Pet Cemetary. A commentary on Pets and their lives and deaths

Pet Cemetary. A commentary on Pets and their lives and deaths

 

Throughout my life pets have played an interesting role

My first Pet

As a child I recall my first dog at about the age of 3.

At around that time we as a family had a magnificent Sheppard named Trix, who was my constant companion and protector. My parents were very worried, when I approached a coal bin in our back yard. We had no electric stoves in those days' only coal stoves, so everyone had a coal bin and coal was delivered by a coal man with a horse drawn coal truck. However, on this particular day, Trix appeared to very aggressive a kept growling and me and pushing me, eventually knocking me down. My mom called my dad and said the dog was going mad and was attacking me! My dad investigated an we found a large snake in the coal bin and Trix was just protecting me, after all. My mom was always a little chary around Trix. Eventually she persuaded my dad to ‘get rid of the dog". He was given to a farmer who had a farm in Krugersdorp some 40km away.

A month or so later I was playing in the road, yet again, and suddenly this skinny, tatty dog came running up to me, licking my face and whining and whimpering and jumping with excitement. It was Trix! She had found her way home!. Her paws were bloody from the walking and she was a little malnourished, needless to say Trix stayed. I know my dad had to negotiate with the farmer but they agreed Trix was to stay, much to my mother's chagrin.

When we moved house Trix returned to live with the farmer.

I often wonder if she tried to walk to Cape Town some thousand miles away. Owning this pet did not result in a death association. As we lived in apartments and boarding houses we did not really have any pets. The exception to this was a white mouse

The White Mouse

I acquired a white mouse though my own entrepreneurial activities in my schooldays and snuck him into our flat. The next day I discovered that he had escaped from the cardboard box in which I had housed him. He ate his way through the cardboard. Lesson 1 mice can't be kept in cardboard cages! I frantically looked for him but alas did not find him. I then heard my mother screaming blue murder," there is mouse under my bed" he screams. My Dad track down the poor creature and dispatched him with a broom.

Dad on inspecting the mouse sees it is a white mouse. These are not normally found in nature. Dad rounds on me. ‘Where did that mouse come from my boy" he thunders. I bluster and say it was a wild mouse. Dad says there are no white mice in nature. This came from a pet shop or a friend. I keep denying but after the threat of a hiding own up. I get a blast from my dad. Mom is still pretty hysterical, insisting that I get punished for my misdeed. Dad now tells me to go to my room, barely suppressing a smile.. Dad comes into the room now hardly suppressing his laughter. He takes off his belt and takes the pillow out of my bed and lays it down. Still laughing, he says "I am going to hit the pillow. Shout out with pain every time I hit it.- Ok and don't tell your Mother!" The punishment is executed with two grinning conspirators. He then says don't bring home another mouse! He leaves my room trying hard o suppress his grin.

Now the mouse had to be dispatched. He got a burial at sea, flushed down our toilet. This was my first experience of the death of a pet (sort of).

The Zebra Finches

On a Christmas visit to my Grandparents in a small Karoo Town in the Northern Cape, we were delighted ( my dad and I at any rate) to discover that my uncle kept various bird sorts in an aviary. On our departure (we were scheduled to travel by train), My Uncle gave my Dad a breading pair of Zebra finches from his aviary. These were put into a paper bag with small holes punched into it for light and air. Mom is not aware of this addition to our traveling party and I rather suspect that Dad had no intention of enlightening her. However, she spots the package, opens it, and the birds fly free within the confines of the train compartment. Dad is yelling at Mom and he and I are trying to catch the elusive birds. We catch one and the other unfortunately flies head on into the train window, breaking it's neck in the process. Once again a funeral procession to the loo on the train where Dads little bird is buried at sea. Flush!

The Budgies

Pets did not figure much in life after that except for a pair of budgies. They were imaginatively named Peter and Pan (from the Peter Pan story). They survived a while, but never spoke. My brother and I were led to believe that budgies talked. We learnt later in life that only males on their own spoke, pairs apparently did not. One morning we arose and paying our customary visit to Peter and Pan, we found Pan lying on the bottom of the cage with a bloody hole in he head. Peter had apparently killed her. We also learn't that Pan must have been a him not a her as a pair would not fight but two males apparently would.

