Ranking Pets

Does what it says on the tin.

7. Rabbits
Names: Thumper and Cottontail

Rabbits are the worst. 

My sisters and I were suckered in by the fact they look cute and are traditionally portrayed well, like Bugs Bunny, Bucky O’Hare and Buster, Arthur’s mate.

But when we got them we realised they are awful pets. 

They didn’t like being held, they didn’t do much and they lived in the garden, taking up space I had previously used as a stand in for Wembley stadium. 

We had the long eared pains for a couple of years but the novelty wore off pretty quick. Our only real interaction with them came as we chased them around the garden after their many escape attempts. It would have probably been better for all if we’d just let them take their chances on their own.

After a while my mum took over looking after them as we got bored of the twitchy nosed tools. It’s a sign of how much we’d gone off them that Thumper, the last bunny standing, was dead for a few days before us kids realised, my mum curious as to how long it would take (note: Mum had disposed of his body compassionately, just didn’t tell us of his untimely demise).

6. Pet Rock

Name: Forgotten as changed often.

I got these as a gift. They were basically some rocks with faces on. They sat on my shelf.

So, how are these better than rabbits?

  1. They took up less room
  2. None of my pet rocks ever bit me
  3. I never used a rabbit to squish a giant spider

Yeah, so Rocks > Rabbits. Unless you’re making a stew.

5. Tamagotchi

Names: Gwyneth, Willow and more that I forget.

For those who don’t remember, Tamagotchi were a big deal in the late ’90s. These pocket sized electronic pets were everywhere and kids were obsessed with them. One such kid was my youngest sister.

Unfortunately, the kids were so invested in keeping the crudely animated blobs alive that they weren’t focusing in class. And so, my sister’s school banned them. But I was in big school and so took on the responsibility as our teachers were more worried about stopping their students smoking or getting pregnant.

I renamed the thing Gwyneth after Miss Paltrow, which makes no sense as I wasn’t a fan of hers. But I must have had a reason.

At first I kept her alive to help my sister, but soon she’d lost interest and I was obsessed with keeping it going. Gwyneth lived quite a long time before she bought the farm and I replaced her with Willow. Willow didn’t live as long and after that, jaded by the losses, there were a few others who didn’t last long.

4. Hamster

Name: Pablo

I inherited Pablo after my second attempt at uni. He was our flat pet and originally belonged to my flatmate Phil. However, I took custody and he lived with me for a while.

Hamsters are odd pets. They’re quite shy and dislike being held, which limits their fun factor. However, they are very cute and at least do stuff like running on their wheel.

I spent a lot of time talking to Pablo, jabbering away to him when I was alone. It was company while everyone else went about their lives and I stayed in, hunting jobs.

He put in a good innings by hamster standards but sadly went to play on the big wheel in the sky.

3. Goldfish

Names: Squishy and Fang.

I expected Squishy to die from the moment I got him. 

I won him at a funfair, and he was tiny. I gave it a couple of weeks before I had to flush him.

But the little guy surprised me. He grew quickly and seemed in good health. He even survived a fire in our halls. And the drive home from Lampeter. 

In fact, Squishy would live for another seven years, joined in 2006 by Fang, who is still going. 

They might not be the most entertaining of pets but I loved Squishy for his survivor attitude and the connection to my uni days. They’re also quite calming to watch and, like hamsters, easy to talk to.

2. Dogs

Name: Carrie.

Honourable mentions: Phoebe, Millie, basically every other dog I’ve met.

My little sister really wanted a dog. After years of pleading and promises my parents relented. Unfortunately, the dog we got was Carrie.

Part Jack Russell, part English Bull Terrier, part unspecified dog and part hellhound, a family new to dogs couldn’t have picked worse.

We had her a few years during which she moved from cute puppy to raging bitch. She’d lunge for other dogs, for cyclists, for pretty much anything that walked or crawled. She would drag our cat about by the scruff of his neck, the cat too soft and dim to run away.

