Fish are a mystery to me, especially which fish is which in the tank. Who is Henry and who is Henrietta? Only spring breeding season will tell. Thats when fish show either their masculinity or femininity by their acts and body changes. One fish chasing another means that that the chaser is a boy and the chasee a girl. What else is new? Watching fish swim in a friends tank the other day, I was wondering what kind of bonding could occur with a creature that can never stand still long enough to have a conversation! Ive been told that some bonds are not obvious. Ill accept that and pass on a standard rule of thumb. Ten gallons of water for each fish in your tank. According to the leading fish psychologists, fish seem to be happier and grow to be bigger if you abide to this generalization. Buy interesting decorations for your fishs home and mix them up occasionally, always giving them something new to explore. Avoid piranha. They do not appreciate kindness, interior decoration and/or interior decorators.
Rabbits are interesting creatures who are not by nature lovers of humans. I am told, however, that if attention is lavished upon them they do appreciate it and respond accordingly. They can also be trained to use a liter box, like a cat. One important thing to know about rabbits is that they cannot regurgitate. If they swallow something unhealthy or foreign, they can not throw it back up and can die. I know of someone who lost his rabbit because it swallowed a needle carelessly left out of a sewing box. Be careful what you leave lying around the house. Rabbits are also great chewers and unless you have a wall with molding you want to get rid of, it might be necessary to keep the rabbit in a big cage most of the time and let it out only when you can watch what it does. They are social and love the company of other rabbits. Be careful. You know what they say about two to tango and all of that.
Gerbils are a common pet. Did you know that that they originated in Mongolia? They became so numerous there that the Mongolian people could no longer sleep at night because the gerbils were constantly running on their squeaky little exercise wheels. The Mongolians will probably never be appreciated for shipping all of their gerbils to the United States (Talk about the wretched refuse of our teeming shores!) Now Americans have them as pets and Mongolia according to the latest statistics, is one of the quietest countries in the world! Many owners provide their gerbils with playwheels and mistakenly believe that they have satisfied their gerbils exercise needs. Nothing could be further from the truth. An adult gerbil requires a bare minimum of a treadmill, stair climber, exercise bike and free weights. Really progressive owners might also consider an occasional round of golf or tennis as quite beneficial as well!
Whatever your taste and predilections, remember that an animal in your care requires commitment and responsibility. With the addition of love, respect and kindness, all living things respond. I have learned to be grateful, since my cats do so much more for me than I do for them. They are a part of my family and they enhance my life in a million tiny ways, infusing it with unconditional love and affection. Life with animals may be a bit messy and very nuts sometimes, but life without them, for me at least, would be unimaginably dull and empty.
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