Before I moved to Melbourne, I'd never lived without at least one family pet. My knowledge of the various critters starts with two Siamese cats — Bubbles and Cuddles — who, if they weren't in the house when I was born, were acquired not too long after. My mother tells stories of one of them (I forget which one) having a worrying love of pouncing on my baby brother's bald head.1
Over the years following there have been cats2, dogs, canaries, budgerigars, fish, a horse, rabbits (both normal and pygmy), and even a tortoise at one point. Although we found the latter laboriously crossing the road in front of the house one day, put him in the backyard, and lost him under the back fence one day — so I'm not sure we can claim ever owning him so much as we fed him while he (very, very slowly) passed through.
Down this way, a variety of circumstances have meant no pets.
Or at least, that's what I thought. As it turns out, care of that most hypnotic of time-sinks otherwise known as TV, I've recently discovered that in fact I have a multitude of pets.
They're popularly called water bears or moss piglets (which is not one but two awesome names), their scientific name means "slow walker" (which makes me think of something out of Star Wars), and they can survive the vacuum of space.
That, my friends, is one heck of a combination of cute and hardcore, right there.
Of course, since they're so teensy, I don't actually know how many of them I have in my sink. But that doesn't matter. I'm going to call them all Chewbacca.