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

Updated on October 13, 2008

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!



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