Way back in March I introduced you to Penny and Amy ( I know cos’ I just checked), the two newest members of our household, and possibly the two most likely to upset the oldest member. (https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/march-and-the-girls-palace/).
Since then time has rolled on, Oscar has survived his confrontations (http://lorddavidspage.weebly.com Oscar’s Blog) and decided discretion is the order of the day, meaning he’s discreet in pretending they just don’t exist then he’ s not expected to deal with them.
Oscar is of course our cat. He’s 17 years old now and every bit the dignified old man but a complete wuss and in need of constant attention. The two later members to join us were Penny and Amy, two beautiful, no you can’t say ‘urgh’ like that, they are beautiful fancy RATS. As I explained back then the names were chosen from the leading female lights on the brilliant TV comedy The Big Bang Theory. Penny the girl who knows it all and is very savvy and Amy who is much more introspective. Penny would try anything while Amy has a long think first and then refuses.
Times have changed. Penny is still the extrovert, very loving and who loves to venture outside the cage. Amy is still the introvert who prefers her sanctum but can be coerced out sometimes. It’s the internal mechanism that’s altered as Amy now rules the roost ( no, there are no chickens, it’s a metaphor). Penny will tease Amy and chase her tail but should Amy turn and place her paw on Penny down she goes. Flat on her back and totally subservient. She even gives up food and for Penny that’s saying a lot. I’m thinking it’s starting to mirror real life since that’s what I have to do as well.
This week a new pet store opened nearby. Julia loves animals so any excuse to buy food or new toys is not to be missed. And the decision she made that we should visit was because we needed a new water bottle. Stupidly it didn’t occur to me to point out that we have two pet stores closer who stock them. I’m not sure what the argument would have been even if I had mentioned it because clearly this new store is different- it actually sells pets.
We arrived about 10.00am intending to get what was needed than drop into a favourite cafe for a latte. ( In case you’ve read my books, it’s called ‘Are you tempted’ and the staff are great so I love going. Anytime you want directions let me know). Look, I know I’m naive so there’s no reason to rub it in. It took approximately 3 minutes to collect what we needed , half a moment more for Ju to suggest we “Just look round while we’re here” and a lifetime of regret for what followed. Firstly Julia took me to see the fish. I looked. Then as sternly as I could I said “No. Not a chance. The tank is full and we’re not starting another”. “Yes dear” she replied. Then she took me to the cages. Rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. Very sweet and entertaining but I confess not something I get sentimental about. We moved on and she didn’t utter a word until we reached the cage with the degus. I think these are the pet of the minute and to be honest I thought them really cute. “Oh wouldn’t it be nice to have one Dear” she said. ” Not a cat in hells chance my love ” I promptly replied, ” anyway they live in social groups so it would have to be two at least and then there’s the cage etc.” “I suppose you’re right Dear” she told me which should have set alarm bells ringing but didn’t. So lastly to the rats, and there she was a cute little baby rat with big ears staring up at us while she ate her breakfast. “Bernadette” said Julia. “What?” said I. “You know dear, the third mouseketeer. Penny, Amy and Bernadette. Just like on the programme. And she’s so small, just like the tiny wildebeest on the Serengeti Amy called her.”
So, we got the water bottle, some food, a pet carrier and a new pet rat to carry in it. There are four boys in the programme too, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Rajesh. I have my foot firmly planted on the ground now. NO, NO, NO. There’s no room for more rats and imagine if they breed into more Big Bang characters. Julia will have to content herself with an all female group.