Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Willkommen, Pet

When I was a wee kiddie I had a goldfish. It swam around its bowl, and that was pretty much it. The only time the fish showed any real activity was the night it leapt out of the water and was found the next morning, dead as a doornail on the carpet. Which closed the door, or at least pulled the flush, on my life with pets I was responsible for.

That aside, we were primarily a dog family. Mainly German Shepherds, although there was a Spaniel once who, when we went out for countryside walks, liked to splash around in muddy puddles before getting back in the car. The big problem was he’d get in any car if he saw an open door. Which could be embarrassing.

Oddly enough, a couple of the family businesses came with cats, rather bizarrely. Holiday flats on the South Devon coast came with a cat – Lorenzo – who was a magic little tyke. At least until he went to the vet one mid-December, picked up cat flu from one of the other moggies in the waiting room, and died the day after Boxing Day.

The second farm had a posse of semi-domesticated mogs living in the outbuildings who were a bunch of mean motherfuckers when they wanted to be. The little kittens would head off into the orchard and drag back rabbits twice their size. Even the dog at the time, a black Labrador/Alsatian-cross called Floyd, gave them a wide berth as we tried to educate the mogs on the ways of polite society.

It didn’t get any more exotic than that. I only mention this because last Friday’s The Times, which I’ve only just got around to flipping through, reported that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has revised their list of harmless and dangerous pets, with 33 species now considered sufficiently harmless to be kept as pets. If you want a racoon or emu, a crested porcupine or even a squirrel monkey, now’s the time to head down to the store.

Why you’d want one...? Best if you keep that to yourself. What I like about the article is the reason for the introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

MPs demanded stricter controls on wild animals after a woman wearing a leopard-skin coat was jumped on by a lion called Shane in a Worthing street.

The scare for Mrs Poppy Hull in March 1976 made front-page news in The Times. The lion was the pet of a local taxi driver.


At 12:50 am, Blogger Phill Barron said...

My favourite word in that article is 'scare'.

"The scare Mrs Poppy had ..."

Scare? Scare? A fucking lion jumped on her back! I wouldn't call that a scare, I'd call that a fucking heart attack!

Calling a lion jumping on your back a scare is like calling Mount Everest a bit of a hill.

At 6:16 pm, Blogger Clair said...

My goldfish - Bouncy by name and indeed nature - jumped out of the bowl and onto the living room carpet. Sadly, it was the same colour as said carpet, and it lost its life under my Mum's slipper.

At 7:16 pm, Blogger Jaded and Cynical said...

How do crested porcupines make love?

The old ones are the best.

And if Mrs Poppy was dressed like a leopeard and loitering within pouncing distance of a lion, she deserved everything she got.

At 8:17 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Phill, it may be that Mrs Poppy is made of far sterner stuff. I bet that as a kiddie she used to stand on the roof and swat doodlebugs away with a badminton racquet.

If it was me, there’d be an immediate evacuation followed by... oh, you know the rest.

Clair, unlucky for Bouncy. Maybe the leap is part of the evolutionary process. In which case... double unlucky!


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