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A Rooster, a Tiger, a Squirrel and a Rabbit: Unusual Pets

Spending time with your pet can be relaxing, encouraging the release of endorphins, which are brain chemicals that help us de-stress and feel good.

In addition to love, companionship, and the emotional connection that humans crave, we actually change our actions when owning a pet. “We do best medically and emotionally when we feel securely attached to another, because we're mammals and that's the way we've evolved,”

They help us gain a sense of responsibility, show us unconditional love, and are always there when we need them and give our lives new meaning and purpose.

You all have heard about common pets such as dogs, cats, horses, goats etc. Have you ever heard of a rooster as a domesticated pet?

Yes, many people keep hen and rooster for breeding purposes. But no one in my knowledge keeps a rooster as a pet. Today I am going to tell you about a domesticated pet, Chickoo, a rooster.

Chickoo had all the qualities of a pet. He obeyed commands, was wary of strangers and loved good food. His behaviour was more like humans. Chickoo slept on the bed, with his head rested on a pillow. He loved to have warm chapatis, laced with ghee. Mind you, Chickoo was very particular. He only ate chapatis as long as they were hot. The moment they got cold, he would start looking the other way. He would then only eat if you give him another warm chapati. Chikoo loved to throw tantrums.

How Chickoo was acquired is an interesting story. Chickoo belonged to my younger sister Sangeeta and Group Captain Sharwan Bakshi's family. They have two children, Mani and Sonu. Sonu was studying engineering at Bengaluru where Sharwan was posted.

So, this it the story of the time when Sonu’s friend was studying medicine and had to buy chicken for dissection. Sonu accompanied him to the market.

The small chick’s cost was just one rupee. His friend bought one and Sonu just by instinct picked up one chick too. He joined his parents at an ashram where they were standing in a queue for Darshan of their religious guru ji. Sonu joined them quietly.

My sister, Sonu’s mother, time and again heard feeble sound of the chick. But there was no one around. Sonu did not want to talk about the chick in public. When they reached home, Sonu disclosed the secret. His mother was annoyed but could not do much. Sonu took full care of chick. He made a shoebox carton it’s home by cutting holes at its top and fixed a raised platform inside the box. He then placed the chick on top of it.

Sonu also placed a water bowl just at level with the chick’s eyes. He fed the chick with wet diluted wheat flour. He named it Chickoo.

In some weeks, Chickoo started growing and moving around the house. It grew fond of each family member but considered my sister as its master and followed her around the house.

My sister treated him like her other two sons. Besides warm chapati laced with ghee, Chickoo loved beans, coriander and grapes. The elder son, Mani, was very kind to Chickoo but Sonu was naughty and loved harassing Chickoo. This often led to a fight between the two brothers. Sonu always announced proudly, Chickoo is my slave. I purchased it for one rupee. So, one day, Mani gave Sonu one rupee and said, Now, Chickoo is free. This drama would happen often and then, one day, Mani, who was elder, beat Sonu black and blue for harassing Chickoo. When confronted by his mother, his reply was, ‘mama, this fellow has extracted more than twenty-five rupees from me in this drama of making Chickoo his slave and then getting him free. He deserves it.

Mani is a colonel in the Indian army and Sonu is an engineer in the US.

My brother-in-law got a spacious wooden cage with slits made to carry Chickoo with them where ever they went. Chickoo was a widely travelled rooster, both by road and rail. He stayed with Sangeeta and Sharwan even in hotels. Chickoo was a big attraction where ever he went.

He was favourite of children and adults alike. Chickoo was Snow White in colour and had a jet red climb. When he was extremely happy, he would dance around you making crackling sounds. He was a highly affectionate pet. My sister treated him like her own child.

Chickoo had quite royal habits. He would eat only if you fed it by hand. He would never pick anything from the floor. My sister was a teacher at that time. Whenever she came back from school, Chickoo was at the gate waiting for her. Once she had settled, Chickoo would urge her to pick her up. Both of them would go to bed where Chickoo would lie down beside her with his head on her extended arm.

Our birdie would want the same drill repeated when my brother-in-law came home from office, except that this time, Chickoo would lie on his stomach.

Once he swallowed Sangeeta’s ring, which could never be recovered. Once, it had a narrow escape as it fell into the freezing cold waters of Ooty lake.

Chickoo lived this princely life for six years before saying goodbye to my sister’s family and the world.