Once again we formed a funeral procession to the bathroom and Pan was dispatched with full honours.

Peter was found dead in his cage the next day, cause of death, unkown, but as Pan was my brother's favourite and Peter mine. I suspect a murder was committed by strangulation. You draw your own conclusion as to who the perpetrator was.

Once again a funeral procession was arranged for a burial at sea.

The moral of my story is that you should not be anyone's pet as your life my end up in the toilet!

 

Comments 32 comments

B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 8 years ago from Hell, MI

Welcome back, Sixty! Great hub, I enjoy learning about my my friends, and their past. Do let me know when you want another animal in your life. Depending on the outcome of the election here, I may be looking for a change of scenery!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Bt Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I did say that I had not too many pets in my childhood but in my adultery, I guess I could happily add a Jackalope!


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 8 years ago from Hell, MI

Hmm. Pets and adultery? Could be a little too much information, Sixty. Not sure I want to be involved in that!


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Sixty, Iid like to see you try and flush a Jackolope, you'd have to take it to a large one. Welcome back. Nice hub.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Rodney You may have to break off the antlers but then I guess it would flush easily


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Hi Sixtyorso, good to have you back, and what a return. This hub was so funny, although I don't think I like the idea of being one of your pets as most of them seem to end up down a toilet somewhere. Good job you never had a pet donkey or something like that :)


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Misty Have you read "seahorses"? Serial killers chop up their victims!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida

Great hub!! Sad, but with a good dose of humor thrown in.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

No I haven't read that book yet. Not sure I like the idea of chopping up a donkey though, and would you then flush the pieces down the toilet? :)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Good one here once again and nice to laugh first thing in the morning...I want to buried at sea...but only my ashes.....G-Ma :o) hugs


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Long time no see, dude. Good hub too. That white mouse thing is funny, reminds me of my kids trying to lie about stuff that they just didn't understand was too obvious to an adult. They say "you don't know what you don't know" and it's so true, for adults as much as kids. Anyway, good story man, and good to see you again.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Sixty!!  I'm so glad you are back...I missed you! 

Your mouse denial struck a chord with me.  I tried to smuggle a blue-tailed lizard from New Mexico to New York once.  It usually sat under my hair on my neck when I went out in the morning...but this one morning as I tried to escape out the door, my father was there and insisted that I eat breakfast first.  Well, the lizard couldn't wait and it scurried up my neck and took up a perch on top of my head.  The conversation went sort of like this...

Dad:  What's THAT?!

Me:  What?

Dad:  That...that...thing!  That lizard on top of your head!!

Me:  Lizard?  On my head?  (reach up, snag lizard and look at it with the most incredibly phony look of shock)  OMG!  A lilzard...on my head...how did it get there!

Dad:  Just get rid of it.

 :)  I tried...

By the way...you need to vote for Babyface on Christoph's avatar hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

I appreciated the story of Trix, the hound that walked back home. Did you ever hear about her after you moved to Cape Town? Likely not - pretty far away for communication back somewhat in time. The mouse story is very good as well.

Back so long ago, my family had two male hamsters in the same cage, MEAN like psychotic and rabid crocodiles. They chewed each other up and also anyone that tried to clean their cage. Bled to death finally. I like your story better! :)


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

We had a cat named Braunie and he lived to be almost 18 years old. When he was too old and infirm to walk, he still struggled to keep his dignity. But he looked as if he finally realized his days were over.

I could not stand to see him suffer, so we allowed the vet to put him down. I sat there with Braunie as the injection was administered, and I held his nearly furless paws as he slowly went to sleep.

