Tag Archives: Pets

168: Meet Jimmy

18 Jun

…the newest member of our family, much to my mil’s frustration (because apparently she was just kidding when she permitted us to get him home!) 

In Short

30 Aug

I had a four-legged house guest by the name of Ginger, whom I was to dogsit for the day; which was both exciting and more consuming of my time and energy than I had imagined. Of course I love animals and advocate for them in my own way, however the ending of yesterday brought home a clearer perspective of what it really is like to have a dog as a pet. I’ve had dogs as pets before; though to be really honest, they were my mum’s responsibilities – we were kids ourselves and so all the work and caretaking was hers to handle. We only reintroduced pets into our lives much later, with two and then three guinea pigs (we were assured two males until one of them was discovered to be preggers!); when the three of us were able and capable of being responsible and accountable for them. It wasn’t easy, so I really do not want to imagine what having a higher maintenance animal at home would really feel like.

It’s true that we only ever see the outside facets of having a pet; the real deal is when you’re deep in it and responsible for giving the animal the life they deserve; not what you think is okay for them – there’s a massive difference, I assure you. It took a while for me to arrive at this perspective – it took some solid arguing with my husband (who likes pets from afar but doesn’t advocate keeping them unless they have the space and company to really thrive in their life) and then eventually my own self, to arrive at where I am today.

This isn’t to say that I won’t ever have a pet. It just might take longer to get one and I’m absolutely okay with that. My only friends currently in my neighbourhood are two dogs; so that works – I’m theirs and they’re mine, and then we do our own thing – which is pretty darn decent and satisfying in its own way.

I’ve also gotten so caught up with writing about pets (haha!) that I’ve forgotten a) that this was to be a post about my current goings on, in short, and b) what I was to write next. Please give me a moment.

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We’ve been in the throes of house hunting and other shenanigans that have rendered the two of us completely devoid of energy – to talk, to think, and for me to write. Phone calls by the dozen x 250 have been made and received; so my next goal was to only ignore any/all calls that were lambasting my peace of mind.

In congruence with this unsettledness (haha!), we’ve been having bread pakoras and tea from outside almost every evening; like a ritual of sorts. I will stick that in my memory file as something precious. Besides, they’re totally amazing like that, especially their paneer (cottage cheese) ones. Yummers.

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This post was started in the middle of all this hulabaloo (on 24th August) and was then promptly stalled and shoved into the drafts folder, because, well, one cannot sit and write blog posts on an expiring house lease – it had expired a couple of days ago – and in the midst of house hunting. But I’m back again, itching to write – my internet is functional – but of course I haven’t completed setting up the house.

Yes, we have found a place we love. It just about motivates me to go through what seems like a sea of boxes. How much stuff have I really hoarded?!

I miss my doggie friends very much. It was just yesterday when I kept my KFC bone aside for them that I realised it needed to go into the trash can straightaway. I did however get to say my byes to them – I think they sensed my leaving, like dogs always sense things. Susie came up to me ever so randomly after a long, long time and lots of love was shared. Kits (Potato) took a lot of love from me and was being extra needy on the morning we were shifting. He stayed in our premises the entire time. Breaks my heart, but then they’re very well looked after by all, so I left with some semblance of peace.

The husband and I have had the most eventful and uneventful time with respect to shifting; details which I will share once I’m more at peace. We really can do with a lot of love, home cooked food (we’ve been eating out for ever and I swear I’v begun despising it!), peace and quiet, and of course a genie. Let me know when you find one who is free and willing, will you?

I hope you have been well and amazing, dear reader. Best wishes to you and yes, it’s sooooo good to write, in spite of so much clearing up to still do.

Sundays

9 Mar

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The pigs were given a bath yesterday after a long time. Now that there are signs of summer aplenty, fortunately (or unfortunately for them), it’s a better time to bathe them and have them figure what ever happened to their dry and filthy fur. I’m more than happy. I like my pigs bathed, groomed and clean. Poppy (Poppins, the first one with a big black patch on his face) is such a pleasure to bathe. He’s the baby of the family and he sits put on the balcony while I lather him. He even lifts his chin so I can bathe/rub his neck, which he really enjoys so much. Fuzzy (the last in the series of pictures), makes bathing her a little more challenging. This is perhaps the only time that she shows me that she, indeed, can run. Because she’s the laziest pig you can ever find. Thankfully she isn’t reading this blog post. But she knows what I think of her, so she and I just have to deal with the reality of it all.

I haven’t seen them clean in such a long time. And now I find it hard to let go of them because a) they’re so clean and white and soft and neat, and b) they’ll go roll around in their cages and become brown all over again. Gosh, it’s such a pain being a parent. I’ve figured that this is as close to having kids as I will ever get. :)

So everyone’s happy this morning. They’ve been combed, their noses and ears have been sponge-bathed and are more presentable, and they’ve been groomed. Fuzzy believes she can run for being prom queen again. But I was telling her that maybe she should give someone else a chance. Vanity, I tell you.

Sunday breakfast of Bombay toast, adrak chai and cake has been had. The sky looks beautiful laden with wispy clouds going their own way, and taking their time to do so. The plants in the balconies are happy because they’ve got their dance partners – the breeze – back. And in the midst of all this, it’s been a good day of reminiscing. It all started last night, actually. It started last night when a friend and I were talking about love and how foolish we are in love, in her words.

Of course I thought I’d wake up late today or at least get up after having spent a good amount of my Sunday morning, reading in bed. Isn’t that the best feeling ever? But today started off early and post all the extra productivity that did its rounds, we continued our conversation. I hope it carries on. We reminisce ever so often. Because we really did have such a lovely time.

In her words, “a few years back when we were in love, we were sooo in love.” And it was true. We were so in love. We were in love with our new-found freedom. We were in love with life. We were so in love with the boys that we were so in love with. We loved without consequence. Or without thought. Or without preconceived notions. Or without fear. We loved with such abandon. We loved keeping happiness in mind. We loved in the moment. We loved without hesitation. We loved with so much joy. We loved without the prospect of heartbreak.

None of us is with the boys that we loved without a care, today. None of us hurries to meet them for hurried breakfasts before rushing to work. None of us runs to the train station in time to see them off. None of us spends evenings with them. None of us stays out late and has the other cover for us. None of us has immense phone bills testimony to innumerable conversations about the infiniteness that was our relationship back then. All of that’s gone. And we made it out okay. Or have we?

Because we’re not the same anymore. We’re more cautious, guarded, afraid. We’re more sure of ourselves, but really, are we? We’re more “grown up”. We’re more “independent”. We’re all that we wanted to be but I don’t know where that abandon went, where the ability to just let go and trust yourself went. I don’t know where the fear crept up from. I don’t know how the years that have passed have made us more fragile. Life is so strange.

But on this particular day, I choose to think of all that we were and of all that we did, without a doubt, without a thought. There’s something about that kind of youth that fades. Unfortunately. But we’ll always be fools in love. That we’re all very sure about. And that’s the thought I’m going to hold on to. :)

Have a lovely Sunday, you guys.

My Love Story

14 Feb

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I love that I can define my love story with pictures because that’s just it with pictures, they’re everything they are and anything you want them to be, as well. I leave the interpretation of my love story to you.

Here’s to lots more feeling and a lot less thinking/talking at least for today.

Here’s wishing your love stories brim with the very best of everything you want.

Big love.

Feeling Sunscreen-ish

19 Jun

I’m in that frame of mind; the Sunscreen frame of mind. To help provide a contextual base for my random frame of mind, here’s where I’m coming from.

Having gotten that all sorted out, I’ve been feeling Sunscreen-ish since yesterday. Maybe it’s because I’m in that phase where I want more. Or maybe I’m in that regular day dream phase. Or maybe it’s because I’ve got this weird surge of hope and determination from nowhere. Or maybe it’s just because my hormones are playing a cruel joke on my frontal lobe for all I know! Either way, I’m taking this frame of mind as a good thing and putting this post up so we can all be random together; or not. This is a very stream of consciousness kinda post, so let’s loosen those seat belts and float along this stream, shall we? Here goes!

Live life. Love life. Say a prayer. Eat olives. Walk under a canopy. Run in the corridor. Glide through your dreams. Forget your baggage. Carry your desires. Take a carpet ride. Speak to the stars. Irritate your pet. Smell flowers. Take photographs. See through your eyes more. Buy lamps. Light them up. Turn off the lights. Eat a chocolate cake. Melt marshmallows over bonfires. Make jacket potatoes. Dance in the rain. Watch lightening. Sway with the wind. Understand your words. Feel new emotions. Jump off a cliff. Face a fear. Climb the highest mountain. Lie down on grass. Sleep under a tree. Swing on a park swing. Eat a sundae guilt-free. Embrace the new. Watch a sunrise. Make stories from shapes of clouds. Define the dark side of the moon. Dig your feet into the wet sand of an ocean. Help a baby turtle make it to sea. Give your pet a kiss on the cheek. Sing with freedom. Rejoice in rapture. Burst with energy. Fly with your spirit. Listen to your heart beat. Really look yourself in the eye. Live in a forest. Glow with fireflies. Identify new constellations. Look for Saturn. Give random gifts. Run the fastest you can. Eat because you love to. Treat your body right. Make cheesecake. Travel. Work. Blow up your savings at least once. Do the things that make you happy. Understand before you judge. Empathize. Listen to stories. Spend more time with grandparents. Listen to their bygones. Give your phone a rest. Read more. Learn new words. Sky dive. Learn how to swim. Start driving. Let go. Be different. Take up a challenge. Run a marathon. Stand at the Grand Canyon. Stand at the feet of the Himalayas. Earn in a foreign currency. Lock the weighing machine away. Spend an evening at the Serengeti. Feed a tiger cub. Help an animal. Nurture a tree. Respect faith. Find your own. Say I Love You. Apologize when you know you should. Run on the beach. Smile. Live. Love. Breathe. See. Believe. Find. Look. Dive. Learn. Awaken. Meditate. Exercise. Sleep. Be at peace. Have no regrets.

Saturday Conversations

6 Apr

It’s been one of those completely lazy Saturdays; the kinds that have you padding around your apartment in boxer shorts (did I tell you how much a part of my life they are?) doing absolutely nothing in a total dolce far niente way. Come to think of it, a lot of my posts are about just that – dolce far niente. And here goes another one. Now you know how I love spending my weekends; doing absolutely nothing and feeling deliciously happy about it.

Anyway, what I expressed there would seem ideal and too good to be true because there’s always something to do even at home. And I’m the kinda person who gets these irritating and totally unwelcome voices in her head if she knows she has stuff to do around the house and procrastinates more than she can. I mean there’s a limit to how much one can procrastinate. Apparently. I never knew that till these voices refused to go. And now the voices are telling me to continue with the post. So yeah, I obviously had some things to do at home, the most important one being cleaning Fuzzy and Poppins’ cages. So clean them, I did. Leave the trays out to dry, I did. Admire my handiwork, of course I did! And then all of a sudden and from nowhere, I heard a voice that called out to me and said,

“Hey miss, that’s some crazy chore you did right there and wow did you do a good job!”. I checked to see if I had been spoken to by the voices in my head but they were having their fun summer Saturday siesta and man were they out or what?

I carried on looking at the prettiness that were the plants in my balcony and thought about how it was turning out to be exactly the kind of Saturday I wanted and hadn’t had in the longest time. And then I heard it again.

“You’re rude, miss. You didn’t even acknowledge me or the compliment I just paid your handiwork!”. I swirled around and look who I found!

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OMG, a praying mantis was having a conversation with me! I figured it would be best to scoot, close the balcony doors and pretend like there were no creepy crawly praying mantises in my balcony. But he just gave me the blankest look a praying mantis could ever throw my way. I have to give him some credit for that. Look at him!

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On second thought, I think he was giving me the where do you think you’re going look. Who thought praying mantises could threaten a simple human being such as me with just a look? Anyway, I prepared to listen to a different set of voices that had begun a mini agitation in my head; the kind of voices that create havoc in the head of a lizard fearing girl who chances upon a lizard.

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“You’re really going?”, he asked, just as I was ready to scoot, scamper and scurry to the safety of my sofa.

(By the way, don’t you think he’s wearing the coolest stockings ever?)

I thought I heard a sniffle. I thought I saw a tear.

I looked at him and he pleaded. He even had his antennae down. He really seemed harmless.

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He said sweet things to me and said I was the nicest human ever and that he just wanted to spend a bit of his afternoon talking to a stranger because that was his kinda thing.

So I figured it wouldn’t be as bad to say hello, smile him a polite smile, offer him a leaf perhaps and then maybe scoot, scurry and scamper.

So we talked. And before I knew it, we’d spoken about the summer, world peace, global warming, pestilent pests (we changed that subject sooner than I’d have liked), the fruit flies that have made the cages their fortress and of course how honourable it is to have strange conversations with stranger praying mantises/humans.

Then his phone rang. Turns out he was summoned to get back to his worldly duties.

I told him it was a pleasure and that if he wanted he could stay a few more minutes because we still had UFOs to talk about.

He said he’d love to but that he had to report for his secret mission right about now.

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And so just like that, he took off and flew his praying mantis wings away into the horizon.

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I decided to tell the pigs about this stranger but Poppins was more interested in his carrot and Fuzzy took absolutely no time to put on her you-don’t-love-me-anymore-because -you-have-new-people-to-photograph face. And she made no bones about the fact that she was having a messy Saturday and that it was probably all my fault because I neglected her and didn’t care about her enough. She refuses to wash the carrot stains off. She says that should teach me a lesson or two about dividing my attention ever again.

*sigh* who ever said pets couldn’t be demanding or possessive?

:)

PS, if you find the photographs to be blurred it’s because I don’t fancy being anywhere near praying mantises, forget photographing them as a hobby. Consider this a one-off act, a time when great bravery and courage was shown on my behalf. :P

On Cutlet

18 Feb

I don’t remember going to the pet store. I don’t remember the date either. I know it was late afternoon. I do know it was late March, 2010. I know we wanted 2 males; one for the brother and for me, as it were. And then I remember standing in front of a cage full of joojies (I call guinea pigs that). Of course getting yourself a guinea pig isn’t the same as getting yourself a cat or a dog or a fish, for that matter.

I remember my brother picking Fuzzy up (we were told she was a male back then). And then it was my turn. I don’t know what or how or in what frame of mind I picked up a rather frightened and cowering fellow. He was Cutlet. Cutlet and no-name-then (now Fuzzy) sat in their big black cage on our lap in the car off to their new home with the brother, mother and me. I remember my friend D came with us to the pet store too. I remember the brother stopping by his friends’ place to show his new family members off. The friends had a few cabbage leaves as a Welcome Home present. I remember Cutlet’s beady eyes from then as he stared at us as he munched on his leaves.

Cutlet. Well, where do I even begin? How does one actually begin to dig into the life of someone they lost and remember them? To say it’s difficult is not being wholly honest. It’s more a challenge than being difficult. It’s not difficult to remember someone you loved so dearly. It’s there, it’s omnipresent. It’s trying to place all those memories, experiences and feelings in context of loss that makes it almost unbearable. So remembering Cutlet isn’t difficult. It’s remembering him from the point of view that he isn’t with us anymore or that his presence in the life of his wife, son and ours is so evidently absent that makes this such an uphill climb.

Cutlet was my darling. He was mine. He was mine without intention, neither with force. He was just mine. He was my baby. He was my gem who grew to be the handsomest baby ever. Cutlet was the gentlest. He was beautiful. He was the healthiest. He was intolerant of my hugs and kisses. He hated being cuddled. Cutlet was restless. Cutlet never sat still in one spot unless he was in the company of Fuzzy and Poppins. Cutlet was extremely sirely and never left Fuzzy’s side through all her illnesses, mood swings and aggressive outbursts. Cutlet was always there. Cutlet loved drinking water, unlike the others. He cherished his pieces of cucumber succulent with seeds. He always smelled of cucumbers. His ears were the softest and jet black. His ears were subject to many kisses and so many failed attempts to nibble them. Cutlet loved sitting on my shoulder. He loved running. He loved scampering. He loved dried bamboo leaves and tulsi (basil) seeds. He was a tyrant when out of the cage. He knew my every move to catch him and tried outsmarting me every time. He loved the bonsai tree which he had taken quite a few naps under. He always ate exactly 4 grapes; not a bite less or more. Also, he relished them. He would have only a lick of Coke from my finger. He munched on pomegranate seeds – 2 to be precise. He spent most of his time impressing Fuzzy from his side of the cage. He used to grimace when I stole kisses from him. He always always always put his paw in an authoritative manner on my finger if I was scratching him the wrong way or was doing something he didn’t like. He was a menace to bathe and didn’t get out of the basin without a fight. He always sat by my side. He always ran to me. He always trusted me. He always made me feel like he was in charge. He always had his way. He always nibbled my fingers if he wanted something. He always licked my fingers when the nibbling didn’t work. He had his ways of persuasion and trickery. He was a complete rowdy. He thought he was the don. He thought he was it.

Turns out, he was it. There will be no other Cutlet. And even though half of him lives in Poppins, Cutlet was who he was and there will never ever be another baby like mine. When one looks back in retrospect, all you can think of is having tried harder. You always know when something’s wrong. And how did I know? I knew because I felt my Cutlet wasn’t being his regular self. I ignored it thinking he was being fussy around Fuzzy’s illness. I figured he was being funny because he wanted exactly what Fuzzy was being fed. And somewhere along the way, we lost what we thought was a stable grip on our baby; all of it being overshadowed in Fuzzy’s illness. The next thing I remember was trying to force-feed my baby through a syringe. I despise associations with syringes and always will. At first there was a struggle to give him as much nutrition as we could in the form of soup and juice. I remember spending so much time researching feeding strategies and nutrients suitable for an ailing guinea pig. I remember feeling so determined to make this work, to make him come back to the rowdy I knew him to be. I remember going home with a pack of Cerelac just so I could get something more substantial into his system. I remember force-feeding my baby who didn’t even have the strength to fight or claw me as he would have in his prime. I remember him surrendering to my body as I cradled him and fed him. I remember how the mix of vegetable soup and cerelac made me want to hurl. I remember feeding him the most he had consumed in days. I remember wiping his mouth from all the pink cerelac. I remember teaching the brother to feed him by himself. I remember making him a shoe box bed inside the house. I remember him moaning. I figured he was showing signs of trying to squeal. I remember dreaming of him prancing around a lush lawn telling me he was OK and that he was happy. I remember waking up on Saturday morning to feed him. I remember calling out to him only to have him stare into nothingness. I remember calling out to him. But he didn’t change his gaze. I remember walking closer to him and looking at him. But he wasn’t moving. He had changed his position from the previous night. I remember lifting the blanket and staring at his body. There was nothing. Not even the faintest of heartbeats. He’d left. The brother had spent time with him a few hours back and ma had checked on him a few minutes before and he was there. But then he had to leave after that I guess.

I don’t know how but I remember sitting with him, wrapping him in a piece of white duppatta and burying him in our basement garden. So that’s how he went. He had the hardest time and to say he suffered hugely would be putting it across very mildly. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine anymore. All I can do is regret not having done enough; not having heard him enough; not having attended to him enough. I regret not having said goodbye in time. Maybe he and I weren’t meant for one.

I do dream of you Cutlet. I do dream that you’re the happy, jolly, crazy ruffian you showed yourself to be. I do dream that your fur’s bright and white and that you smell of the aloe vera shampoo I used to bathe you with; except you’re not dripping wet and glaring at me anymore. I dream that you’re eating all the grass you possibly can, while rolling in it. I dream that you’re around, not so far away. I feel your presence everywhere. I call out your name to ask you where you are and you promptly respond by showing up in my dreams. You taught me how to love without condition, worth, measure or fear. You taught me to be fierce, gentle and kind in love. You showed me how much love I was capable of exhibiting, feeling, sharing and giving. I never knew I had so much love in me. I didn’t know I was capable of so much. You showed me what it was to lose. You taught me more than I can figure. You’ve left your paw prints, whiskered snout, nibbles and squishiness all over my life. You’ve left it all and gone. I hope you’re abundantly happy, healthy and naughty always. I feel because you showed me how to. I love you by the baleful.

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RIP

5 Feb

My rock star, my baby boy Cutlet passed away on Saturday morning. I don’t have the capacity in me to express what I’m feeling or what he meant to my family and me just yet. And somewhere I’m scared to because I’m an escapist by nature, especially when it comes to confronting the loss of someone you loved more than you could imagine.

My baby deserves a post and I will write about him eventually. Till then.

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Fillers

30 Jan

I realize I need to write not only because I have this space to but because it’s probably the only form of expression that is more or less cathartic to me. And believe you me, I have tried. There lies an endless pile of drafts because there is so much I want to say but find so hard to express. Everything is half-complete, half-felt, half-hearted.

2 of my 3 babies are unwell and have been so for a while now. First it was Fuzzy and now it’s her darling husband, Cutlet. Fuzzy lost all her front teeth, the ones most important for a guinea pig’s survival. She had stopped eating completely because she couldn’t. She now survives on grated and mashed food. She is getting better gradually by God’s grace. Cutlet, on the other hand, is a mess. He’s stopped eating and has lost most of his weight. And he isn’t the same Cutlet we know him to be. He isn’t the rowdy I love him to be or the rock star we know him to be. Cutlet is now this small shrinking figure who sits by himself in the corner of his cage.

It breaks my heart. You just know when your babies are unwell or when something’s wrong. You just know. And it kills to see your babies suffer. It’s one thing to be spoken to…it’s another to figure what their silence is trying to tell you. I cannot fathom their pain, even more so because guinea pigs do not show their pain. It really does break ones heart. And I cannot describe that feeling to you as much as I want to take that feeling and rip it right out of my heart.

So yes, there is so much to say, so much to do and all I can draw up here in my posts are blanks. I’ll be back. Till then.

Meet the Family

7 Dec

I’ve spoken a lot about them here and you’ve probably seen pictures of them, if not met them in person. Well, I feel like writing about them today. They’re always on my mind and I’m always wondering what they’re up to. Also, I wish to spend every second with them. That, however, is never really a possibility. Therefore on a day like today when they’re on my mind yet again, I figured why not introduce them to you?

Meet Cutlet. He’s the father, the hero, our miniature Lion King and our very own rowdy as well. He struts his stuff all around and likes living that way. He’s gangsta when he needs to be. He’s quite the simpleton otherwise. He is almost 3 years old. My mafia don and my cutlet.

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This is Fuzzy. She is the mom of her world and the queen of her universe. She is quiet and coy when she needs to be and noisy when you really don’t want her to be. She has charisma and poise. She is the cleanest of the lot and she prides herself in her overall appearance to not just her husband but us and whoever else cares. She is the most pampered and thinks it her birth right to demand the same. She loves dearly. But not as dearly as she loves being pampered.

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And this is Poppins, the result of Fuzzy and Cutlet’s nocturnal courtship. The brother and I had insisted on 2 males and 2 males we got till we picked Fuzzy up one day to find something kicking from within. Turns out it was Poppins. And his sister Pickles who is no more. Anyhoo, Poppins is the baby of the family. He is really the simplest of the lot and has equal number of traits from both his parents. He is restless like his father and fiery like his mother. He is simple like his father and he believes he is sophisticated like his mother. We’ll let him believe the last one is true.

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And this is what it is to have 3 guinea pigs be a part of your family. They keep you on your toes with all the babysitting you have to do when they take a stroll out of their cages. There’s never a minute when you don’t catch them on the sly. On the sly by doing this.

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Mothers have gardens. Mothers love their gardens. Mothers treat their plants with more care than their own children sometimes. Mothers beam when their plants bloom. Mothers certainly shouldn’t walk into their garden when you’ve looked away for a second to find what Cutlet was busy doing. So yes, there were bamboo leaves that were nibbled upon very graciously, might I add. And when you catch them in the act, they either pretend like nothing happened or they scoot. And here’s what happens when they scoot.

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Yes. Bonsai plants are their favourite. Bonsai plants make them feel not so alien in the giant world around them. Bonsai plants make for good friends, food and bedding. Bonsai plants are best friends. So there you have it. Cutlet and his love for ma’s plants. And when they’re not in the garden, here’s where you’ll find them.

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Yeah, that’s their favourite park. They love walking on it, sliding on it like a skating rink and they love the feeling of walking over everything you’re toiling over. At least this is what baby Poppins loved doing till he was he figured things out. And when they’re not trespassing into ma’s garden and munching on her plants or walking across my laptop or the keyboard, here’s how they keep themselves busy.

Yawning.

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Sleeping.

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Sniffing the air or showing their awwwwwwwww snouts off.

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Scratching themselves.

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Or plain posing for their most loved shutterbug, guinea pig style. :)

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