Pets And Animals In My Life

Pets And Animals In My Life

I have had a close association with animals and I am an advocate for their welfare. Once someone keeps an animal, he/she has to look after it properly, and should not develop a soft power over it. That was the advice given to me by my late mother. We moved from Cochin to Trichur (then) in 1956, as my father bought our ancestral property in the town centre. Those days my father used to come to Trichur once in a week only, as he was running a wholesale grocery shop at Cochin.

In my childhood at Trichur, from 1958 we had  chicken housed in a chicken coop, goats in a shelter and cattle in a wide shed with facility for feeding hay.We had a servant, called Velayudhan those days, but I was in overall charge of the animals. It was a great responsibility to look after them, feed them on time, clean the shelter, maintain hygiene and call a vet if they are unwell.I was particularly fond of the mother goat, which was white in colour with brown patch. I let the goats go wandering on the roads and in leafy areas. Goats are intelligent animals as they promptly get back to our back garden  usually eight hours after their wandering. They go out and come back, jumping over the three feet high fence. Those days, we had the nuisance of fox, and it was heart breaking to see the carcass of baby goats eaten by the fox. Once I went with my siblings to my uncle’s house in Trivandrum (then) and after two weeks we returned. To my distress, my mother broke the sad news about the death of the mother goat.  

 I let the cow in black colour, go out less frequently. Once  the cow went out, it followed other herd of cattle on a Friday, the cattle market day, and got lost. After a week, my mother read an advertisement in the local Malayalam Express newspaper, that a householder at Thalore, seven miles away from Trichur got the cow matching the description of our cow. I went with our servant Velayudhan by bus and brought the cow back home walking. In 1960, my father brought an Alsatian puppy from Cochin, and I used to play with it by throwing tennis ball at it. The dog picked it up in its mouth and brought the ball back to me. As it grew big it looked fierce, and as such it generated complaints from neighbours and relatives visiting our home. Ultimately, my father sold it, severing my company with the dog. My mother was fond of cats, which went  to neighbouring properties for fouling and mating. Within two years the population of cats grew disproportionately high, and they would not allow me to eat my food peacefully.


During this time our household was self sufficient with poultry and dairy products, and we used to sell milk to neighbours. As there was great demand for cow dung and goat droppings for agriculture, I used to sell them periodically to farmers. The population of chicken, goat and cattle grew, and selling them periodically helped to improve our household finances. As they say, all good things will end, we had to sell all animals in 1963 when my father decided to construct a building in our back garden, facing the college road, which was in a much sought after area at Trichur.

In England, I bought my first house with a back garden in London in 1991. My daughters were keen on having a pet, and our next door neighbour, offered a brown coloured rabbit and a hutch which we accepted.  My daughters called the rabbit ‘Nibble’ as it was nibbling all the plants and shrubs growing in the garden. It gave good company to my daughters, but I insisted them to keep the hutch clean weekly. When we all went India for a holiday for one month, I had to dispose of the rabbit. The last pet we had in the current house was gold fish about fifteen years ago, and all of them died in a span of one year.  Now we content with wood pigeons having a nest in the tall conifer tree, magpie, starling, red robin, black bird and sparrow visiting our garden. Occasionally we see squirrels and running away fox.

Keeping pets and animals is relaxing and pleasurable. But one should anticipate that gloomy day when the pets or animals depart or die. Last year when I saw my accountant, he was so down because he lost his pet dog. While practising, very often I come across with distraught patients who lost their pets, but I console them telling about their short longevity and encouraging them to buy another one. 

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This blog is about my experience as a doctor working in various countries in different clinical set up. This experience spans through 45 years, in which I acquired a lot of favourable contacts and unfavourable encounters. I shall dig deep into them and make it interesting to the readers. Unlike others in the profession, I worked as a community medical officer in a remote areas, prison medical officer, benefit service medical officer, in cardiac surgery in prestigious institutions and as a private doctor. I was managing my own businesses, and real estate in three continents. I hope the information I impart will be valuable to the like minded readers.

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