I wept for many hours and even days after that. If there ever was a close bond between humans and other animals, then Braunie and I were as close as can be as friends.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

It is so heartbreaking to lose any pet.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

It is also worth mentioning that hamsters of any sex should only be kept alone, as they will fight otherwise, (apart from Dwarf Russian Hamsters). Only put them together long enough to mate, then separate them again.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

I knew that even as an 8 year old, misty, but my parents insisted. Is that sick or what?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Yeah, Sixty, Spryte is right... I totally forgot. You need to go to Christoph Reilly's avatar naming hub and vote for the baby.

Way to be awake, Spryte, nice work.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi guys so nice to see you all and read your illuminating and and interesting comment.

G'ma I am glad to see you appreciated the gentle humour.

Misty Yes the pieces would need to be flushed bit by bit.

Chef your story is a sad one, it is difficult to lose a really beloved pet.

Patty No I did not hear about Trix again but my Dad apparently spoke to the farmer who found him at our old house one more time. But apparently after that he never walked again and settled in. I wonder why I forgot that?

Spryte between your lizzard and latterly Mr Bunny you have had some interesting pets. Not to mention all of our shared interest in Jackalopes

Hi Shades nice to hear from you!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

I've lost so many pet friends...I want them all back when I get to heaven.  =))  (if?)

This made me cry!!!  You forgot to furnish kleenex..sniffle.   Marisue

btw, you were missed!!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Sixty, my first thought when I saw this title in my email was the Stephen King novel (and later movie).

This was much more fun to read!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Marisue Glad to be back at hubpages but not so glad to get back to reality. financial crisis, and change of leader here in RSA. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Kleenex is an optional extra. Available on the roll in the despatch chamber!

Constant I always appreciate your comments. Thank you for your kind words.

BTW you could have refreshed your doggy story for this hub mob!


Ryan Hupfer profile image

Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Heck, I'm not even a pet and I still somehow end up in the toilet. How does that happen?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Put the seat down.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

shadesbreath, I'm cracking up here...oops, well I'll leave that comment alone.

LOL you are too much.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Ryan Forrest Gumph says "life is a bowl of chcocolates" go figure

Shades My wife says that all the time.

Marisue a cracked toilet bowl. you could end up with wet feet if you flush!

Reminds of the bigger in Texas story. guy goes to Texas orders a small steak ends up with huge 2 inch thick steak covering the plate. When querying this the waiter confirms he got what he ordered and says "everything in Texas is bigger!" He orders a small beer to go with the steak. A Giant schooner arrives.  Likewise the waiter confirms he got  what he ordered and says "everything is bigger in Texas!". Now all the steak and beer needs to go somewhere and the lad asks where is the WC? Waiter says up the stairs and first left. after so much beer he turns right and falls into the indoor swimming pool. He sees the waiter and yells " for the lov of God, please dont flush!!!"


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Dogs are smart and I am glad Trix found her way home.  My parents buried their dog Buster in the backyard of a friend.  This man is also my dad's boss, and one of the nicest and most sincere people I have ever met.  He owns a few acres of land and decided to set aside some space for burying his dogs.  This way his family can always visit the graves. 


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Sweetie Pie what an apt ending to my hub. Thank you for sharing this story about Buster and the pet cemetary. Thanks too for stopping by and commenting. As always much appreciated.


tomboyish_girl 7 years ago

umm hi what kind of animals were peter and pan i did not really catch that budgies or something u confused me. but any way why did u flush a mouse down the toilet i buried my ginea pig in my backyard and planted flowers around his grave site i think if i flushed my ginea pig down the toilet than the toilet would clog up lolz.oh and if you are sad about your pets go to my hub HOW TO GET OVER A FAMILY DEATH. then check it out and comment im sorry for your losses thankz


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Peter and Pan were budgies. The toilet was used as a disposal mechanism as we lived in a high rise apartment block - unfortunately no garden! See google on alligators in the sewers in New York! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewer_alligator Thanks for stoppng by and commenting.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I'm sorry for the one finch, but I was LOL reading this story! I can just see your mother's face when they flew out of the bag. I will take your advise to heart...note to self, don't be a pet :)


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Aaw I think you are already  pet. I promise I won't put you in a paper bag, but a cake, now that's an entirely different story! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated

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