Tuesday, 7 May 2013


We've always had animals in the Smith household. My first word was 'Sybil', our cats name, and throughout my childhood we had a rabbit, a guinea pig, several hamsters, some mice, budgies, stick insects and LOTS of fish (Romeo and Juliet were my first two goldfish. I think they died after a pancake accidentally ended up in the tank).

When I was about 11 Andy joined our family. He was a beautiful Whippet who we rescued after he'd been abandoned as a puppy. After we moved to Scotland a few years later we acquired several horses, multiple cats and two Border Collies, Chloe and Millie.

Oh, I should probably mention at this point that we seem to have an unspoken family tradition that all our pets have people names. Daniel, Megan, Charlotte, Sybil, Phoebe, Morag, Roslin, Fiona, Tabitha, Margot, Alby, Billy-bob... the list goes on and on. I'm not really sure how that became a thing but I suppose it goes to show how seriously my family take animal ownership.

As I mentioned a few days ago, three of our Highland Cows are pregnant and the family has now grown as April was born last week and Ruby was born on Saturday. Here she is just one day old and we've still got one more calf to come! EXCITING!

Ruby the Highland Cow

And yet, despite a lifetime of family pets, I've sort of come to the conclusion that actually, they're not really for me. You see, I'm allergic to cats and most other furry animals too (much to the dismay of my cat-adoring guy). As gorgeous as they are to look at, any time spent in their company is swiftly followed by frantic hand-washing and a fit of sneezes. I loathed cleaning hamster cages out when I was little and worse still was picking up dog shit in front of boys in the local park as a teenager! I'd hate to have to spent my money on exotic pet foods or keep dead mice in the freezer, as we did when my sister brought a snake home. I feel lucky that when I go away I don't have to think about whether I can take a dog or having to get home for a particular time to feed anything (other than myself).

Owning pets takes a special kind of person. Maybe that will change but right now I know I'm not one of them.

This post is part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge


  1. Huh. I MUCH prefer animals to people. I really, really miss Colin (my cat) now I've moved to London and he's back with the parents.

  2. Hey I've nominated you a Liebster award! Here's the post -fashitupandtalkitout.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/happy-me.html


  3. Holly June, beating everyone else at pet ownership since 1990.

    I love this post. and I LOVE people names for animals!

  4. Have you ever tried being near a "supposedly" hypoallergenic cat? Like a Bengal? I've not heard of many actual success stories, but if you can find a friend with one it might be worth a go - not least for the scientific (anecdotal) angle ;)