Archive for the 'pets' Category

Crazy Cat Lady…

My threat’s come true. I just need the purple hair.

Kitties

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Too many puns, not enough title space…

I often think I ought to write down some of the odd things that happen to me at Farmers Weekly so I can make a sitcome one day.

There was the time I was chased by hormonal goats, the time Tim Relf booked us into a transvestites’ hotel for the YFC agm in Blackpool and the time an agricultural psychologist made me stand up in a Starbucks in Birmingham city centre with my arms outstretched pretending to be an oak tree.

But of all the odd things to happen to me, identifying guinea pig semen has to go to the top of the weird pops.

Yes, you read that right.

We rather like guinea pigs in FW Towers, especially since we learnt about a Peruvian festival where the little fellas are dressed in straw boaters and smocks (we gloss over the fact they’re eaten afterwards). But as much as we like them, I’m not sure any of us in the office wanted to get that close to guinea pig fluids.

Miss Deputy Livestock Editor was responsible for the sample – it turns out her guinea pig, Wilbur, has been getting a little too over-friendly with her bunny, Baxter. Here’s a photo of Wilbur in more innocent times:

Wilbur

As this was the second time it had happened – and Miss Deputy Livestock Editor couldn’t believe Wilbur would’ve made the same mistake twice – she brought a sample of the stuff with her for identification. Wrapped in clingfilm. In her coat pocket.

Goodness only knows why she thought any of us would be experts in semen identification. Did she think we’d be like those drugs officers in trashy US crime shows who dip their fingers in white substances, lick their fingers and say: “Aha, it’s cocaine mixed with dishwasher salt and rat poison”?

Anyhow, it turns out we are experts in Google searches, and we discovered the substance’s identity thanks to a rather graphic description on a guinea pig-keepers’ website.

Miss Deputy Livestock Editor is now considering whether to get a new friend for Wilbur to try to distract him from Baxter. Personally, I’d rather fire up the barbecue and have ourselves our own Peruvian festival…

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It’th all in a name

When I was very titchy, I used to have a lisp. With a surname like Stocks, my parents rightly recognised such a speech impediment would result in much teasing at school and eventually put me off ever speaking aloud.

To encourage/bribe me to keep my tongue from flapping out of my mouth whenever I said a word with an ‘s’ in it, my mum and dad promised me a pet if I managed to speak lisplessly.

The test was to be able to say ‘Santa likes sizzling sausages, especially on toast’, and I practiced for hours until I got it right and was taken to pick out two gerbils.

Being five and not really aware of lisp-based irony, I decided to call my new little friend Snowy. Here’s a pic of me, Sissy Joanne and the gerbils (yes, that is a satin top Joanne’s wearing and no, I haven’t looked as sinister since):

Joanne, Caroline and gerbils

Partly in protest of being squeezed so hard her little eyes bulged but largely, no doubt, because I’d bestowed such a crap name upon her, moments after this photo was taken Snowy bit my finger.

I’m not sure how something so tiny managed to draw so much blood from my hand, but it did – and I never dared go near Snowy or her sister, Honey (Joanne had even worst taste in names than I did), ever again.

Call me a susperstitious fruitcake, but my gerbil experience has taught me that picking a name – whether for a pet, a blog or a business – is incredibly important (as I’m sure Mrs Wiggly Wigglers would tell you). So for that reason, I am turning to you to help me pick the name of the latest addition to my household (he’s not dead, he’s just sleeping. Honest):

Fishy

Previous residents of the tank have been named Henry, Seigfried and Ezra, and his current tankmate is called Arlo, so bear in mind I don’t go for soppy names like Goldie, Chips or Flipper.

It’s over to you…

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