Animals are more resourceful than we imagine
Who’s a Lucky Devil, Then?
As children, my brother and I were huge fans of Phantom comics. So, when we adopted our first Alsatian dog, the obvious choice of name for her was ‘Devil’.
Devil could sit, fetch and shake hands on request (depending on her mood), but she also developed a unique talent.
Our father was a hotelier in Karimnagar in southern India. He needed a steady supply of small change to tender to customers in the restaurant. Purely in jest, we trained Devil to take 100 rupee notes to the customers in exchange for a bundle of coins wrapped in a cloth pouch.
Devil dutifully obliged us by carrying the notes and the bundles of coins to and fro each day. One day, Devil scampered around the nearby garbage dump and came home carrying a dirty piece of folded paper in her mouth. She dropped the paper, wet with her saliva, at my mother’s feet. Mother jumped back in disgust and was about to throw it away but her sixth sense told her to pick it up and unfold it. Inside she found three 100 rupee notes (the equivalent back then of around $40). Our ‘money-wise’ Devil continued to bring home money again and again, regardless of the condition of the wrapper or the smell. She proved in more ways that one, over the next 15 years, that we were the lucky devils to have her in our lives.
The Lizard of Oz
Cuddles, my Australian silky terrier, and Tiga, my marmalade cat, have been great mates for 15 years. But neither of them ever expected the arrival into their lives of Chopper, an old blue-tongued lizard.
Chopper has lived beneath our back step for the past five years. She often comes to the screen door as if to announce, “Hello, I’m here. I’m awake and ready to play!” While Cuddles and Tiga seem to be too scared to come out and play with her, she has never shown any sign of fear towards them.
In the morning after the cat and dog have been fed, Chopper arrives to supplement her usual diet of slugs and snails with any leftover dog or cat food. She has also taught her young how to eat Cuddles’ and Tiga’s food when they are not around, all the while being careful to avoid being caught by birds when out in the open.
Warm and Fuzzy
It was such a cold night that my family were all wearing jumpers, gloves and scarves indoors and when we sat down to eat our dinner the steaming hot food turned stone cold within seconds.
We heard a loud purring noise coming from the kitchen door, which leads onto our backyard. At first, my sister and I ignored it but then we went to the kitchen door and shooed away a skinny black cat. But then, remembering how cold it was that night, I decided to give it some leftover meat, a bowl of milk and a small blanket. To my astonishment, the cat put the food in her mouth and dragged the blanket away with her paws.
Out of curiosity, I followed her. Instead of eating the food and snuggling into the blanket herself, she gave both things to two kittens nestled in an old cardboard box.
After giving her kittens the food, she stood back from them as if to guard them while they ate. I was amazed at this and realised that parents, be they human or animal, are ready to sacrifice their own wellbeing for that of their young.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY houseofpets. innovations.com.au