English translation by Eric Major —
Today, pets are commonly considered part of the family. And at Natalia’s house, it’s no different. She has a small collection of pets and tells us that “when they are well, the whole house flows well.”
FOR NATALIA AND HER PARENTS, THE PUPPY JIMMY, THE COCKATIEL PRI AND THE RUDDY GROUND DOVE RABU GO FAR BEYOND BEING JUST PETS. THEY ARE A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF OUR LIVES.
Natalia Flora de Moura is my 23-year-old Pilates teacher. The chats during the classes are always varied and encourage us to do the exercises. And it was during one of those moments that the conversation about the importance of pets in our lives came up.
Two of the class members, a very young couple, said they were part of the cat lovers’ group. I, for living with three little pinschers, said loud and clear “I am a dog girl”. But Natalia was silent, just thinking about it. It was beautiful to see, how, after some thought, she told us, with her eyes shining:
“AT HOME, MY FATHER, MOTHER, MYSELF, JIMMY, PRI AND RABU ARE ALL FAMILY.” (natalia fm)
Okay, there was the click for an interesting article. What a delight it was to do this interview! So, I invite you to read it, to get to know the sweetness of this mixed family – made up of humans and pets. Is this also your case?
ALL PASSION, ALL PETS – ANA C INTERVIEWS NATALIA FLORA de moura
Ana C – Everyone in your house is very fond of animals. And you have a small collection of pets that are part of the family already. So how many are in the family photo?
Natalia FM – Here at home, it’s me, my father, my mother and the pets. We have a puppy, Jimmy, 16 years old, and a cockatiel, Pri, more or less 3 years old. We also had a ruddy ground dove, Rabu, who unfortunately passed away a few months ago. We miss him dearly.
Ana C – Here in Brazil, Belo Horizonte, we are lucky enough to hear many birds because of the trees all over the city. The parrots are festive. They fly, scream, and make themselves noticed. But the doves, no. They are shy. How did Rabu come into your life?
Natalia FM – My mother found Rabu, the ruddy ground dove, lying in the street. He was still a chick and was only partially feathered with an injured wing. Perhaps, he was even thrown out of the nest by his parents. Or a cat tried to hunt him. We do not know for sure. But my mother couldn’t bear to follow nature’s ways and so she brought him home.
“MY MOTHER FED RABU WHEN HE WAS JUST A BABY RUDDY GROUND DOVE. SHE CARED FOR IT, PETTED IT, AND NAMED IT. RABU STAYED WITH US IN THE FAMILY FOR A YEAR.“ (natalia FM)
Ana C – And Pri, the cockatiel? What’s his story?
Natalia FM – Pri was born at our house. He is the offspring of a couple of cockatiels that belonged to my grandmother. But he was rejected by his mother right after birth. So, we started treating him with baby food and a lot of attention. He is very attached to my father. But his passion is really Jimmy, our dog. Pri is always following him around, and they make a nice pair around the house.
“PRI SINGS A LOT DURING THE DAY AND LOVES TO LISTEN TO A CHAT. SO, AS SOON AS WE GET HOME, HE MAKES A LOT OF NOISE, LOOKING FOR ATTENTION, AND WANTING TO BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION.“ (natalia fm)
Ana C – We all always have a favourite, right? Which one is yours?
Natalia FM – My favourite is certainly Jimmy. He is already 16 years old and arrived as a puppy. I was less than 10 years old when he came to live with us.
I’m an only child and playing with Jimmy after school was pure bliss. Also, it was very important to me. I always enjoyed playing with him. He is very cute and still active. He really doesn’t like to be alone and when we go out, he wants to go with us. So, for him not to be alone, he is always with me or with my parents.
Ana C – So, he’s the type of puppy that thinks he’s human?
Natalia FM – Absolutely! But he has a way that is very much his own. He doesn’t like other animals very much and is very jealous.
“HE DOESN’T EVEN WANT TO HAVE MUCH CONTACT WITH OTHER DOGS! HIS PACK IS US (LOL). HE IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE HOUSEHOLD.” (natalia FM)
Jimmy has his own bed, but he doesn’t sleep all night there, no. He moves between the rooms and sleeps a little with each one. He sleeps with me and with my parents. But at night, Jimmy only sleeps after my dad gives him a dog biscuit. It’s like a goodnight kiss.
Ana C – And the cockatiel, Pri, doesn’t it make too much noise for those who live in an apartment?
Natalia FM – We never had any complaints. Neither Pri nor Jimmy. Many neighbours also have their own pets. And even those who don’t, I realize they don’t care. But, when it comes to children, we always pay attention to supervision, so as not to cause problems. In addition to being very jealous, Jimmy is not used to children. So, we take great care that no child approaches him or hugs him abruptly. Because you never know how Jimmy is going to react.
Ana C – Any funny stories involving Jimmy?
Natalia FM – Yes. Lots of funny things have happened. But there’s one I want to tell you. One day, my mother was walking with him in the street, and she ran into some friends.
As the conversation was good, they sat there on the curb, on the very edge of the sidewalk, to talk. It’s like what we do here in Brazil when the street is small and calm. But Jimmy was getting tired of that never-ending conversation. He was getting restless, feeling that the walk was taking too long.
Hence, he had no other option. He lifted his little paw and simply peed on my mother’s back. Of course, on the way back home, he heard all my mother’s complaints. But he got what he wanted!
“JIMMY AND PRI ARE PART OF THE FAMILY. THEY ARE NO LONGER JUST DOMESTIC ANIMALS. THEY ARE A VERY IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD AND THAT IS WHY EVERYTHING IN OUR ROUTINE IS THOUGHT OF IN RELATION TO THEM.” (Natalia FM)
So much so, that since Jimmy came to us, my father, mother, and I have never travelled together again. One of the three of us always stays at home. Even having other people who could take care of them, we don’t like them to be without the presence of one of us.
When we moved into this apartment, we assessed whether they could have their own space and feel comfortable. Because they are part of the family and important to us. So, if they’re good, the whole house flows well.
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