When I was younger, one of my friends who I will call John to keep his identity secret and another friend Mike went to John’s house to welcome his new puppies to the local community. Obviously John had not birthed these animals, rather it was his own dog a chocolate Labrador who had spawned the new bundles of fur and paws.
We were introduced to the brown fluff balls, John struggling to name all dozen. Almost instantaneously we were on the kitchen floor, playing. Rolling on the cold tiled ground as tiny teeth nibbled my socks, teeny claws scratched my skin, squeaked yelps and barks into my ears. It was, like you may have guess, a pretty enjoyable experience.
It was at this point I began to connect with one of the canines. A smaller, chubbier and bouncier little creature, his paw placed upon my hand. There was an instant connection, are souls entwined. My spirit animal. This fat tiny thing was my link to the animal kingdom, to a distant past of hunting, struggling to survive and snoozing. He was my kin, my brother, my friend.
I would like to stop the story here for a moment to talk about my historical record of pets
Hermit crab called Hermy, that was won at a carnival. He died after 3 weeks.
Two fish, one called Strawberry, a cute bright red scaled vertebrate, the other Fish N’ Chips, slow. You might be wondering why call one fish Strawberry and another fish Fish N’ Chips, instead of splitting the latter into individual names. I could say I was a creative child, with a unique outlook on the naming of pets, but to be honest I think I was principally awful at naming things. Fish N’ Chips died aged 3 weeks, Strawberry lead an isolated life of 3 months dying alone next to his plastic scuba diver.
It was at this point, with my proven ability to care for animals, I was gifted a crepuscular ground-dwelling lizard. Geck my very own leopard gecko, obviously my naming capabilities hadn’t improved. It was a fantastic beautiful creature, however like most cool things, the reality was somewhat bitter. Geck was dull, doing nothing to capture my attention, his daily routine was to sit in his wooden home waiting for crickets to stroll into his open mouth. He passed away aged 8 months of ownership, while in the caring hands of my Grandmother. Who, to this day, I firmly believe killed him.
This brings us to my final pairing, my two long haired black cats. Blackjack, the larger and fatter of the two, boisterous, anger and basically a dick. Blackjack, had the unfortunate nickname of BJ, which my parents would continuously repeat whenever my friends would come round. This intern obviously gave me a lot of ridicule, my own fault for having a cat named after an oral sex act. The other, the cat with multiple names, cuter, smaller, adorable feline named Twinks, Twix and Thumper. Currently still living.
Returning back to the tale. As I was holding my new friend in my stretched out arms. It was time to depart from my new companion, as I had to be home for dinner. I held him for the last time, bending over letting him go from my fingers. However, through the number of months surrounded by other furry things, I got used to the social protocol of cat caring. Stroking, feeding, playing and what height you can drop cats from.
This was my undoing. I dropped the newly born puppy as I would have released my cat. A good two foot off the ground, but for an infant it was like failing from a second floor window.
He plopped onto the cold surface. A silence washed over the kitchen. The realisation that this creature in my hand wasn’t a cat, but a dog. Choosing to land on his back, rather than the more obvious choose of feet. The dog started to cough, shaking as if something had blocked his trachea. Looking down at the metaphorical blood on my hands, believing I had inflicted a mortal wound on my familiar. John and Mike paused, looking down at the spasming form, struggling to find oxygen, then back at me. I had killed it. I had killed the dog. I was a murderer.In that instant of seeing my life flash before me. My life in prison, my life on the run, my life hiding in an attic somewhere. One single tear fell from my ducts, onto the fur of my victim. It splashed, glittering, like something from a Disney movie.
The hound found new life. A miracle from God. He got up, strolled calmly to his water bowl, slurping up the cool water. I hadn’t killed him; I hadn’t murdered this innocent thing. He was fine!
It is safe to say that I wasn’t allowed back to see the puppies after that. Untrustworthy apparently, even though the dog was in perfect condition. The puppy grew up sufficiently, a little dim, but you can’t truly blame me for that. I believe he’s still with us, I lost contact with John a while ago, not because of the incident, we just drifted apart. Since then though, I haven’t almost killed an animal or actually killed an animal, which is a positive I suppose.