At Trinity News, we always strive to bring you the best and freshest stories. While we never neglect to check our sources, our pets haven’t always been so lucky. Here lies exposed the deepest and darkest pet secrets of your Editorial Staff for 2017/18.
Joel Coussins, Sport Editor
When I was around 10 years old, my mum finally relented and let my sister and I get our first pets – two Goldfish imaginatively called Goldie (mine) and Splash (my sister’s).
As part of the responsibility of having pets, we both had to take it in turns to change the water in the fish tank, which involved removing both fish and placing them in a bowl whilst the tank was cleaned. On one occasion, when it was my turn to change the water, my fish decided that this was the optimal moment to practice being a salmon and leapt from the bowl and into the kitchen sink, unbeknownst to mini-Joel who was preoccupied cleaning the tank.
By the time I noticed what had occurred, it was too late – Goldie lay lifeless in the sink. In a state of panic-stricken grief I scooped up the fish and placed him back in the bowl, whilst I – in floods of tears – ran to inform my mum of what had transpired. However, by the time we returned to the scene of the incident, my previously lifeless goldfish was swimming around the bowl, risen from the dead and seemingly none too troubled by his experience. We therefore renamed him Jesus and he lived for two more glorious years, presumably delivering sermons to my sister’s fish from atop his ceramic castle…
Niamh Lynch, Deputy Editor
So I was a strange child and didn’t ever want a pet – my family got their first dog when I was 18. I would even go so far as to say I was bit cold hearted when it came to animals. I stepped on a worm in primary school, crushing it to death, and my friends didn’t talk to me for three days.
I did have two lambs for about two weeks (my Dad is a farmer and these lambs were particularly weak so needed special care). They lived in our garage and they were called Vicky and Victoria. I really liked that name when I was younger but there was a girl in my class who I didn’t like called Victoria so I wanted to have a more positive association with it. I also knew she’d be quite annoyed when she found out that she had the same name as two animals.
I just asked my parents why we never had a pet, and they said it was because I was too awful a child – I was constantly crying. I cried the whole way through my uncle’s wedding ceremony, meaning you can’t hear anything but me on the tape. I also ruined our newly fitted sitting room by spreading Sudocrem everywhere.
But I’m an absolute delight now.
Rory O’Sullivan, Comment and News Analysis Editor
We had Billy the Goldfish for 2 unforgettable years. He was originally given to us by a magician at a Caragh village community event, which was pretty cheeky of the magician, to take off and leave us there with this fish to look after. But my parents shrugged and Billy came into our lives. He had his own bowl with multi-coloured stones and a plastic toy soldier.
Little did we know, however, that Billy actually was a magic fish. About halfway through his life we went on a holiday to Spain, and gave our neighbours the key and the fish food to look after Billy. Billy had been pretty big for a goldfish, but when we came back we found that he was suddenly much smaller. That was not all, however. When Conor, my friend and the neighbours’ son, came over to our house he looked in the tank and exclaimed: “Oh wow, Billy’s alive again.”
Needless to say, we were all impressed.
Sam Cox, Features Editor
Nicknamed Sammy Jim as a child, it was only natural my aunt’s hamster should be named Hammy Jim in my honour. While I didn’t get to keep him, I was very fond of my protégé and seeing him was the highlight of visiting the relatives.
One day, however, Hammy Jim went missing. Seeing his cage unlocked, he took the opportunity to scale the walls and escape. Found hours later in a bag, he was rushed to the vet who did everything in his power to help the little guy. Told there was nothing to be done but care for him and see how it goes, we brought him home.
A few days later, Hammy Jim started to make startling gasping noises. Concerned, we accompanied my aunt to the vet, who explained it’d be most humane to give Hammy an injection to ease his suffering. Asking if we wanted to stay in the room for his final moments, my mother was taken aback by my insistence to stay with my aunt and Hammy. Reluctantly, she agreed, and left the room.
Imagine her surprise when I bounded out, and asked how long it would be before the “vitamins” kicked in, and Hammy Jim was back to rolling around in his little pink hamster ball.
Michael Foley, Editor
Often, when sitting in my room I hear a tearing sound behind me as the cat hauls herself up onto my chair, only to sit proudly at the top surveying the room before darting away to scale an ottoman or something. She loves sharpening her claws, and her favourite way of doing this is dragging herself up the furniture using her nails as ice-hooks.