Hunny Bunny

This is the story of Hunny Bunny, the rabbit. I was under the impression that rabbits are docile, innocent, gentle and lazy creatures. I also thought only dogs were loyal, faithful and brainy animals.

But after meeting Geeta, I changed my opinion. Hunny Bunny belongs to her family which includes, besides Geeta, her husband, her son and daughter.

Geeta is a housewife. Her husband is a high bank official. Her son has completed his MBBS from the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College. He has been a brilliant student all through and was a gold medalist at Olympia competition. A sweet natured boy who is naughty and always laughing.

His sister is a quiet gentle soul who is a bank employee. Hunny Bunny considers her master and is highly possessive about her. In winters, Hunny Bunny gets in to her quilt silently without disturbing her. At night, even if her father wants to enter her room, Hunny Bunny could bite him.

You will not believe that rabbits can be aggressive also. But it is true. When Hunny Bunny is angry, it makes growling sounds. Distressed noises in rabbits include a loud yelping or squealing, or even screaming.

Although they are cute, rabbits are not good pets for children. We must remember they are prey animals and to be lifted off the floor indicates what a predator would do in the wild after they have captured them. So understandably, that is why it can be so terrifying for some bunnies.

Rabbits do not have flexible bones like cats, so improper handling can cause injuries. It’s a myth that rabbits only love eating green vegetables. Of course, they love greens like carrots, but otherwise are happy with normal vegetarian food. When dry fruits are kept before God in house temple as offerings, Hunny Bunny would quietly go, pick up an almond, come to drawing room, sit on his chair and enjoy nibbling at it.

Hunny Bunny never dirties the house and follows toilet training rules using corner reserved for it in bathroom. All this looks surprising but is true.

I am 78 years now but have never heard of a Rabbit, so well trained. Rabbits are great companions, especially when they have the freedom and opportunity to show their wonderful personalities.

To express happiness, bunnies will sometimes jump around and flick their heads and feet. That adorable behavior is known as a “binky.” Like deer, a female rabbit is called a “doe” and a male rabbit is called a “buck.”

Hunny Bunny's big ears aren’t just for listening! They also help regulate the rabbit’s body temperatures. The ears’ blood vessels swell when it’s hot outside, and contract when it’s cold.

AND those amazing ears can also be rotated almost a full circle to 270 degrees.

To some, rabbits might seem like quiet pets, but they’re actually capable of making a lot of sounds, including growling, screeching, chattering their teeth, and even honking softly!

Rabbits can hop and jump! In fact, rabbits can jump to impressive heights and distances. A little over 3 feet high and a whopping 10 feet long!

Bunnies have an average lifespan of five to 10 years. Because their eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads, bunnies can see an almost perfect 360 degrees. In the wild, this helps them know when a predator is nearby. There is one blind spot is right in front of their little twitchy noses! How funny is that?


When I was a small child, about 8 years old, I used to go with my friends to play in Lodhi Gardens. Early in the morning, I vividly remember a big strong man, about 6 feet 4 inches tall, would come everyday with a Tiger on leash. Nobody would dare go near him. The dogs would bark furiously at the tiger but would stay at a safe distance. This memory has never left me, and Tiger, definitely is another unusual pet I have seen in my lifetime.

In the 1960s, when my wife Uma was studying in Intercollege in Roorkee, she also remembers a pet tiger that used to be tied and kept on the rooftop of her grandparents rented house (Jamna Bhawan). The owner of the pet was also called Shera, synonymous to the Tiger pet they kept.

The Squirrel

Another unusual pet I have seen is a squirrel. There was this airhostess in our locality where we used to live in our very young times. She was my wife's friend. She kept a squirrel as pet in her blouse. She would call out to the squirrel to feed her who would climb out of the blouse, on to her shoulder and then climb down her arm to feed on the milk or nuts that she would feed her. It was fascinating how much the squirrel understood all her commands.

The Crocodile

I also know of a tailor near our place who had a small crocodile in his house. I also know that he kept a tortoise in his house with the crocodile.

These are the five unusual pets I have seen in my lifetime.

If you are interested in pets and unusual ones at that, pls read the story in the link below about unusual pets. When most people say they have a pet, your mind will jump to the obvious contenders: dogs, cats, birds, fish, maybe a rabbit or guinea pig.

For a few select people, however, when they refer to their “pet”, they are talking about their tiger, their warthog, and their baby hippo. To celebrate our animal companions, we’re taking a look at some of the more unusual pets and the special ways they’re being cared for.

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