Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Family And Other Animals

You would think that my life is complicated enough.
My three kids attend three different schools.
After school there is horse-riding, boxing, scouts, homework club and guitar lessons to shoe-horn in our week.
I have an autie kid who likes to twang our nerves to breaking point by playing chicken with traffic and dismembering electrical appliances.
He is also an occasional drowner of fish (yes, you read that correctly).

Time management is something other people do.

It is quite nice if we find time to eat and wash occasionally.

But some people thrive on adversity.
Those "some people" being my kids.
I'd rather be burrowed under the duvet watching 30 Rock and drinking tea.  Adversity is wildly over-rated.
But my kids are an odd breed who believe that we should fling our doors open to the animal kingdom and invite them ALL to move in with us.

To date we have the following creatures co-habiting with us;
Two dogs, one hamster, one budgie, six hens, one  nervous goldfish and a cat.
If not for the forceful, and frequent, use of the word "NO!" they would also have added sea turtles, a corn snake, geckos and many, many felines to our numbers.

Now, I grew up on a farm, where animals are meant to do something.
So far, all our menagerie does is cost money and produce a frightening amount of poo.
The hens lay eggs when they feel like it, but mostly they seem to pass the day trying to commit suicide (hens are particularly stupid) and painting their nails.

If nothing else, though, my kids are learning Darwinism first hand.
A food chain has been clearly established, with the cat remaining indoors to avoid becoming a tasty doggie treat, while she terrorises the fish, the bird and the hamster by fixing them with a steely glare and whispering "soon you will be mine".

Although, in our home Survival of the Fittest has been amended to Survival of the Luckiest, as Bob is prone to opening the bird cage and the budgie has (literally) been rescued from the jaws of death on a few occasions.

I suppose Darwin couldn't get everything right.

Having pets is a great way to teach our kids to be responsible, as they learn to care for other vulnerable creatures.

I wonder if I stuck a few feathers in my hair and started squawking (more than usual) , if they would groom, feed and cosset me?
On the other hand I may be fed to the cat, or flushed down a toilet so maybe I'll stay as I am.


  1. Great post, poor animals and poor you stuck in the middle of it all,


    'I wonder if I stuck a few feathers in my hair and started squawking (more than usual) , if they would groom, feed and cosset me?'

    Ahem...I've tried that, and it just brings the men in white coats in, so if you fancy a mini break in solitary somewhere, go ahead and try it...LOL.

  2. great post.. as you know we've had a recent 4 legged addition to our family! sometimes i think she might be the only "normal" one here!

  3. You never fail to make me laugh missus... I recently discovered that although my kids love the animals when they're there, when one died last week there was little response and certainly not one I expected. Think we'll stick with the one dog thats left lol xx

  4. jeez how do u cram it all in...thankfully mine all in same skool and down to one animal here..seems a dog is just for xmas was the theory used in our house as only one of them gives him any attention...lmao @ feather in hair analogy....me thinks u are best off as u are lol...

  5. Oh my... what a busy household you have! And there's me fretting over 2 goldfish and a budgie. Speaking of Budgies...and inordinate amount of poos... I'd better go finish cleaning his cage out!

    That's a good experiment you're thinking of and if you ever do try it out please post some piccies. Oh.... and a video too...that would be such fun!!

    Great post Jeanie... thanks for the laugh!

    xx Jazzy

  6. The first and only ever animal (apart from the three I gave birth too) that will come into this house will be our assistance dog! Brave woman you are, I tell ya! Jen

  7. Wow, I am soo impressed: I couldn't take any more poo producers in the house, and the local 4-legged variety leave plenty to clean up out front as well xx

  8. @ Brigid, a mini break ANYWHERE would be great
    @ Taz, I bet Bonnie is as mad as the rest of you
    @ Petunia, one dog sounds like a safe bet
    @ Sesame, maybe I'll give all our animals away this xmas...hmmm
    @ Jazzy, I'd probably look quite normal with feathers in my hair
    @ Jen, brave??? I was thinkimg more along the lines of bewildered

  9. @ Blue Sky, I'm a glutton for punishment XXX

  10. Ah sure you know what they say about animals.... They calm the household down and make everyone relaxed and happy!!! Right!!! Another fab bloggy Jean. You make me giggle out loud. XX

  11. Another Gery Durrell fan here! We have a tiny house which is barely enough for its human inhabitants and their collections of books,toy cars and dinosaurs, and so far our pets have been only snails and spiders (caught singlehandedly by the two Small Game Hunters). I don't know how long I'll be able to resist the calls for a "proper pet". After all, when I was 11 I cried for 3 days in a row until my Christmas present was exchanged for a budgie, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

  12. Ha ha ha. Great post. My house used to be the same. Until the cat fished the turtle out of her aquarium, went on to eat the bird and got chased away by the dog never to return again. Unless that was all a big scenario put in place by my parents to get rid of the surplus of animals. Mmmhh, nice conspiracy theory! X

  13. Surely no home is complete without dogs that can jump six feet into the air to celebrate your return home, a cat who thinks feels that her presence is a gift to you and hens who's aim in life is to get through the day with a minimum of egg laying and a maximum of grooming and scratching? Add in the various smaller creatures and a few kids and it sounds delightful...

  14. Hens painting their nails! Brilliant. Such a ludicrous picture and yet I can just see it now! We have a fish and three turtles. We can't have a dog as Max has a phobia or a cat as 'im indoors is allergic... Plus we live on the 9th floor and we go away a lot. Excuses! I think it's wonderful you have so many pets. We used too when I was a child, and although I think my mum ended up doing all the caring!

  15. @ Elaine, calm???? CALM?!?!!!
    @ Truf, spiders I could handle, but I don't do snails
    @ James XXX
    @ Foodie, you plant evil ideas in my head....
    @ Alison, there will be much pointing and laughing in the years to come
    @ Sandrine, I just don't know what else the hens spend their time doing!

  16. Hehe.....like the new look too :)...just been wondering how your autie drowns fish?!!!

  17. @ Rachel, down the jacks...xxx