Thinking about the subject of keeping pets, my memory goes back to Riga. When I was about 5 years young, we had a pet kitten. To our surprise, one day my “kitten” gave birth to four other ones. I particularly remember this because my nanny took those tiny creatures to the attic and drowned them in a bucket of water. Probably this was (and perhaps still is) the method to control the cat population. We got our next kitten many years later, when we lived in a rural area in Israel. We had just become vegetarians and tried to teach our cat to do the same. In spite of our efforts, he would go to the field to catch mice, which he brought us back as gifts. At night he would sit in the kitchen and catch huge cockroaches, who flew in through the open window. One day as my wife walked home from the local grocery store, a small dog followed her. In spite of our efforts to get rid of him, he kept coming back. But our cat probably felt that this insult was too much to bear and a few days the cat disappeared. We called our new dog companion Lucky, and he traveled with us wherever we moved. Then one day we moved to a village and he disappeared as well. We suspected that he ate poisoned meat, which our neighbors used to keep wild animals away.
When we moved to San Francisco, we got a new kitten. We called him Champion or Champy. He was very cute, and grew up into huge, gorgeous hairy creature. Unexpectedly, I developed asthma and the first question the Chinese doctor, we were referred to, asked if we had a cat. It turned out that I was allergic, and we had to give Champy away to friends. Our next pet was an Irish setter puppy that we called Amber. When she grew up, she turned out to be beautiful, but rather nasty animal. When we reprimanded her for bad behavior, she would punish us by chewing antique furniture or defecating on our Persian rug. She had a tendency to jump over our fence. I had to look for her over all of the neighborhood until one day after she ran away she was killed by a car in front of our house. My wife demanded that our next dog have short legs. So we got a Welsh Corgi, whom the breeder gave a Scottish name Angus. He was our trusted companion for over thirteen years until his passing.
Since then, we have been discussing who would be our next best friend. The solution might be not far away. When our daughter Alona decided to move from Paris back to the Bay Area, one of the important questions on her agenda was, which dog would she get? And since she is often away on business trips, it will fall on the shoulders of the “grandparents” – us, to keep a watchful eye on her companion. Stay tuned. I will keep you posted. One of my upcoming photo projects is going to be “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers”. Enjoy and Share.
P.S. Animals, like people, behave strangely. I recently visited a client. When I walked by her bedroom, I noticed that her bedcover was moving. First I thought it was wind, but it turned to be her gorgeous cat, who for some strange reason liked to be under the covers. When we recently visited the UC Berkeley campus, I encountered a couple with two cats on a leash, like this potbelly pig I encountered on my way to work.
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