All Things Bright and Beautiful

November 29, 2007 § 2 Comments

It could be the imminent arrival of young Xing Xing, but I’ve been craving an animal around the house even more than usual this past week. Although the only animal who lived in our house until I was ten was Sunshine, an Amazon Bluefront parrot my father bought her for Christmas just nine months before I was born (hmmm), my brother and I both starting agitating for pets pretty early on.

I thought I’d won the lottery when my Dad gave me a guinea pig on my tenth birthday. I nearly ruined the surprise by bursting in on him during his nap to tell him my friend Jamie Wescott had got the whole bus to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. But I didn’t notice the caged animal in the corner, and was truly surprised when he brought her out after supper.

Honey* and I were a great team. I changed her litter every day, lugging the tray all the way to the compost bin, often in knee-deep snow. My brother and I built her complex Lego mazes and she nibbled on every piece of homework I did at home that year (which made it a rare treat).

But she was just a foot in the door! For Seth’s birthday the next month he got a hamster, and a few months later my grandfather’s wife called to settle a bet: wouldn’t you love to take in a dog who needs a new home?

After that, it was an ever-changing menagerie: we had two more guinea pigs, at least four more hamsters, a tree frog, a turtle, and for a brief period, a Madagascar hissing cockroach. And, of course, Bowser, plus Sunshine who may outlive us all.

Our lease is pretty strict about pets, but there’s no anti-guinea pig clause. So maybe for Christmas Valentine’s Day, a foot in the door…

*Yes, yes, I know, what a ten-year-old-girl thing to name your pet after a food item, but I evened out the karma this week by saving Xing Xing from a lifetime of answering to Sassy *shudder* or Star Dust *shudder shudder*.

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