish brown, and I just had to see what it was, naturally… When I got near enough to examine it I saw something bald, with a tail and four tiny legs.

It was a newborn mouse and even its eyes weren’t open yet. It must have fallen from the rafters above. It was small, helpless, and cute; I had no choice but to take it under my protection; and I did just that.

I picked it up gently and put it in a small cardboard box. I tried to feed it with cotton dipped in milk. After some time my aunt found out what I was up to and advised me, very patiently, that it was no good and I should abandon my efforts.

Finally I agreed that the baby mouse should be left on the rafters, so its mother could find it, and handed it to my uncle. That was my smallest pet and for the shortest period.

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Posted in Memories, Pets

Missy

When Missy was young; around a year old we, me and my family and my uncle, went for a one day picnic to a resort just outside the town. We spent our morning roving, chattering and just enjoying the nature. After lunch my uncle decided to go for swimming, not in the pool but in the river which was flowing behind the resort and I followed him with Monty and Missy.

The river wasn’t deep or wide but had a rather heavy current. When my uncle jumped into the river, without a slightest hesitation Missy jumped right after him. Most dogs are born swimmers, or so I had heard, so I didn’t try to stop her but the current was too much for her and she stared to float away in the water while trying hard to keep her head above. I was starting to panic but my uncle was already behind her and he saved her with just a little difficulty. Missy was perfectly fine but since then she feared water until her last day on earth and it was always hard to wash her.

Posted in Life, Memories, Pets

My Pets 7 – Missy

Missy was a Pomeranian female she was sent to me by a grand uncle as I mentioned in my last post. She was less than a month old when my grandfather brought her on a train and she was tumbling every two steps for the first day, the juddering train journey had bothered her so much. She was so little she could easily fit on my palm or in my shirt’s pocket. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of her when she was that young.

Missy 21st March 1997 – 6th June 2009

This one was taken when she was two and half years old

    She was never afraid of Monty. On the other hand she was always very bossy even when she was so tiny. Monty was five months old when Missy arrived and he always took care of her. When I’d feed them Missy would never eat from her own bowl but always started on Monty’s food and he’d just step aside and let her eat. Only once when Missy was a little older did he do something about it. I guess he was a little too hungry that day, but still he didn’t growl or lose his patience, he just pushed her to the wall and pinned her there for a while. Since that day she never looked at his food, and Monty continued to taking care of her. Missy was always a troublemaker so sometimes I had to keep her tied and Monty would try to chew her belt off. Missy was a little selfish; she never cared too much for Monty… or for me even. She was always my father’s baby, but she was family and so we all loved her and still do.

Posted in Life, Love, Memories, Pets

My Pets 6 – Monty

I wanted a dog ever since my Doberman and I got a chance to have one when I was in seventh grade. One of my friend’s neighbor’ Pomeranian female had given birth to three puppies and my friend said he was going to have one of them and I could have one as the owner wasn’t selling them but he only wanted a nice family who could take care of those puppies. So next day I went to see those puppies with my friend and his brother. The puppies were cute – of course – but they were not pure Pomeranian. The mother was a Pomeranian but puppies were cross breeds, Pomeranian and local dog. Still I loved them. One of the three puppies was full white male; my friend had already chosen that one, another one was a white female with just some small black patches on her back but I wanted a male, which left me the one who was a combination of black and white.

This one-


(He was around two months old when this picture was taken)

He was a month old when I took him home where he had to cope with the kitten I already had, Manu. For a few days he was a little scared of Manu and she was terrified by him but eventually they became friends, best of the friends. They would eat together, play together, and sleep together in the basket I’d made for Manu. I named him Monty.

When Manu died Monty got my full attention. Of course I was sad for Manu but all the same, I had a pet to care for.

Monty was very polite and smart. Whenever I’d put him on my bed and he had to pee he’d jump down, or more accurately, stumble down from my two feet high bed. He’d still sleep in the same basket; he never chased cats in his life (however sometimes he’d chase a chicken).


4th November 1996 – 15th July 2010

    Four months after Monty one of my great uncles sent a Pomeranian puppy for me because I’d asked him for one before I brought Monty home. It was a female, Missy, (She is next in My Pets). Monty lived with my family for thirteen years and six months and still lives in our hearts.

Posted in Life, Memories, Pets

My Pets 2 – Sparrows

After my first disastrous pet episode -a ‘spoiled’ tabby tomcat– I wasn’t thinking at all about having another pet (at least for a while). When my summer vacations started after my fourth grade final exams (which went practically well), I left for my granny’s city with my family to spend the vacation at my granny’s place like we did every year back then. My aunt, uncle and my cousins all were already there. We spent the vacation just like every year, (to be brief, having lots of fun).