Finally, she bit all three of my sisters. My mum realised my little sister, driving force of Team Dog, was scared of the white ball of rage. Carrie was rehomed and the Page family chalked up dogs as a failed experiment. 

Two of my sisters are now firmly on Team Cat. But me? While I love felines, I still want a canine buddy.

This is because every other dog I’ve met has been tidy. I’ve dog sat for friends and I love dogs. I mean, cleaning up their shit is a drag.

But I genuinely love dogs. MWF’s mum has a Jack Russell who is amazing. All my mates’ dogs are ace too.

And so I would really like a dog in future, with my preference being for a French Bulldog.

1. Cats
Names: Tom, Jerry, Tiger, Yoga, Tad, Llew, Midnight and Pumpkin. 

As the above list shows, cats are the most consistent pet I’ve had. There were cats when my mum brought me back from the hospital, and there has been at least one cat in the Page house since then.

MWF is a crazy cat lady waiting to happen, and so early on we knew that we would always have cats. 

Enter Midnight, our wonky eyed cat who was followed by Pumpkin, a manic ball of energy who speeds around the house like a white and orange Tasmanian Devil. Sadly, Midge and Pumps didn’t get on, so Midnight has returned to MWF’s mum’s house while Pumpkin is now the boss here.

Pumpkin recharging for his next assault

Cats tick a lot of boxes. They are cute and like attention, without being needy about it. They have distinct personalities, and are entertaining to watch, there’s a reason cats dominate the internet. You can play with them but they’ll also just curl up and chill with you. And they are loveable. 

In my opinion cats are the best pets. You can disagree. But you’re wrong.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO. 


Moving Out

This weekend MWF and I took a big step forward and moved into our first house together. I’ve lived outside my family home before, but this is the first time I’ve lived with a partner and it all feels rather grown up.

We picked up the keys on Saturday and spent the day moving some stuff over. This didn’t take as long as we thought thanks to generous help from some friends and our parents. Sunday was unpacking and with things out of boxes and a few of our things set up it was starting to feel a lot more like our place.

We’re a Disney house.

Still it was half empty and with our new bed arriving on Monday we had to stay at MWF’s mum’s place on Sunday night.

And so I spent yesterday alone in the house for much of the day slowly going stir crazy. After a DVD, numerous matches on Fifa and some reading, I was fed up and would have liked to have been able to leave for a bit.

Making it worse is the fact that my phone signal is erratic and that I suspect my phone is actually trying to mess with me. I’d check signal in a new spot and discover the 4G was working and I had a decent number of bars. Joy!

However, as soon as I tried to do anything it would cut out to absolutely nothing. This happened repeatedly all over the house. So, I have internet and signal unless I want to use them.

Without Twitter and Facebook the time dragged even more. And I had yet to set up the TV license so I couldn’t even have daytime TV for diversion lest the dreaded License Van find me.

Not sure if this ad is a bluff or an Orwellian nightmare

The wifi won’t be connected for another fortnight so I feel all cut off from the outside world and apologise if this blog becomes more sporadic, as I’m stuck using my phone, which I hate.

Anyway, there are a few minor teething problems with the house-

First, and most pressingly, the toilet is broken. A plumber is expected today. 

As he was on Saturday. 

And yesterday. 

To be fair he did turn up yesterday afternoon. 

After we rang and complained to the letting agents.

With no toilet I am foregoing breakfast and painfully aware that we are now on a clock. I pray that the plumber appears soon as eventually the call of nature must be answered. 
It’s a simple fix, replacing one part, so hopefully all will be sorted by this afternoon and I can be relieved.

The second problem is that we don’t have a sofa until next week. The plan was to use bean bags, blankets and cushions for the moment, but one day on the bean bag left my back a wreck and I was stiff and achy all evening. This means I either have to find an armchair for a few days (tricky enough without the fickle internet) or stay in bed all the time. 

I suppose as we need a bed for the spare room I could just buy a mattress and set up a day bed on the living room floor? At least I could watch TV then. I sorted the license, so you can call off the dogs, TV License Patrol.

