7 November 2011

Furry friends

I'm a pretty boring person when it comes to pets.

Given the option, my choice would always be a split between a dog or a cat. Fishes and hamsters are nice except that I'd usually like a pet that has a little more character and independence than repeating what they do as programmed by Mother Nature. No exotic pets for me either such as lizards, snakes or *shudders* spiders.

Is this the pet or the feed?

The family have had cats and dogs as pets in the past, the first that I know of being two tuxedo cats. There is a picture of me at the age of five holding one of them at the car porch, all dressed up in a yellow Hawaiian shirt with the hair all slicked neatly to the side. We have a dog at the same time then who seem to co-exist well with the cats as long as they don't see one another.

One of the crazy things I'd do sometimes back then were to bring the cat to where the dog was and then watch it hiss like a snake. It was a miracle that I never got serious scratches. My brother seems to recall that I once tried cutting one of the cat's tail with a scissor although couldn't remember if I ever did such a sadistic act. I'm still of the idea that he recalled wrongly though.

We moved house in 1986 about two kilometers away from the government quarters, bringing along just the dog as the two cats originally belonged to the neighbour. It died several months later after being poisoned by some joker who didn't like dogs.

Makes Eustace look like a saint by comparison.

We had another dog some 10 or so years later after mom bought a dog from one of our neighbour, a puppy no more than four months old. I remember mother waking me up early in the morning at around... eight. She cradled the white furball that sported an expression that said "Who the hell are you?".

My parents were in Kuching a few months later with my late brother for his medical treatment, so it was just my cousin whom was tasked to look after me during the exam season, me and the dog. Being just a puppy in a new home, it often howled in the morning in what was the saddest sound I've ever heard from an animal. I would usually steam some left overs or just the pieces of hot dog to feed it, calming the poor dog somewhat.

Perhaps that was why it always gets amazingly animated whenever I get around, jumping around like an Energizer bunny or running to and fro like a crazy dog before showering my feet with licks. It would often draw the ire of my father for digging holes in the yard or barking at passing dogs or cats. The funniest bit of memory I have of the dog with my father is when he would occasionally have a rest waiting for dinner by sitting at the low table set to hold pots. The dog would come up and sit in front of him, prompting my dad to sometimes talk to it as well as slapping it lightly for being the dirt kicked onto the pavement during its many hole digging exploits.

"Who is this skeleton in your backyard, Master?"
 It died several years ago, apparently from cardiac arrest because it became too fat from eating the leftovers from dinner - in the fashion of a Chinese saying - with its four legs facing the sky.

Until today I couldn't be sure what breed it was except that it was a pure breed as per our neighbour's  description. Based on what I have seen so far on Animal Planet's Dogs 101 series, it most closely resembles a Samoyed.

RIP, you crazy pooch.

Sample image - less chubby, just as much drool to wipe.


Living in the city as I am at the moment makes it hard to own a pet considering that I would be away for most of the day at work. So if I were to adopt one it would have to be an animal that is independent enough to entertain itself, as well as not needing too much grooming. A smaller size would be a bonus as I only have the rented room to myself, so something clean would also be preferred.

That sounds like a cat.

What sort of cat? I happen to like those with rich, thick fur that makes them nice to stroke, but not so long that they become one of those miniature dogs. That would rule out Persians for good as this breed are usually pretty skinny. For some reason I developed a great liking for pure white cats, perhaps due to their rarity that makes them pretty mysterious to me, similar to pure black cats.

"You cat-cist!".
Personality-wise, I would like it to have a mellow temperament and a lot less condescending, something like a smaller dog minus the caffeine or steroids.

Based on Animal Planet's Cats 101, the perfect fit would be a Ragdoll.

If I were to choose a dog, I would probably go for the Golden Retriever - pretty much the top of the list of friendliest and best pet dogs. If anything, I would need to have a yard for it to roam or at least a nearby park for it to run around. One of the favourite things I did with the old dog back then were to run around with it, especially with it chasing me.

Dogs would usually need all that exercise to ensure that they don't get moody and start destroying things. Besides, it's a fun way to get some workout and some fresh air away from the room.

Besides other potential bonuses.
In the mean time it will have to be Youtube videos until I get my own place, I suppose.

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