We were roaming on a beach one evening; a day before we were to return to our town; when I saw two boys, a little older than me, walking near a food stall selling something. When they drew nearer I realized one of them was carrying a stick on which were sitting four sparrows. I was thrilled just seeing them. I asked the boys “why these sparrows don’t fly away?” they smiled and one of them who looked a bit older and bold replied “their wings are severed” and seeing my face he added, “just enough so they can’t fly for a few days.” I felt really bad for the birds, but at the same time I thought I had found a new pet.

My father, after some pleading and tantrum, bought them and I carried them to my granny’s place in a cardboard box.

Next morning we started our journey quite early. I carried the box, in which my new pets were huddled in a corner, on my lap all the way to my town and couldn’t resist peeping in the box every now and then; and providing my pets with water and grain even when they didn’t touch anything at all. I kept the box with me near my chair when we stopped for lunch at a hotel and didn’t eat much myself. I was too engrossed in my new pets.

When we reached our town at sundown I was too tired from our journey but still I left home right away to find where I can buy a nice cage for my birds. After a long search in the market while the shops around me were closing, I found a pet shop and bought a big, round parrot cage because I thought the other cages were too small for my four sparrows and I wanted them to feel free even inside a cage. The attendant in shop tried telling me that this cage is not for sparrows and they can easily flee from the bars but I told him quite conceitedly that this is the perfect cage for my birds and he handed it to me irately. As soon as I got home I realized that the parrot cage I had bought was too big for my sparrows and they indeed kept escaping from the bars……

I tried everything to keep my sparrows in the cage. I encircled the cage with a wire to make the bars smaller; it didn’t work, then I tried to reduce the size of each square of the bar by covering it with cardboard pieces; it didn’t work either. My pets weren’t able to fly yet so they would just flutter to the floor but it was just the matter of time before they could. Ultimately I realized my pets needed a different cage with smaller bars, like the shopkeeper was telling me. Hence until I could buy a new cage or gather some nerve to face the same pet shop attendant to replace my current one, I made a small cardboard house with lots of tiny windows for my birds and put it on a stool in my drawing room.

That night was one of my cousin’s birthday so I was at my uncle’s house which was just next to my house and our front door was open. A little later when I came home to get some ice I was shocked to see the house I had made for my sparrows was shattered and there was no sign of them. When I looked closer I saw but one sparrow lying in the wreck on the floor; probably dead…… yes it was dead. I was sitting there all dazed when a big black cat peeped from our front door and glancing at me doubled back and disappeared into the darkness.

I stormed out of the house and searched the whole ground around my house. I already knew what had happened but it was hard to take in that my sparrows hadn’t escaped, that the cat I saw peeping from the door had feasted on them. But ultimately I accepted the fact and buried the only sparrow witch was left inert in my hand under a tree in our front yard and swore to myself ‘No More Pets.’

Posted in Life, Memories, Pets

My Pets 5 – Another Cat

We lived in a tile roofed old house when I was in seventh grade. It was a single story house with a small attic and shaded little front yard. A small window of the attic was just above the yard covering sheets and a big grey cat used to come and go from a broken pane.

That winter we, (me and my family) went out of town to attend a wedding and when we returned we found that the cat had given birth to two kittens in our attic. One of them was white and golden with some small patches of grey and another was tabby with a little whites. When the kittens were too young she never let me near them, the cat, but when they got a little older I started giving them milk in a bowl and the cat would keep a watchful eye on me from a distance.

Then one morning the cat disappeared with her kittens. Someone told me that cats frequently change places for their kittens. I was saddened but was quickly recovered this time. Then one day, after about a month one of the kittens, white and golden, showed up at my door. I saw her when I came back from school but she was unwilling to come inside the house, but finally did when I tried and tried and tried.

She stayed with us since then and she was a good cat. I called her Manu. Every morning she’d run out when my mother opened the front door for milk, every afternoon she’d wait for me in the front yard when I came back from school. I had arranged a small cane basket for her and had fluffed it with pieces of old blankets but she always slept curled between my ankles. A month later I brought a puppy, Monty. My kitten was a little anxious of him for a few days but soon they both became best mates. They both ate from each other’s bowl, played together, slept curling in the cane basket I’d placed for Manu. I was happy my two pets got along so well.

