Living in a kampong house, we had the opportunity to encounter several types of pets such as dogs, cats, chicken, ducks, pigeons, guinea pigs, turtles, tortoises and lots of fishes. I took the dogs in my life for granted and most of the time they were our alarm systems or announcer of any visitors or intruders into our home. These dogs are very useful as they keep within the house compound and are able to function well as our guard dogs. They were obedient and were usually responsive to out calls. They will greet us happily when we arrive home. I remenber feeling quite sad when we have to bury the dogs when they die, especially the Alsatians.
Most of my time had been spent with the fishes as I love them moving so quickly and yet gracefully through the many aquariums we had in our home. It is however a lot of work to clean the aquariums and sometimes will end in heartache as we forget to put in enough anto chlorine and they will float one by one. Many of the gold fishes that we kept ended end dying this way.
I do enjoy going to the drains to catch longkang fishes and later we manage to catch fighting fishes from the stream in Senai which we kept in small bottles inside the house as we love to watch them fight.
Another fascinating story about pet pigeons was my dad gave the pigeons away to a friend in Singapore, the pigeons mangage to fly back home to their coup in our home. If I remember correctly they were identified by a string tied to the legs. At that time we never heard of bird flu and in fact off and on we caught them and ate them for their medicinal values.
We kept a turtle at the big aquarium near the outhouse and this grew to a respectable size of over 1 and half feet long. I was quite afraid of this pet as I had been warned that if the turtle bit my finger it will not let go until the thunder booms. Anyway sadly this pet ended up in the kitchen table before we shifted from this kampung house. Needless to say I did not eat any part of it.
I remember swimming or playing in this big aquarium or a small pool when there was no turtle or when it was much smaller. I will try to catch the many talapias just for the fun of it. Although I love fishes as pets, I do not really like to eat them unless they are fried or have no fishy smells.
Other pets that we played with included insects such as grasshoppers, spiders which we kept in matchboxes. I remenber too chasing the chickens around the gardens just for the fun of it. Those days there was much outdoor fun as there were no computers and television only came in the late 60s.