Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Sydney COVID lockdown!

I've never had my own pet before.

Growing up there was the household animals - cats, dogs, chooks. And a group of brief visitors vaguely remembered like the freshwater turtles that only lasted a night, before they baffling escaped? Or not remembered at all: A cow and some goats. I have idea of their fates. In a family story recounted often, the goats only lasted until they ate the sheets off the washing line.

The cats came and went as they wanted. Sometimes, looking healthy, other times beat up. They got fed when there where about. Their appearances grew more and more infrequent, until one day it was noticed they hadn't returned for a long time and clearly they were never coming back.  Did they move to a better place, or did they meet an untimely end. We never knew. 

The dogs were more mum and dads pets. The inside dog was mums. Spoilt rotten. Outside dogs - dads. We kids were involved, but incidentally so - taking food out at times, or cleaning up after them. The chooks where more of our responsibility. Our, as in "all the kids" - a group commitment. Like all groups, it was an uneven commitment. Some doing more of work to avoid punishment. Collect the eggs, check the food and water, close the chook house door at night. The chooks weren't thought of as pets. They were the egg producers, and looking after them was a job that had to be done.

I had always wanted pigeons, but our drinking water was collected off the house roof into a rain water tank. Having pigeons, who would be sitting and pooping on the roof was never going to be allowed to happen.  I thought to get pigeons now, but with COVID lockdown that option was blocked. None of the Gumtree pigeon sales were close. But there were Quail about! So I've joined the group of people getting pets while in lockdown. 

I was to have been gone from Sydney, but... COVID. I figured the lockdown is going to go for months, so long enough to have some pets.

Meet Omelet and Dinner.

The names are not suggesting anything. They just happened to spring to mind when I was carrying them back. Omelet does lay an egg a day. Four or five quail eggs equals one chicken egg, so any omelets are going be small, or also infrequent. Dinner, he keeps Omelet company. I wanted more, but the seller only had the pair left.

They have two homes. Nights are spent inside. Days outside in their larger holiday home. It's not suitable for overnight stays. Not build to a high enough predator proof rating. Cats, dogs, foxes, snakes, rats. Too many critters that would love an overnight snack. This one came past early one morning:

I wonder if it was the scent of quail that attracted it. I've never seen one in the yard before. Only fleeting glances when bush walking.