The best pets are free

One thing that makes me sad about living here is I can’t have a cat and I would dearly love one. They are such beautiful company, and for many years I’ve always had one around. My small collection of ornamental cats is a cheaper version of the real thing – they don’t need feeding or trips to the vet!

But everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Other than all the positives about being renters, like the reduced stress for example, living in a gated community that does not allow pets definately has it upside. We are never woken up by dogs barking at ridiculous hours, by whining distressed pets left behind by their owners for the weekend, like my old neighbours used to do on a regular basis. There’s no vicous barking everytime someone dares to walk past, insulting the animal’s delicate sensibilities.

Instead, there’s a host of beautiful birdlife that often comes to visit because there are no cats around hunting them. We put a bird bath in the courtyard a few months ago, and a small swallow regularly stops by for his morning wash. There is also a pair of doves that live here, they often hang out on my fence and come right up to my back door where I leave crumbs for them. They have a pretty pink tinge and a speckled neck, and coo-coo delicately and lovingly to each other. Sometimes, the male goes right off and won’t stop his insistent love song, so I’m forced to play some music to drown him out, which sometimes does not work!

And then of course, there is Lizzie the Lizard. Now, I don’t know how she managed it, but this lizard looks an awful lot like the one at my old place. Or maybe, there is a resident lizard in every house that does not have a cat? Recently I’ve seen Lizzie chase a smaller lizard across the house, unusually oblivious to me, their tails flailing wildly and comically in the air.

So I guess because I can’t have a cat, I’ll just have to enjoy having these less intrusive pets around. Pets who are free to come and go as they please, and bring no harm to the other wildlife around the place. Except for other lizards that happen to be smaller than them! A bird free to fly away as it chooses I find a much greater joy than one that is caged against its will. There is nothing sadder in my mind than a bird meant to fly, captured in a cage.

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