The only other hitch has been Midnight, who has been a little hesitant and nervous in her new home. While she has explored a bit more now she legged it for higher ground and set up camp on our bed yesterday evening.

Queen of the Castle

She cowered under the blankets and it took a lot of cooing and fussing to get her to come out. She seems better this morning but she spent much of the night sleeping on me, which isn’t ideal for any of us.

Hopefully she can improve today and won’t be too bad tomorrow as she will be left alone for the morning as MWF and I will be at work. I just hope I don’t return to a wrecked house. 

These minor quibbles aside, I’m very happy with the place and it’s nice to have our own space for our little family. It already feels like ours and I’m sure with more of our things out and the problems sorted it will feel like home.

Anyway, must dash as need to distract myself from my complaining stomach. 

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO. 


1 down, 8 to go

If being a parent is half as stressful as this week, I’m happy to wait a while, because fretting about what MWF calls “our little fur baby” was a stressful and tiring experience.

Midnight, our little black fuzzball, is a natural scavenger and any food below waist height is fair game as far as she’s concerned.

This gluttony got her into trouble on Thursday when, wanting to relieve a headache exacerbated by the Wales match, I dropped a paracetamol tablet and she was in like a flash to gobble it down.

Thank the gods she’s insured as otherwise a frantic visit to the emergency vet would have cost me most of a month’s wages.

Thursday  was a stressful evening of worry and poor sleeping, and with Midge still being treated throughout Friday that wasn’t much fun either. We collected her from a bloodied and scarred veterinary nurse, and a cranky Midnight spent the evening with us.

In the morning it was back for more courses of anti-poisoning IV drugs. Finally on Saturday she was home for good and quickly back to her usual self, the only lasting effect being her shaved legs.

image

A broken leg and now an accidental OD. Black cats might be unlucky after all.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


London Part 5: Chicken and Cats

Dan took us to a place called Ma’ Plucker a small place that did chicken. You picked a base, sauce and type of chicken and I went for maple waffle, fried chicken and gravy. It sounds weird but it really worked.

image

The atmosphere was laid back and food was a little slow but we didn’t mind as it gave us a chance to talk, mainly about travel and where we want to go. Dan has been to the States a few times and I was green with envy as he discussed his trips.

Food was lush, with the chicken being crispy, full of flavour and surprisingly grease free. As an apology for the delay we got a free sundae, which was gorgeous. The delay wasn’t a big deal but I think the whinging suits on the next table got to them.

I heartily recommend checking the place out.

We wandered to the bus stop where we said goodbye to Dan and headed back to the hotel.

Thursday, our last day, didn’t start brilliantly as tiredness led to bickering, leaving me a little crabby. We checked out and headed for the London Cat Village. You need an appointment, and we were ridiculously early so we looked for some breakfast.

One place looked promising but charged a tenner for a cooked brekkie so I got a bacon and egg roll elsewhere. Then we headed for the cat cafe.

MWF is obsessed with cats so cat cafes are already a holiday tradition for us. Unfortunately, the London Cat Village was a disappointment compared to what we’d had in Budapest. It didn’t help that the first thing you noticed on entering was the smell of cat pee. The staff were a bit aloof too, but the cats made up for it and I eagerly awaited my coffee.

image

The cats flitted about and the variety of kitties on show was impressive. They had a Scottish Fold who blanked everyone and wasn’t bothered. Like the hottest girl in a school she knew she didn’t have to try to be admired, and without doing anything would have people eager to win her favour.

image

The owners gave us some treats to encourage the cats to interact and we were swarmed. One large ginger Tom muscled his way to the front and got the lion’s share of my treats. Snacks exhausted he left, dunking his tail in my coffee so I couldn’t enjoy that.

While it was relaxing and the cats were lovely, it wasn’t the best value for money and unlike the ones in Hungary there was a sense of them doing it to follow a trend rather than from a love of cats. Still, it was a chilled hour and left both of us happy.

