I’ve lived with pets all of my life, and for most of that time I’ve had the dubious honour of attracting pets with seriously warped personalities. It’s as if there is some big pet clearing house somewhere where, the head clerk says, “I know just where to send that one,” when confronted with a more than usually eccentric animal, and in the twinkling of an eye this deranged animal has moved in with me. Their eccentricities range from simple irrational behaviour, to phobias and even full-blown neuroses. There are members of my family who say that every one of my pets was as sane as the next animal until it came to live with me. This sounds far too much to me like my nearest and dearest are attributing my pets’ peculiarities on my influence. I refuse to dignify their comments with a response.
For the past 12 years my husband Graeme and I have lived on a 1,000 acre wheat/sheep farm in the Riverina. We moved here just in time for the worst drought in 100 years. Since moving onto this considerably larger acreage, my pet numbers have sky-rocketed. No, no, no, I don’t count the sheep as pets – although I could tell you a story or two about quite a few stud sheep with funny quirks. My days are divided between keeping my pets happy, healthy and separated from one another. This need for separation is due to their tendency to look on each other as potential light snacks. I’ve failed to imbue even the merest drop of animal kindness and tolerance for other species in a large number of my pets. At times they are even inclined to attack their own species and, I’m sorry to have to admit this Mum-Puss, even their own families. All my pets live by the simple rule that they are the dominant species on the farm and it’s their God-given right to rid the farm of every other animal, humans excepted – after all humans have proved themselves extremely dexterous with can openers.
Everything I write here has actually happened - really, they have! I don’t need to make anything up. With the pets I attract, my life is filled to the brim with crazy animal adventures.
In the coming posts you’ll meet many of the animals with whom I’ve shared my life and home, as well as the members of my family (the ones who made those comments about my questionable influence on otherwise sane animals if you remember). My family have learned to live with animals behaving strangely and have become so accustomed to seeing cats trying to catch birds by banging their heads against the wrong side of a window pane or jumping in the air to try and swat them out of the sky, dogs guarding toilets, horses and sheep falling deeply in love with one another and all the other things my pets get up to, that they often think other people have dull pets.
I hope you enjoy reading about my quirky, but adorable menagerie and that you sometimes stop to think of us – with me more than likely knee deep in trouble with at least one of my pets and valiantly trying to find my way out of the chaos. If you are so inclined, I’d also appreciate a little prayer or two. Heaven’s knows I can use all the help I can get!