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It would seem that all the creatures currently in residence at The Mom’s are suffering from a bit of jealousy. I believe that this is not just something that the pets feel, but something that we all feel, from time to time.

She’s a popular lady, The Mom. I remember many times, particularly as children, but often as adults masquerading as children, when my siblings and I have vied for her attention too. It’s because we all know that The Mom is the absolute top of the pecking order and that she is the one we need to impress above all others.

Thing is though, we children have been usurped buy all the dogs traipsing in and out of the house. As in, we realise we’ve been demoted several notches and that really, The Mom is much more interested, in some but not all, ways with the dogs. I can see where she’s going with that, the dogs are – Pig aside – better behaved, nicer and have longer attention spans than the rest of us. So while there is a certain amount of jealousy between the ranking of the dogs, what The Mom has forgotten is that there is jealousy amongst the rest of us too.

Particularly myself.

As the only other human resident in The Mom’s house for a year-and-a half, I had her undivided attention for the most part. I did have to compete with Newton the parakeet and Poochie, but they were quite generous and we all had our time with The Mom. And they were better at sharing, in fact, I recall many a fine evening spent, the four of us, huddled up in The Nest.

We’d finish dinner, which during my tenure lasted from 6 – 7pm, which was when The Mom and I chatted or argued or debated newsworthy items. If it was a slow news day, then I would put on a silly voice for Newton and as he limped around the table eating from everyone’s plate but his own, would imagine some kind of ridiculous scenario that more often than not had us in stitches.

The Mom would at some point get tired with waiting for me to finish the bowl of rice or soup I was trying to eat (remember, I lived with her during a miserable Crohn’s flare so it was reasonable that it took me an hour to eat a bowl of steamed rice), go to the sink, tidy up the dishes and then get an orange from the fruit bowl on the side.

We all knew that the orange signaled it was time for A Nest. We’d put the lights out in the kitchen, tell Newton to Go to the light, and he’d fly up to his spot at the end of her bed. Me, Poochie and The Mom would follow. Then all of us would get into the bed and The Nest could commence.

We’d watch a bit of Wolf on CNN, and The Mom would read the stack of newspapers she hadn’t yet got through, and sometimes Newton would help, though he’d just shred the papers so I’m not sure how helpful this was. Poochie would lie at The Mom’s feet, I’d sit beside her and Newton would man the helm of the ship, as it were.

And we’d all happily watch some rubbish TV, which was generally chosen for its soft music and mood lighting – Newton favoured what we came to call ‘Women’s Films’ and so we watched a lot of rom-coms. Not my usual fare, movie-wise, but it was easier than trying to calm him down if we watched an action movie with a lot of jump cuts and threatening music.

Everyone would be happy to have his or her bit of The Mom’s Nest and when The Mom had fallen asleep, or I had, or everyone had, I’d troop off to bed, Newton would get put into his submarine (a hamster bucket that was the only place he could sleep with totally crippled feet) and Poochie would retire to the floor.

Easy. No fighting or grumbling. No jealousy whatsoever. But this new regime is a strange one, everyone vying for The Mom’s attention. No one willing to give a little.

Now when I go home, I ‘m not allowed to eat the soup, the rice on the stove is full of fiber and thus not for me, and there’s no room in The Nest anymore because The Pig doesn’t like to share and quite frankly Mrs Beeton isn’t too keen on it either.

I never thought I’d actually miss the days of sharing, but there you are.

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