Leaving we headed in search of coffee and our bus home. I suspected I needed the caffeine to face the long journey home.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Curiosity killed the cat, I just injured it

The last few days I have been racked with guilt. And utterly unable to ignore or forget it because I am confronted with the consequences of my actions on a regular basis.
What awful thing have I done? What is my own telltale heart reminding me of my evil deed?
The guilt is brought back every time I see Midnight, the kitten MWG and I have recently got.

image

As shown above, Midnight is an adorable bundle of black fur, and, like most kittens, a dervish of action and inquisitiveness. She scampers everywhere, climbing all the furniture and snooping about before curling up on one of us and sleeping, having knackered herself out.
However, since the other evening, her energy has been diminished and she goes about the place limping, avoiding putting weight on her left front paw.
I am the cause of this limp.
On Sunday night, I walked into the kitchen just as a small black blur rushed the other way. As my clumping size eleven came down there was an anguished squeal and the black blur shot off under the table.
For the rest of the evening she limped. I felt bad, apologised and hoped she would bounce back soon enough.
But Monday saw her still limping. There was no crying and she still showed affection and played, but her paw still caused her problems. I felt terrible, and this got worse as the day went on.
MWG decided that if she was still limping by Wednesday (today) that we’d have to take her to the vets.
This morning she was still limping.
The vet told us that she’s probably broken bones in her paw (tomorrow an X-ray will probably confirm this). So, dosed on pain killers midnight came home with us and dozed off.
I broke her paw. Of course, I feel a complete heel and every time she limps by it just gets worse. And her squeaks at the vets were even worse.
I know it was an accident, and I know that in a few weeks she’ll bounce back, cats are quite tough, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling utterly terrible about it all.
I guess in future I just have to look where I’m putting my foot more carefully.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Budapest Part 2: Feline Good

So, MWG was flagging. We’d seen the synagogue, and the outside of St Stephen’s basilica, but we needed a break from walking and a boost.

Luckily, I’d spotted a flyer for something I knew would perk MWG right up and the map informed us we were mere minutes from it, and so we headed for it and then we found it.

The Cat Cafe.

The Cat Cafe

The Cat Cafe

The idea of a cat cafe is wonderfully simple, and I’m a little surprised it hasn’t spread further and quicker.

It’s basically a cafe. With cats.

For non-cat lovers, or those with allergies, I’m sure this sounds like hell, but for feline fans it’s a dream come true. And MWG is a massive feline fan, she can’t pass a cat in the street without stopping to coo over it and has an uncanny ability to befriend almost every cat. If we ever got lost in Africa and menaced by a rogue lion I wouldn’t be surprised if ten minutes later MWG was scratching it on the head and have it purring itself to sleep.

The cafe was home to twelve cats, who lounged around the place like they owned it. It was hard to judge if being the main attraction had gone to their heads, because cats already swan about like furry lords anyway, but they seemed pretty happy.

We paid a little bit much for a latte each and sat there, stroking the cats and taking photos. It was rather lovely, and chilled out and the staff were far happier than the average coffee shop staff.

I’ve heard that stroking a cat is good for your health. It reduces stress and does all these other wonderful things for you, and while I’m not a scientist, and none of the customers were rigged up to sensors, I think it does, because everyone there was happy, relaxed and friendly with one another.

MWG was in “kitty heaven” (her phrase, not mine) and I think if the coffees had been more reasonable, or the weather more miserable, she’d have happily stayed in there all day. I’m not as big a cat fan, although I’ve always had cats and loved them, but I would have been fine chilling there, because there’s nothing better than seeing someone you love ridiculously happy.

MWG making a new friend.

MWG making a new friend.

Refreshed, I dragged MWG away from the cats and we headed to the Basilica for some more culture.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Are you out of your Vegan mind?!

First of all, despite that title, I just want to say that this is not an attack on veganism. If you want to live that lifestyle, then carry on, each to his own.

Although, I will say this- if you are vegan, please, please don’t walk around like that makes you better than the rest of us. It’s irritating as hell and not going to win people over. Hell, I’ve met a few sanctimonious vegans in my day and it always just makes me want to order the mixed grill when we’re out together.  Just ease up, alright?

