The majority of my family members are all animal lovers, and all pet owners at some time or other. Cats, dogs, bunnies, the usual hamsters, and fish have all been valued and cherished.
On the occasion of leaving home to attend post-secondary education far away, my youngest niece and her Dad both knew how important it would be for her to have the companionship of a pet in her new apartment. If a bout of homesickness required nose tissues, at least there would be something furry (or not) to cuddle.
And of course SKYPE to at least see familiar faces every night!
The initial challenge in Year One was to hone her skills as the ultimate packer – Dad’s car would only hold so much, and a lop-eared bunny named Caddy had a cage large enough to nearly fill the back seat! In the first semester a kitten from the school’s Collection of Donated Animals was lovingly scooped up and carried home inside her Winter jacket. His first car-ride was a 7 hour journey in Dad’s car when he drove North to collect his girl for Summer break. The two pets actually got along quite well, despite the rabbit’s propensity to be amorous with the cat.
Year Two saw two rabbits, the cat and a fish called Marley. Imagine the calamity of this travelling zoo when Dad trundled up and down the highways delivering kith, kin and cargo to either home or back to school!
Just a couple of days ago my niece’s apartment was flooded from the upstairs. Ceilings down, carpets soaked, clothes drenched – you get the picture.. As luck would have it, Cappi the remaining lop-eared rabbit watched from his dry cage as the waters rose – but was never in peril.
As for Marley, he had swum to fish heaven just the day before - narrowly escaping death by drowning!