Cats make me sneeze. I'm scared of most dogs. When once I woke up in a German train and saw a rat on the shoulder of the man opposite, I didn't find it cute. Rabbits glare at me like devil-kin, mice eat their babies.
Birds I like. Mostly, I like the way they sing happily way up in the trees and require no handling.
So it's hard to know how I ended up as the full-time carer of a guinea pig who won't eat and has the vet baffled.
It's sort of like having a baby, only even less convenient. This baby gets syringe fed every three hours, likes to watch TV - Downton Abbey is a particular favourite - and lives for snuggles.
I'm resigned. It's just one of life's little surprises I guess.
Staying home with the guinea pig for a whole month makes home schooling look thrilling. I've been excited out of all proportion at the discovery of Galore Park's 'So You Want To Learn' series and starting to plan for next year, Yoshi's 5th grade.
Like the rest of the reading world, I've got a thing for Scandi crime fiction. I managed to sneak in a few hours reading last night - Mari Jungstedt's The Double Silence. Not bad for whiling away a Saturday night. The translation was hokey in parts but the crime, which takes place during an Ingmar Bergman film festival on the island of Faro, was engrossing enough.
Yoshi and I had a read-aloud dilemma, having finished the entire Harry Potter series AND The Mysterious Benedict Society books, both of which he loved.
We're reading Emil and the Three Twins at the moment, which is incredibly old fashioned but has scenes of delightful things like children reading Goethe.
Before the day became too hot, we visited the book store and found Joan Aitken's trilogy, beginning with Go Saddle the Sea. If we like this one we're set for a little while.