This is one of my friend Henrietta’s two new Russian Hamsters. He’s either called Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, depending on which one he is. My hamster recognition skills aren’t terribly good. He’s still very cute, whatever his name is.
I looked up the etymology of “hurricane” the other day and discovered that it’s an old Carib word meaning “evil spirit”. Who were the Caribs? Well, they lived in Guadeloupe and were portrayed by Columbus as cannibals. But they were in fact a friendly bunch and used to place pineapples outside their villages as a sign of welcome. They’re also responsible for the words “Caribbean” (obviously), “hammock” and “iguana”.
Here are some photos of my friends’ pets. If your pet’s not here, please send me a photo. This is my cat Bollinger’s sister Tigger who lives in Oxford. She’s with her kittens who were born in Danny and Viv’s kitchen while I was there having a cup of tea. Tigger looked more surprised than we were, but was a very good mother. Boll babysat one of the kittens one day but wasn’t a very good aunt and chased him into the litter tray.
Sue and Chris’s cat Monty, from Wymondham in Norfolk. Monty is fifteen and used to live with me in Cambridge. He particularly likes my mum’s fruit cake. If you’d like to see my mum’s fruit cake, check out the Radio 4 Home Truths Website and scroll down the cake-sharing page for a photograph of it.