Oh, and another thing, stop equating meat with murder and dairy with rape, you’re just trivializing the horrific experiences some people have gone through. You’re also part of the same process that has allowed some of mankind’s most cruel acts- equating other humans with animals.

meat

Anyway, the reason I’ve used this title other than it’s a Star Trek reference, is because I recently read a story about some frankly mental vegans.

The story comes from Australia, where a vet has had to save the life of a kitten after it became dangerously ill because of the vegan diet it’s owners were feeding it.

Yes. They tried to make cat vegan.

The cat was apparently fed potatoes, pasta (presumably vegan pasta) and rice milk (which I’m guessing is more like rice juice because you can’t milk rice, it doesn’t have nipples), and apparently was in a very bad way. Leanne Pinfold, the vet who treated the poor critter in Melbourne stated that it was “extremely weak” and “almost non-responsive”.

After being put on a drip and warmed up, the feeble feline was kept in for three days and fed meat, and is apparently on the mend now, with the owners having been given meat to feed it.

Seriously, though? What the hell?

I get that you might want to go vegan, that’s your choice and as omnivores we can survive without meat, but don’t force your pets to follow your ideas too. It ain’t right for them. A cat is a carnivore, they’re adapted to survive on meat, now, I know some folks will say “But Chris, while these people are idiots, cats can survive on vegetarian diets!” and maybe they can, but that’s hardly the point.

Veganism, as far as I can tell is all about caring about nature and animals, but in this case the owners were going against nature. If you’re going to respect nature, you gotta respect all of it, not just the cute, cuddly part but the fact that nature is often harsh and based on death. Or as Tennyson put it “red in tooth and claw”. Animals eat other animals, it’s the whole circle of life thing and how nature works.

I guaran-damn-te that even if you raise a cat veggie it’ll still go out and hunt mice and birds. Why? Because that’s what cats do, it’s instinct.

For me it just seems ridiculous to force your ideology on an animal that quite frankly doesn’t give a crap either way. A cat doesn’t sit around debating the morality of eating meat or drinking milk, it just follows it’s instincts. If feeding your cat or dog meat is that much of an issue to you might I suggest not getting an animal that eats meat. Get yourself a hamster, or some sea monkeys.

So, please, vegans, don’t be a dick and let your animals be animals.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Pic Post: Puns, Signs and Cool Robes

Pun in the Sun

The Sun newspaper is awful. But they do pun with the best of them.

pun

Whacky races

catrace

The deep thinking of the deep drinking

fart

Well done that, man

asian

Potential psychopath alert!

homework

Maths pun

Easy, but still fun.

piechart

Geek chic!

I really want the Chewie one.

robes

Regular readers will realize that the “Hot picture of the week” section is missing, this is because after my post about how we always seem to focus on women’s looks it just felt a bit hypocritical.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Pic Post: Pets, Penny and Patronisation

Okay, so the Cats vs Dog thing has been done to death, but this one did make me smile.

This is a real, honest to god advert from a dating site

I kinda get the impression they don’t have a lot of respect for their customers.

Why ban this?

They’ve clearly put all the things they don’t want on one sign, but sadly it seems that they’re after one of the coolest things you’d probably ever see- a wine drinking, cigarette smoking, skateboarding dog:

Everyday beauty

Guy drops two Hula Hoops into coffee, results in sheer beauty.

Testify!

Hot picture of the week

This week is the foxy Kaley Cuoco, star of The Big Bang Theory.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Pic Post: Tea, Cats and Puns

Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

This made me burst out laughing.

Jane knows the score

Its all in the set up

Guy posts status update, friend responds, guy smashes gag out of the park.

Nice work

I guess you’d have to have a sense of humour in that job.

Cats are evil, but at least they’re not prejudiced

Hot Picture of the Week

The hot girl this week is Lindsay Lohan, because I think in this picture they’ve managed to get the mix of trashy and sexy just about right.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.