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My Pets

I firmly believe that a life, at some stage, without a cat or a dog, or other, is not as ‘full’. Animals are such ‘giving’ creatures, and in turn, we share and give too.

My pets consist of two dogs, two seven-month-old kittens, and a horse—see the photo of four of the five of my pets enjoying the warmth of a wood burner on a chilly southern hemisphere day. Next to it is a recent ‘kitty’ photo that our dog, Patch, decided to photo-bomb. That’s pets for you … always entertaining!

My pets are really ‘our’ pets, as my husband is as much enamoured with them as I am even though he doesn’t talk to them as much as I do, so I will continue to call them, my pets!

It is truly a great feeling coming home and seeing such excitement—more from the dogs than the cats—and it can lift your spirits enormously, at their spirited welcome, if your day hasn’t gone to plan. My pets (the doggy ones named Zeta and Patch) will have their tails wagging furiously; their tongues lolling (literally in a laugh-out-loud (LOL) manner); and on many occasions, be jumping up and down in excitement and talking to me in their own language. I cannot understand them, of course, yet I have no doubt that their excited yelps are regaling me of the events throughout the day and telling me how much they have missed me!

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My Pets

In contrast, my pets (the feline ones named Cleopatra and Julius Caesar), will run to me, and away from me, with backward glances and a stop-start action, as if exhorting me to hurry up as feed-time must be imminent if I have arrived home. After they have been fed, then that is the time that my cats jump up onto my lap and purr loudly, in approval. All this fuss just because of my arrival … who wouldn’t feel as if they have been welcomed back; their arrival eagerly awaited?!

I did of course mention in the ‘my pets’ grouping about a horse. Cosabia, or Cassie (stable name), is a lovely, eight-year-old, dark-coloured mare who has been having a six-month break from competitive eventing. We were delighted to find a place for her to have some downtime just next door, so that, from time to time, we can look across and see her grazing tranquilly in the paddock with some other horsey mates. Our mare takes great delight in chomping down on any quantity of juicy orange carrots and we have often given into this passion. You might say that is mollycoddling her but it means whenever we call to her and wave an object in our hand, she invariably thinks it is a carrot and will come trotting up expectantly. We always try to have something to give her, even just one sugar cube, so that it is easy to catch her. Although, of course, she looks forward to seeing us, at any time; so in a way, we are making her day better when we visit.

Most of the time, my pets are such a joy although of course, I cannot always spend the time playing with them which sometimes is not understood by them. Nevertheless, I highly recommend having a pet of some sort as they will bring joy to your day.

Back in the day, even during the war, my mother found joy in having a pet. The excerpt below is from my first book, Goodbye to Italia. As you read on, you will see that sometimes any animal can make a most unexpected pet. The scene is in 1940 when Mariolina (my mother) was six years old. Due to the industrial factories in Turin (Torino), as soon as Mussolini took Italy into WW2, the British Royal Airforce (RAF) Bomber Command began their bombing of that city. Although these were ‘light’ raids, the disruption to lives and some civilian buildings were destroyed. Life would never be the same again and for a child having to go to bomb shelters (bunkers), especially at night, was something Mariolina hated. Finding a pet, something to love, in such a troubled world is captivating. #pets #writing #Italy #WW2


The lady next door gave Lino to Mamma. Lino is short for gallina, meaning hen. Gallina was supposed to be a hen and lay eggs for my breakfast, but she turned out to be a cockerel. So instead, he has become my pet and I changed his name to Lino. Lino is part of the family. Sometimes Mamma even puts a collar and lead on Lino, and I am allowed to hold the lead as we go for a walk around the block, with Lino strutting out in front of me.

Every night, when Nonna sits at the kitchen table before we go to bed, Lino tries to scramble up to sit on the table or fusses around Nonna’s feet until Nonna pays him attention. Nonna loves to talk to Lino at night. Whenever she manages to get some vino or grappa, she shares it with him by carefully dripping a few drops of the alcohol into a small cup for Lino to drink. Nonna says it is worth sharing her precious drink just to laugh about il gallo ubriaco—the drunken cockerel!

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