I love the look we get when we tell people that as well as having two beautiful human kids, we also have fur kids – there is Ripley, our German Shepard cross bull Mastiff, our rescue cat Dwight K. Shrute and the guinea pigs Doctor Who and Mordicai. I am surprised at how many people make the comment “My gosh! That is such a handfull!” To be honest though, it really isn’t. I think if we won lotto tomorrow, we would buy a great big property and fill it with animals. My husband adores the guinea pigs. When they have play time, he lays down near them and watches and laughs as they popcorn, rumble strut and zoom from one end of the lounge room to the other. I love my Ripley – she chose me when we came to look at her and her siblings, and despite still being a puppy, she is MASSIVE and the biggest sook of a dog I have ever known. I love getting hugs from her, and as soon as I come home from taking the kids to school, Ripley comes in the house and we chill out together whilst I do chores around the house. Dwight was a rescue kitten. Earlier last year, my beloved Bobbi cat passed away at 11 years of age. A few months later, I took the family to the local pet store to support a friend who was running the rescue animal adoption day – where we were swamped by beautiful kittens, puppies, cats and dogs all looking for their forever homes.
Whilst standing off to the side talking to my friend, my daughter Matilda came up to us with big tears running down her face. “Mum! Mum! There is this little kitten over there and, and, and, I just want to hold it because it is being picked on by the other kitten!” My friend organised another volunteer to retrieve the kitten and placed him in Matilda’s arms. She melted. The kitten meowed and licked her ear, and she covered his little face in kisses. My son Hamish then asked for a hold and the kitten melted him to coos and “awwws” before my husband, Mike had a turn at holding the kitten. I stood back, a bit apprehensive as I was still hurting from the death of my Bobbi, but Mike placed the kitten in my arms. I was too wrapt up in this little ball of fur to notice that Mike had snuck off and was completing the adoption papers! The kids were thrilled and we came home with an 8 week old kitten who my husband decided to name Dwight K. Shrute.
The guinea pigs were the first though to join our home. At the time, Bobbi was a little on the slow side and had no patience for the kids. To help give her space, I began to look at little pets that would be easy for the kids to care for. We attended a guinea pig show at the local school, and I watched my kids as they handlers showed them and explained everything there is to know about guinea pigs. The kids and I were sold on these adorable little creatures. My husband, not so much. Back home, I joined a local guinea pig site on face book and began talking to other owners and making notes on everything we would need. One of the contributors was about to put her latest little brood of guinea pigs up for sale and I jumped at the chance. I bought two brothers, and upon bringing them home, the kids were in love. Matilda is a mad fan of Doctor Who and her little guinea pig just so happened to have the same swept over fringe as that of her beloved 11th Doctor, so that is what she named her guinea pig – Doctor Who. Hamish named his guinea pig Mordicai Butternubs. I placed the guinea pigs in Mike’s arms and he was smitten. They are such sweet little creatures that can make us laugh with their funny antics, and despite their plump bodies and stubby little legs, they are incredibly quick and agile! I am also convinced they are psychic – I just have to think about going to the fridge and they start wheeking for the bag of salad!
We can’t imagine our family without the pets. They teach us so much about life, love and especially for our kids, responsibility. I love that Matilda and Hamish will grow up with Ripley, Dwight, Doctor and Mordi. Just one big, happy (and fluffy) family! ❤