I WAS a half middle child. Born third in a family of four. My parents then ended up adopting a child that they previously fostered (he is now 11 years old) which now makes him the youngest in the family AND now makes me the OFFICIAL MIDDLE CHILD.
Things are now starting to make sense.
I had long, and repeatedly, put forward the view that I was the neglected child. Constantly passed over for new clothes, benefactor of hand-me-down toys and starved for attention, I believe this may have impacted on my development. But I turned out alright. I survived this neglect and subtle but very real form of Child Abuse. Mostly.
I never had a proper pet of my own.
We always had family pets. Cats and dogs and the occasional fish. Although they were family pets, ownership was assigned to one person in the family. So that our family dog, Cloe, the most lovely-natured Irish setter, was "Rachel's dog" even though the responsibility of looking after Cloe fell onto the entire family.
Dad has a dog. Mum had a cat, Fing. Rachel had Cloe. Damian had a dog, Penny. Mali had a dog, Julius. And now, despite his Johnny-come-latelyness, Jason (the adopted, youngest one) has a dog, Maddy. All these dogs were bought with money and were gifts. I got nothing.
To combat this, I adopted, saved and found my own pets. Living in country Victoria, there perhaps were more opportunities to do this than say if I lived in the city. These are my pets. May they rest in peace.
Gray Cat: A stray best remembered for getting an infected abscess on his spine and into his flesh, the size of a golf ball. Dad, instead of taking him to the Vet (you just don't do that in the country), continued to fill the hole in Grey Cats flesh with an antiseptic cream, Savlon. The wound healed, my Dad unjustifiably vindicated and I have never been able to use Savlon quite the same again.
Mr Cat: A kitten abandoned by its mother with an inter-gender, Inter-Species identity disorder. Raised by Chickens near our chicken coup. Ate Chicken feed, took its turn to sit on eggs and, my Dad swears to this, was caught trying to mount a hen.
David: A stray wild baby magpie. Survived 1 week, ate food until it literally went spastic, like its muscles all went into spasms, then it died. I did not know why.
David 2: Another stray baby Magpie. Like its predecessor, David 2 also started to go a little spastic until I feed it some water through a baby-bottle. It then recovered. Starting to think this is why David 1 died, though can't be sure. David 2 grew up and made friends, flew off and occasionally he comes back to visit. Seriously, you will not see him for months then a magpie that you think is swooping you will then land right next to your feet. He will then let you pat his head and beak.
Sonny: Joey Kangaroo whose mum was hit by a car. Survived one week and in that one week he ate Vegemite toast, jam sandwiches and a portion of the flesh of my palm (It got pretty infected. The palm not Sonny). Magpies pecked his eyes out, though David 2 has been ruled out as a suspect.
Gordan: A baby type lizard-gecko thing (get it? Gordon Gecko) that I stole from underneath a rock. I kept it in a fish tank for 2 weeks until Gordan realised that it could jump two feet high and escape the oppressive regime of hand-feed insects and clean water. Gratitude!
Cocky: I found this cockatoo with a broken wing that wildlife services said would never fully heal. He cannot fly but walks around my mum and dads yard everyday (the only one of these pets that is still alive), and has some cocky friends that visit him every day (though it is sad that he can not fly away with them). He says, "Hello Cocky" and barks like a dog. I think he is a little confused.
There was also Poss the possum, Rabbit the rabbit and a homicidal roster named Big Rooster. They are all dead now. I feel, somehow, all these pets let me down. Stoopid dying.