Last author in our series to reminisce about past pets is Kate Murdoch. She’s here today to tell us how to secretly keep animals when your parents are dead set against it. Kate exhibited widely as a painter before turning her hand to writing. Her focus on historical fiction, she also enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction.
Kate donated two short stories to our new anthology Paws and Claws, one featuring a snake, the other some kangaroos.
The Silverfish Tin
I was a bookish child, spending hours in my room writing stories or drawing. My greatest wish was to have a puppy, but we used to go away on the weekends and my parents said it was ‘impractical.’ I discovered the real reason when I grew up — they’re not madly into animals. To stave off my abject canine longing, I decided to keep silverfish. In the drawer of my dressing table sat a cough lozenge tin containing the squirming creatures and pieces of wool for them to eat. As a teenager and beyond I decided they were absolutely revolting, but at eight I would open the tin and stare at them crawling over each other. My brother and I also kept tadpoles, but that was problematic when they transformed into frogs and leapt out of the tank to freedom.
There was a happy ending to this pitiful story— at age thirty-seven I welcomed a Bichon Frise puppy, Oscar, to our household.