I think I was about 5+ when I developed an interest to play with furry animals. No I don’t mean the stuffed toys but “live” animals. My late mum told me that every morning at 7am I found my way to a construction site where the workers slept in a dormitory cum canteen. There were many puppies for me to choose but I took all the puppies home. By the end of the day, my mother was the one who returned the puppies to the construction site. Just before my sixth birthday, my father surprised me with an Alsatian puppy which was purchased from the owner of Katong-Bedok Bus Company. The owner of the bus company bred dogs for sale.
Photo 1: Different dogs from two different generations – Me and my son
As time went by, I kept more than one dog. At any one time I could have about 5 different dogs in the house. These pets were not necessarily pedigree but could be mongrels or cross-bred. The reason was simple. I started with an Alsatian bitch and a male Boxer. They had many off-springs because the dogs were not sterilized. Sometimes I took pity on friendly stray dogs and brought them into my house. There was one occasion when my aunty gave away her Dashhound. I never sent the dogs to any training school but personally undertook the task myself; sometimes my techniques worked, sometimes they flopped.
After I got married, my wife would not have anymore of my “nonsense”. I guess she was right in her opinions because we lived in a flat then. My two boys always wanted a pet; maybe this was inherited from my genes. There must be a reason that my old dogs never bit the children even when they winded up their tails, rode them like a rodeo-horse or opened their jaws.
Photo 2: Playing dead, sleeping on the desk, having her shower and on sentry-duty (Clockwise direction)
10 years ago my aunty gave us two kittens born on the day that Hong Kong was returned to China. One survived on three legs after some nutty motorist decided to run her down. It cost me closed to $2K going to Mt Pleasant Hospital for surgery, amputation and skin-grafting procedures. There was also two months of worries and nursing-care.
Personally cats are a different proposition unlike dogs because I never had any affinity towards them until now. Our black cat exhibits “dog behavior” for some strange reasons. Even my neighbors recognize that this is the only Chinese fella who whistles to his cat to come home every evening. Once a Malay neighbor asked a surprising question; “You are Chinese how come you keep cats and not dogs?”
1) Our Kampong Best Friends
2) Oldest Cat on the Blog
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