Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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More...Unusual Pets

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Those who follow this blog know I've been doing an occasional More Puppy or More Kitty feature. Highlighting first my own dog (and my dearl departed late dog), then the dogs and cats of my reader-friends. I even did a More Bunny blog post as a foray into slightly more unusual pets.

In the past, I've had some rather unusual pets myself. I stumbled across their photos while looking for something different, and decided to do an "Unusual Pets" post.

Okay. First. I realize a horse is not a bizarrely unusual pet, but it's one we haven't covered yet. So this is Cody. Cody was (and may still be) a POA pony (Pony of the Americas), an Appaloosa pony with wonderful splotches of white across his butt. I used to tell people he was standing under the ladder when they whitewashed the barn. I bought him to satisfy my childhood dream of a horse of my own. I had him for about six years, until I got very serious as a writer and very busy. Then he needed far more attention than I could give him. So I found him a new home at a riding facility for the disabled. If he's still alive, he'd be 24, so he may be retired somewhere, or he may be out to pasture in that ultimate pasture in the sky.

Now I get a bit more unusual with a boa constrictor named Basil Ratbones. For those of you who read my story collection Earthquake Weather, Basil showed up (fictionally) in the story The Snake Handler. I had him for several years, and he was quite fascinating and beautiful to watch. Then my mom brought home a four-pound puppy and it was time for Basil to move on to a new home.

Perhaps most unusual of all, here's a snapshot of a "pet" peacock I called Big Bird. Back when I first moved to Cambria, my mother was the caretaker at the Old Santa Rosa Chapel. (I came to Cambria to spend a summer with her and never went "home." Talk about an endless summer.) Big Bird appeared very much out of nowhere. We fed him for a season (that's a pie plate full of grain sitting on the railing) and I picked up some great feathers. I had an old '66 Mustang, and I swear the bird was in love with that car. He'd walk around and around it in a sort of courting dance. Later I realized he was looking at a reflection of himself in the chrome bumpers. Whether he thought he was quite gorgeous or whether he thought his reflection was another bird, I'll never know.

Alas, breeding season drew him away. Later we found out that a local farmer had brought him to the property and let him go as a way of being rid of him. Well, having a pet peacock was fun while it lasted. 

Do you have, or have you had, an unusual pet? If so, let me know. There's always room on this blog for readers and their stories and photos.