04 January 2009

The Menagerie

I guess its true, we have gathered up quite a few waifs and strays in recent years. first there was the Amazon parrot, Wong Dai, whom I bought from a pet shop here in Hong Kong back in 1999. She or he, has never uttered a word but is the most sweet natured parrot imaginable.

Then there is Mango, our beloved macaw. Mango is a talker and has an uncanny ability to say all the right things at the right time. If we get on our bikes, she says "bye bye", if we give her a treat she will respond with "thank you" and so forth but unlike Wong Dai she has a a mischievous side and likes nothing more than luring unsuspecting visitors up to the cage and when they are right next to her she will lunge forward and say "boo!'. She then has fits of giggles.

Then came along "Tup Tin" our African grey parrot who sadly died of pneumonia after only a few months. No digital photo I am afraid.
Next, Siu Gat" our pedigree Lantau Water Terrier. (Mongrel). Siu Gat is possibly the best guard dog we could have imagined. He is on duty 24/7 and has a fierce bark and growl that has kept welcome and unwelcomed visitors refusing to pass through the garden gate. A real scrapper, he defends us from wandering buffalo, cows, snakes mice, rats and dogs. Ther have been many an occassion when he has limped home and refused to let us even come close enough to clean up his cus and bites. We inherited Siu Gat when we moved into MW8, for a while he drifted between us and his old family but eventually decided to stay. In return all he asks for is rice and left overs. We tried dog food but he ignored it! To be fair to the old boy, 2008 was a rough year, he was poisoned, had tick fever, and heart worm all at the same time. It was nearly curtains for the old fellah but with the kind assistance of the SPCA he pulled through and is now healthier than ever and even a little more relaxed around us, allowing us to give him a pat on the head every so often.

Next, Garfield the laziest ginger tomcat in Hong Kong. Adopted from the SPCA a few years ago after we discovered a rat in the kitchen, he has distinguished himslef as being the most vocal cat in Asia and also the laziest cat in Asia. Although I have to admit we have had not more problems with rats or mice.

Next on our list is poor little Cleo, the fox terrier who gave up her life defending us from a cobra that had slithered into the yard. Cleo came from Hong Kong Dog Rescue after being dumped by a pet shop. Timid yet full of beans and energy. We discovered her lying by the back door next to a cobra that had been bitten in two. We can only presume she grabbed it and as terriers do, shook the prey from side to side and in doing so was biten by the snake. Cleo takes pride of place under a shady tree in our back garden.

Finally there is Nipper. We were lucky enough to discover Nipper as she had been put to the back cages of the SPCA and earmarked as unsuitable for adoption. Another fox terrier and another live wire, she likes nothing better than chasing cats and chasing cats and chasing cats and chasing cats. Nipper lives outside with Siu Gat and has her own kennel. Garfield lives inside and comes outside on supervised visits only! What is it with terriers, you leave them alone and they clamour and whine and bark and do not shut up unitl they are under your feet but as soon as you take them for a walk and let them off the lead they run off?

The list is not yet complete, we currently have two fish tanks and two budgies (on loan) but enough is enough for now.

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