Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wondering about different pets.

I have heard of people keeping a lot of exotic pets from all over the world. Some are dangerous, like the guy down the road from me that had tigers. Not sure if he still has them or not. I may have told you this story, if I did, just skip over it to the story about the picture.

We had young, wet-behind-the-ears, Yankee that came down from Philadelphia to work in the office of a Forging Shop here in Cut and Shoot where I was manager of engineering. He even thought that peanuts grew on trees and didn’t understand me when I was telling someone that I had dug up a batch of peanuts the evening before. Being a Yankee isn’t all that bad, heck, even I am a Yankee. But the worst thing was he was a city kid, from Philly, and not a country boy.

Anyway, one morning he was extremely late coming to work. He lived in an apartment above a garage with an outside stairway for access. It was only about a mile from the forge plant; very convenient for him. He came out that one morning heading for work and started down the steps only to see a large tiger lying at the bottom of the steps. He dashed back in the house and called 911. The operator didn’t seem to believe him, but put him in touch with the police, who intern gave him the number of the animal control officer (dog catcher). Seems everyone thought he was exaggerating. Well let me tell you, that dog catcher guy was really surprised and sent for a lot of help. Turns out the guy just a couple of houses down the road kept big cats of all kinds and this one had escaped. This story ended happily for all, even the big kitty. But it or one of its roommates escaped a few years later and the rednecks hunted it down and shot it.

OK, back to “different”, not “exotic”, pets that originate from this country. I have known people who had raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, rabbits, deer, snakes, lizards, and almost every critter imaginable that inhabits our woods and fields. Back awhile ago; my Mother’s family had a groundhog (or woodchuck) for a pet.

If you are not a Yankee, you may not know what they are. They are a rodent about the size of coon or possum that live in holes they dig in the ground. In fact, when I first came to Texas, a friend and I were walking a piece of property that I eventually purchased. I came across this large hole in the ground and said, “I see you have groundhogs down here, too”. My buddy didn’t know what a groundhog was but said that it was an armadillo hole. OK, that is when I realized I was in a different world (grin).

Here is a picture of my Dad (on the left) and my Mom’s brother Milton (Bub) on the right feeding the groundhog with their cat and dog looking on.

Just a big happy family. Yes, they really were a happy family, even the pets. Too bad more families couldn’t have been as happy and loving as that family. I feel blessed to have known them and to have part of them in me.


  1. OK, you know I gotta ask,, What does ground hog taste like? anything like armadillo?
    ( not suggesting you ever ate your pet, but.... )

  2. I don't know, I never ate amadillo. Groundhog makes great speaghetti sauce.

  3. Great photo! Never heard of one as a pet.

  4. Every so often I read a story about some guy who thinks he can keep dangerous exotic animals and they wouldn't hurt him because he feeds them and 'loves them!'

    Unfortunately some of these jokers get killed by their 'loving pets.' Even worse, there are way too many stories about innocent people who are mauled by them.

    My hope is the these jerks get taken out of the gene pool by their own 'loving pets' BEFORE they pass on those obviously defective genes.

    All the cute goes right out the window after the 'loving pet' kills a kid!

    BTW, I feel the same way about dangerous dogs! And we ALL know which breeds I'm talking about here.

    These guys end up on TV court and all say the same thing, "My little Pookie never ripped anyone's face off before!!"

    No one ever thinks their own dog is bad!

  5. Keeping a tiger for a pet is not good for the neighborhood, but what about the tiger? It should be free to roam in its natural habitat and do what is natural for it. I think it should be illegal to keep animals like that as pets, and I think they should do away with those little zoos that keep big animals confined in a small space. Heck, I don't even believe in big zoos!

  6. Sixbears, That is the only one I ever heard of as a pet and they had it for years and it hibernated in a hole under their tool shed.

    Ernest, there are a lot of exotic pets in this area, everything from big cats to chimps to elephants. In fact, my youngest son was an elephant handler for a couple of years.

    Gypsy, I agree that the wild is the best place for animals but there is not much habitat left for them and it is getting smaller every year. And you just can't release a big cat back into the wild, it would be hard for it to survive.

  7. I never had much in the way of "exotic " pets, always just dogs and cats!

    I only see the armadillos, groundhogs and the like in the wild. To tell the truth, I don't think I ever wanted one for a pet!

    Wouldn't mind if one wanted to adopt me, though!

  8. HJ, thanks for stopping by. I agree with you, I have only had dogs and cats and one bird. My boys had guinea pigs and at times we had fish.