The Cheesmenagerie!

You could say we have a small holding, but then we'd get insulted (boom boom). However, we do have an assortment of pets and here they are, ranked oldest to youngest in the order we got them, though that's probably more or less the same as actual age order, give or take...

The Bunnies

This is Beatrice and Felix (dark and light brown respectively). We got them in July 2001, shortly after we moved into our first house in Channels Farm Road (Southampton), and they were 6-8 weeks old then. We got them from a waterski centre just outside Fordingbridge -oddly enough 10mins from where we now live!- and think they're brother and sister, though we can't be sure, as the rabbits kept escaping and we think they may have even interbred with the wild ones. They're mongrels, but we love them!

Being our first pets, we have loads of pictures of them, but mostly old-fashioned non-digital ones, so here's a recent new-fangled style picture:

A few years after we got these two, a neighbour who knew we had bunnies asked us to look after another house-rabbit, since his owner was moving to the Alps and her mum was having trouble looking after him. Needless to say we fell in love with Hector, too, not least because he's so pretty: he's a pedigree Silver Marten and all black and shiny all over, but with a white tummy and paws...


The Hamster

Arnie was a surprise for Jo on 14th July 2005 -if I mention the date often enough, maybe she will remember!- and that's how he got his name, for he was an Arnie-versary present. He is a fairly large brown hamster, again of uncertain lineage, as we got him from a chap working at Skandia who had accidentally let his hamsters breed. Our friend Amanda, who has a tiny Russian dwarf hamster, thinks he looks more like a guinea pig: you decide...

It really is truly astonishing how much he can fit in his mouth: it sometimes seems as though he's in direct competition with us!


The Dog

We had been thinking about getting a dog for a while when an advert appeared on the Staff Bulletin board at Skandia, advertising a border collie who'd been rescued in Wales. By the time we rang the centre, she'd already gone, but we got in touch with Glynis, who's a lovely lady and arranged to pick up Basil the terrier in June 2006. Unfortunately, sweet as he was, he was a nightmare to walk, since he hated other dogs and tried to attack the rabbits, so we took him in the car back to Wales after two weeks with us...

...and traded him in for Henry who is a tri-colour border collie and gorgeousness personified!


The Chicken

October 2006 saw another 'free to a good home' advert on Skandia's bulletin board and us getting a chicken who was too bossy to be in with a flock, from a lovely chap called Rich Gaskin. Georgina is a Partridge Pekin and tiny, as you can see...

She's a good layer and gives us cute little eggs, nearly every day. Hers is the pale one on the left: they may be small, but they're nearly all yolk: bonus!

And, thanks to our friend Becs Welsh (who donated an old play-house and a whole load of chicken-wire) she now has an expansive new penthouse / mansion...

...but she still sleeps (and lays her eggs) in the original two-wine-crate nest box she came with


Cheesman's Gerbil

This little guy is ours in name alone: picture brought to you courtesy of our good friends (well, they had a picture and spell the name right, so that's close enough) at the Sharjah Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife.