This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Songs About Pets February 15, 2014Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
It has almost been a traumatic week with the death of one our goldfish………………
Over the years there were requests for pet dogs and cats from the children but not being a big fan and the fact that we both work meant that it wasn’t really practical to have a dog. Two years ago my parents in law got a dog.Both retired it was an ideal companion. Over the years they had had many dogs and cats but had been without a pet for a number of years. It was decided that as a wheeze to my children they would be told they were co owners and indeed when their grandparents are away we mind the dog and she comes and stays.
Growing up we hadn’t any pets bar a brief flirtation with some goldfish we won at a fair in Tinahealy. I’m not sure which one of my parents wasn’t a fan as my father had had umpteen dogs growing up and my mother would have had also. Indeed my grandaunt on my Mothers side trained greyhounds.Someone in the house may have been allergic to cats and dogs.
What we did have at home though was bees. We had a hive in the garden and they were fascinating creatures. Each evening my father would come in from work and go out the back , lift up the lid of the hive and have a look in to see how they were. He’d come into the kitchen and remove a few stings from his hands. One of the neighbours wasn’t a big fan of the bees. One day she called to the door giving out about being stung by one of my fathers bees. “How do you know it was one of my bees?” was the response….
There was a gang of them who kept bees. One of them a Priest, so if they saw a site they fancied, the Priest called to the house to ask. Having bees around suited farmers too. We’d often go along helping to lift hives over ditches and so on. The hives being moved with the seasons, to the heather in the Dublin Mountains, down to a spot near Rathdrum in Wicklow and one up in Leopardstown that is long covered in M50 and houses. It was quite an education between making the sections, the syrup (which you put in the hive to replace the honey so the bees can feed over the winter), extracting the honey and even learning how to take swarms. I did some Beekeeping courses too but alas when my father died I wasn’t in a position to continue with the bees.
Fast forward and constant requests from the children for a pet. In a weak moment I said ‘maybe next year’ , within an hour they had a cat named and over time there were various visits to the DSPCA in Rathfarnham to look at cats and see were there any they liked. Then came the news that one of the children was allergic to cats and that it would exacerbate his asthma….
So last Christmas my mother gave my children some money …… the idea of goldfish was aired and lo and behold next thing I was up in Maxi Zoo getting a fish tank and the children choosing a goldfish each. ‘Billy’ and ‘Ink’. Last weekend ‘Ink’ got his tail stuck in the tanks water filter. We managed to release him but part of the tail must have stayed in the filter as he wasn’t able to swim away and kept getting stuck in the filter. To filter was taken out for a few days and now…. he lies floating at the top of the tank. I’m not going to move him yet as I’m not sure what the process with a dead pet it, do we have a ‘service’ and bury him (not withstanding the amount of cats in the neighbourhood), anyway we’ll see…….
…… While searching for a suitable box to use as a goldfish coffin my daughter found some teeth that over the years she had left out for the Tooth Fairy ….. so the Tooth Fairy question was asked followed by one about the man in red ….. so the death of the goldfish has now been compounded by the truth about other mythical people :(
Starting off aptly with a song about a goldfish……..