Then one morning when Manu came back from her morning stroll she was not well. She kept meowing and tumbling around my mother and my mother noticed, my kitten was not being able to see properly and something was seriously wrong with her. When I came home from school my mother had already called the vet twice but he was busy. My kitten had become quite fragile until then; she wasn’t being able to drink or eat anything or even stand properly. I tried to give her milk with cotton while my mother got ready to get her to doctor and then me and my mother bundled my kitten in a small piece of blanket.

But when we got to the doctor it was too late. My kitten was already gone.

Posted in Life, Pets

My Pets 3 – Doves

When I was ten, I was fascinated by birds, all kinds of birds. I used to spend my Sunday afternoons observing birds who visited a few trees footing in our front yard; tiny little sparrows; white or grey doves; sometimes a parrot or sometimes even a skylark. Even in school I had been punished many times for looking out of the window – at birds. I loved all kinds of the birds but mainly I was fascinated by doves. I loved everything about them; their small beaks, their smooth feathers, tiny claws, the way they walk on the grounds gracefully, the way they jerk their tiny head in short fractions when looking around, their soft humming or their noisy flight on sensing threat.

I had a Friend – Deven – who just like me; loved birds. He knew some guys in town who raised doves to sell so we decided to buy a pair and breed them for ourselves. One by one we visited every place that he knew. I was charmed to see so many doves in one place at each seller we visited; tawny, pure white, dark brown, grey, black and white, brown and white, with different feather types, and also a few tiny squabs.

The first seller we visited was an old boy around seventeen or eighteen. His house was tile-roofed and old, very small; but the front yard was fairly large for the house – around six meter long and four meter wide – and full of various doves roaming around. Many coops – made of wooden fruit boxes and just an open hole for the birds to enter and no flap to lock them in – were ranking under a tree. His rates were too high so we had to visit another seller who lived a little away from the central town. He was a boy two or three years older than me. His house was quite big, with a huge front yard and even bigger back yard where the birds were wandering on ground and also on small trees quite freely. He also disappointed us by his expectations but we weren’t discouraged at all. The next seller we visited lived in a shabby neighborhood and in a house too small for seven people who were living there, and to reach there we had to walk through a lane between two houses so small only one person can walk. He raised the birds in his front porch which was so small four people could hardly stand there. All my dreams of having a pair of pet doves were still out of my reach since not a single pair would come under three hundred Rupees. Then we searched and found another seller, on the slant of a small hill, he had a fewer birds and he asked for two hundred and fifty but still it didn’t fit in my budget. At last we abandoned our search and decided to catch a pair.

In our mid term vacation Deven and I would go out in fields in old town area every afternoon – with a fishing-net, a noose which we had made on our own by working a whole day and my old parrot cage, which I had used once for keeping a few sparrows – to catch birds alive. It was pretty stupid actually, but we don’t think like that when we are young right? we just wanted a pet bird; a dove or even a partridge.

At last after many days of field visits and ineffective plans, one day we were on our usual bird-hunt. We had spread the net and placed our noose in a field and were sitting under a tree nearby, waiting. After a long and dry period of waiting, about an hour and a half later a partridge approached the grain we had spread and after a few seconds another one joined. Deven and I both were squatting in shadow under the tree, elated with anticipation, ready to race to the field. But the birds didn’t seem to bother either by the net or the noose. They were just picking the grain too comfortably and after finishing it they flew away before we could think what to do next. We came back home long faced and slumped shoulders, dejected.

My mother knew what I was up to since the beginning and at last she gave me money to buy a pair of doves. I brought a pair from the last seller we’d visited for two hundred Rupees. The male was white with dark grey chest and tail and female was white with chocolate brown back and neck. I also brought a wooden box from a fruit seller and made a small house for my birds and hung it securely at an outside wall of my home, high from the ground.

My birds quickly picked up with their new habitation. They’d rove on my roof all day and came back to their tiny and cozy wooden home every night. After a few days they also started recognizing the sound I made for calling them. I was thoroughly enjoying the days with my new pets. Deven was also visiting me more frequently these days.

Then one evening after a month I returned from school and realized my pets were not in their house or anywhere around. Deven told me that the boy we bought the birds from steals them back and that is why he sells so cheap. I believed him and we called at the place again and searched without any luck. Eventually we had to apologize and leave gloomy.

One evening after a week I saw one of my birds, the white and dark grey male, sitting for a long time on a cable hanging in my yard. I tried to lure him down but he didn’t come and after a while it took flight never to return.