Pet joy

Every year we have a Spring Animal Day in museum de Locht. This year, that was not possible because of the pandemic. Animals play an important role in many families, most children love them and they can learn a lot from them. This is also the case in our family. We love animals a lot. We have had all kinds of pets. Usually without any knowledge of the matter. We just let it come to us.

Our first animal was a rabbit, not to play with, but to fatten. “It’s good for Christmas”, my husband said boldly. The neighbor behind was a butcher. When the time came, he came to prepare the beast for the meal. We were not used to anything and we let the sight of such a massacre pass us by. But we did hear it. It was as if the beast felt what was going to happen and it started screaming loudly. The rabbit was still roasted, but immediately afterwards given to acquaintances. The idea alone…, eating your own rabbit! For Christmas dinner, we came up with something else.

The real pet joy started with a dog, a little terrier-like creature of unknown origin. Very child friendly. He liked to let my daughter drive him around in the doll’s car. Participated in everything as a full-fledged roommate. It was a brach. When we went on holiday she was allowed to stay with grandma. That always went well. Also that time when she was in heat and we told grandma not to let the dog walk around loose. The males from the neighborhood would really like that. “I’ll pay close attention to it,” grandma promised.

After a month our dog started to look different at the bottom, she got nipples. A vague suspicion arose and we prepared a large box with some newspaper strips in it. And after more than 2 months, yes, 5 puppies… in 3 variations. We asked grandma how the hell that was possible. Yes, she had gone over the beds and had tied the dog to the radiator so he couldn’t leave. But with the outside door open. When she came downstairs our dog was “playing” with another dog. Now it had already happened, so she let our dog walk. I thought, “Let him enjoy,” grandma said!

One day my children received a bunny as a gift, beautiful, all white, a real Miffy. On both sides of the neighbors they also had a bunny and the neighbor children and my children let the bunnies play together in the laundry basket. You guessed it. After a while, our Miffy began to pull plucking hairs from her fur. She made a cozy nest for her offspring, 6 pieces became that. The children were very happy with it. The local pet store liked to buy the youngsters from them. Three guilder fifty each they got. With these youngsters, the shopkeeper made several other children very happy.

My brother gave our children a rat from the laboratory. A large beast with a thick hairless tail of about 10 centimeters. They called him Frits. I wasn’t too happy about it. They let the rat walk from one hand over the arm, along the neck to the other hand and wore it under the sweater. On World Animal Day they were allowed to take an animal to school and proudly my daughter showed Frits to the miss upon entering. He jumped on top of the lectern and my daughter had to go home with her rat immediately. The miss had meant a stuffed animal and certainly not a rat. Misunderstood.

White mice, also a nice present for a child. We put them in a glass container on the piano. Then everyone could see the bugs well. In no time we saw not only two mice, but also a litter full of creatures, they looked like pink worms, a kind of shrimp. A fertile litter, 13 pieces. What were we supposed to do with that? It turned out to be a commodity, the children sold them for 50 cents each. The pet store opposite the primary school also sold snakes and they liked live food. However, the owner promised that he would sell their mice to other children. Father mouse had to be in a separate cage from now on!

A all to herself wished my daughter for her 10th birthday. She had a room with a roof terrace. She enjoyed the beast and hugged it about to death. Through a cat flap, the cat could go on an adventure. You already suspected it, at one point the cat was pregnant. A box of newspaper shreds in the bedroom served as a maternity bed. One day there were 4 kittens. Adorable… but after a few weeks they had to renounce it. One cat was more than enough for me. Through an advertisement at the veterinary practice, we have been able to make many families happy with a kitten.

I have already dedicated a story to our experiences with chickens, a pony and a goat. I have gained enough experience with keeping animals. However, it never became a beastly mess, despite our love of animals. However, we have always had dogs, now still, two pieces. I’m very happy with it, but that’s about it!

Marlé de Laat