Thursday, January 14, 2010

Family Zoo

I grew up with A LOT of animals. (brother David with Shep above)

We had turtles in the guest bedroom we'd use as doorstops. I realized that wasn't normal when one guest commented "wherever did we get those wonderful doorstops on casters?" All I could think how come she didn't know it was a turtle...doesn't she have one at home?

Then there were the Weeder Geese. My Mom got these because they ONLY ate weeds in the garden! Brilliant addition to any garden...BUT they were a bit loud. Mom and Dad tried to set them free at the local goose pond, but when they drove away, the pair of geese flew behind the car. So? We kept them.

There were the snakes in the basement. I know....yuck. But we never had a mouse, and the snakes kept to themselves. Except when our next door neighbor in Alpine, NJ came over to complain about the Weeder Geese waking her up with their squawks in the morning. This lady was rather portly and barged right into the living room which was closed off for the Winter. It just so happened that this was where Tiny Alice, a 6' Milk Snake, hibernated in during the colder months. Our neighbor plopped herself down on the couch and my Mom sat across from her. All of the sudden Mom saw Tiny Alice's head come up behind one of the cushions. The neighbors bum must have warmed up the couch so well that Tiny Alice assumed it was springtime and the end of hibernation. Well, THANK GOODNESS for Tiny Alice! The neighbor disappeared as fast as she'd appeared and never complained about the Weeder Geese again. I guess the snake took the wind out of her.
Then there was the friend of my Dad who was DYING for a baby Ocelot. My Dad had some connections at the Zoo and discovered that it was illegal to import 1 Ocelot, but there was no rule against bringing in a pair! Brilliance. 2 baby Ocelots arrived in our apartment and we named them Abercrombie and Bitch. The guy who wanted the Ocelot took the female, Bitch, and we kept Abby.
Abby and Mom at Awosting Lake in the Gunks.
Abby was a great addition to the family animals until he became a mature male and sprayed the apartment in NYC. We lived in a penthouse on 95th and Park, and the ENTIRE place reaked of wild cat urine The apartment happened to be on the market, so the timing was AWFUL. Mom baked bread during every showing in order to cover up the smell of the baby leopard becoming male in a space that was not quite as expansive as the outdoors.
There were the bunnies when I was a wee one...
Neisha the German Shepherd who delivered 9 pups in our NYC apartment. Margo and I are on the couch with a couple of them.

And then Nipper, the Dashound.
And of course the Parrots. This one was named Max. He lived for 40 years, and was brought back from the jungle of Venezuela on my Dad's shoulder in the the days when that was allowed.

There have been so MANY more animals that have come in and out of my life...but this is a good start for a friday. When I find more pics, I'll write more.

-Zoo in My Luggage, Bradley


  1. LOVE.IT
    And how cute are you & your outfit with Max....adorable

  2. darling post... and i am so happy to have found your blog. i visit your store everytime i am in nyc... have a great weekend... xx pam

  3. Red Ticking...we have closed now you will have to visit Newport!

  4. what a fun fun home to grow up in! :)

  5. How awesome (well, except for the snakes ) to grow up with all those creatures (except the snakes)!

    Can you imagine looking across the aisle of a plane and seeing a man with a parrot on his shoulder????

    I had the same red sandals!