In a desperate attempt to save the few pieces which hadn’t been used as an impromptu scratching post, my dad bought a scratching mat.
Unfortunately, the mat seemed rather dull when compared to the cornucopia of interesting new chairs to mutilate. And so Dad turned to the old Pavlovian trick: every time the cat used the scratching mat, he would give her some Dreamies ( a ‘treat’ food).
Unfortunately, the cat didn’t associate the treats with scratching the mat, just with being around it. So instead she sometimes will sit on the mat expectantly waiting for the treat to come.She still terrorises the furniture at a furious pace, but she takes more breaks on the mat now.
An improvement, I suppose.
Niamh Moriarty, Assistant Editor
Though I’ve had pets throughout the years, it would be a shame not to mention the infamous Dingle dolphin who has been the subject of many a tale and more than a few conspiracy theories.
Fungie decided some thirty-odd years ago that Dingle would make for a pretty sweet bachelor pad and locals have thought they are dolphin whisperers ever since.So when I moved into my Dad’s pub, I naturally chose the only room with a view of the bay so I could live next to Fungie.
The view that I hoped would allow me to see Fungie, gracefully propelling himself out of the water in a great arc, in fact only allowed me to spy on my brothers and their friends smoking rollies in beanies and attempting to land kickflips like Rodney Mullen, beating themselves black and blue in the process.
I finally got my close encounter when I started sailing. When the summer would come to West Kerry, the holidaying D4 brigade liked to fob their children off on the local sailing club to have some bloody peace and quiet. There was always a certain smug joy to be found in the terror that would strike these city children when confronted with a dolphin larger than the boat they were steering.
The others more familiar with ocean wildlife and I would take over their boats as they sat traumatised in a dinghy being spun back to shore. Needless to say this would leave me feeling pretty damn badass.
Despite this, however, I would always swim faster in our local swimming pool when crossing over the dark logo situated underneath the surface, depicting an upturned naomhóg, which to my imagination looked like an ominous deep sea creature lurking below. Leave it to me to be more afraid of a collection of dark tiles at the bottom of a chlorine pool than a wild sea mammal swimming in the ocean.
Sarah Meehan, News Editor
When I was around seven, I had a goldfish, Patches, who was completely gold in colour except for two black patches on his side. I proudly won Patches at a community centre open day the previous year. One evening my family were in the kitchen just after finishing dinner when my mum decided it was time to clean out Patches’ fish bowl. At the time, we had two fish bowls so my mum would fill up one with water and put Patches into it while she cleaned out Patches’ actual fish bowl.
While she was doing this, an argument broke out between my brother and I in the kitchen, so my mum had to intervene whilst in the middle of filling up the fish bowl. She must have been so preoccupied with my brother and I fighting that she accidently filled Patches’ clean bowl with hot water, and put Patches straight into it.
It was only when my brother noticed the steam coming out of the bowl that we all realised what she had done. While she did her best to save Patches, the water was so hot that he resembled less a family pet and more a second dinner.
Mary Hartnett, Trinity Life Editor
After years of begging our parents, my brother and I finally got a dog when I turned eight. Trixie came from the pound and was small, black and a bit of a minx. Our pup loved nothing more than digging around in the back garden, usually destroying my dad’s flower beds in order to bury an old bone. While Trixie was adventurous she wasn’t the sharpest dog and her explorations in the garden never usually amounted to anything notable.
A few months down the line, my parents were heading out for the night and me and my brother were put in the care of a new babysitter. The evening was standard; we watched a movie, Trixie whined to be let out and then scratched at the door again to be let back in. As Louise, our babysitter, opened the door and Trixie came bounding in we spotted something clamped between her teeth.
Upon closer investigation, a long grey tail was noticed trailing out of the side of Trixie’s mouth. In a matter of seconds Louise was shrieking and crying as we realised that a large, dead rat was lying on our kitchen mat. Whilst few people would call themselves fans of rats, our new babysitter appeared to have an intense phobia of this specific type of vermin.
Between myself and my brother we successfully managed to remove the rat from the house. However the shock Trixie had caused our poor babysitter seemed to leave quite the impression as that was the last we ever saw Louise.