There’s no doubt that when we started house-sitting we knew that we’d be seeing lots of animals. The statistics do, after all, say 92% of sits require caring for animals, and let’s face only one sit in our last year has been pet free.
But one thing I hadn’t allowed for before starting out was the amount of wildlife we would see, or even the diversity. If we were travelling the world - yes - but not considering that (as yet) we haven’t even left the state of Western Australia!
Why only yesterday I was sitting in the back garden having my morning tea when the Westie we’re presently caring for decided to join me, sitting on my feet. Minutes later our current cat came down and started sniffing my cuppa, but I have to admit I wasn’t really watching. I’d become totally distracted by a passing dolphin. It had decided to start playing only metres away, in the canal I was sitting next to!
Then as if that wasn’t enough, within minutes we were also watching the pelicans gliding and intermittently dive-bombing, the cormorants drying and, of course, the occasional seagull and magpie.
All kind of strange, considering I’d taken my cuppa outside because it was so quiet, still and peaceful!
The impact of being so close to native dolphins and pelicans hits relatively hard for me - as anyone might have realised by my amount of recent comments on Facebook. Why? Well basically because all my early life was spent in a British village where the only place you saw them was in zoos, books and on tv. So they became rare, exotic and spiritual animals, entwined with and indicators of fairytales, holidays, princesses and all things special!
(Hmm, maybe it’s a girl thing…)
Not that it makes me immune to all the other wildlife that varies so much from house to house. Especially those creatures found in our really rural spots, places that come complete with mobs of roos, regular visits from owls, and curious eagles and kestrels.
It does, however, make me currently wear more of my waterproof, winter clothing so that I can spend more of my writing time outside on the off chance I might also watch dolphins.