Having read so many of your posts about pets, for Jake’s Sunday Post challenge, I was reminded of a surprising confession by some lovely friends of ours. One evening during a dinner party they were hosting, the subject of conversation turned to summer holidays.
“Are any of you going on vacation?” the husband asked. “ If you are, please don’t ask to leave your pets with us, because we kill other people’s pets.” Everyone present was stunned into shocked silence, as two more decent and kind people you couldn’t ever wish to meet, and besides which, they have two pampered and much adored black Standard Poodles, who they call their ‘babies’, plus a Siamese cat who is the boss of the whole outfit.
The husband, sensing our need for an explanation to his shocking revelation, went on to explain, “The first pet we baby-sat, was a gorgeous fox terrier. Sad to say, on our return from shopping one day, we found it very sick and with bright red eyes, lying out in the garden. “Snake bite,” we thought, and rushed it off to the vet. It was however too late, and unfortunately it died. His owners were devastated, and so were we. Then there were the silk worms in a shoe box, which we put in the spare bedroom out-of-the-way. When we went to check on them a couple of days later, we found them covered in ants, and all dead, so we had to rush around to a few schools in the neighbourhood to scrounge for some replacements. The teachers could only let us have really tiny ones though.
Next was the goldfish, which was perfectly healthy when we got it, but our cat used to perch on top of the cupboard, and stare at it for hours on end. We think it died of fright. With its lifeless body in a plastic box, we went off to the pet shop to find another one exactly the same size and colour. We were so relieved that we managed to get a replacement. The last unfortunate victim entrusted to our care, was a hamster, and I think the cat must have caused it to die of a heart attack. We found it one morning, feet up, in the bottom of its cage, so off we went with the small body in a bag, to the local pet shop, to try to find its clone. We got one which looked almost the same. The owners of these pets, never suspected that the silk worms, goldfish and hamster, were replicas of the originals, although the children did remark that the silk worms hadn’t grown much. So, please don’t ever ask us to look after your pets whilst you are away, it’s far too stressful and also very expensive”.