The family pets are showing their age
A familiar face on our TV screens, Susie and family are preparing for tough times ahead...
AS A parent, there is always something to worry about, but so far this year it hasn’t been the children causing us angst, it’s been the animals.
With the outdoor lot – chickens and ducks – there’s been the threat of bird flu, meaning they all had to forgo their daily forage in the woods. Instead they are cooped up together in our back garden – perplexed and put out by their sudden confinement.
It’s made it easier for the drivers going past our house – no longer do they have to negotiate the chickens crossing the road, and the ducks risking their lives by sitting in puddles - but it’s made our back garden a bomb site.
While I was away recently, I know my husband allowed the ducks inside the house. This revelation will split readers (like our friends) vehemently either way: half will think that is touching, or even normal. The other half will side with me in thinking it’s entirely weird. My overriding thought is “But they poo everywhere!!”
Talking of the p-word (apologies if you are reading this over breakfast), our main worry is actually with the indoor animals. Our beloved dog and cat are now very elderly, and are showing their age. It’s a bit like running an old people’s home.
Our silver tabby, Katya, is nearly 17, and has gone blind. She can’t go out any more, and so uses a litter tray. But because she can’t see, she often misses her target.
Our golden retriever, Tiggy, is 13 this month. We thought we were losing her a few weeks back when she started swerving all over the place and knocking into things. It was as if she’d had a stroke. It turned out to be something called vestibular syndrome. She has improved a bit, but her mobility is poor and I think she is literally on her last legs.
I find this hard to write, as it means I have to acknowledge that we will probably lose both pets before too long. An unbearable thought. They have both played such a huge role in our lives as a couple, and then a family. They were our babies, before the little humans came along.
I can’t imagine a house without them. It may smell better, and have less golden fluff everywhere, but it will be heartbreakingly empty. I hope, as they struggle with their various geriatric disabilities, Tiggy and Katya can tell just how much we love them.