Another issue I didn't think of in context to religion; dogs vs cats.
the puppy from diypuppytraining.com
Equally adorable right? The difference is that in Islam if a dog licks a Muslim, he must immediately go and wash thoroughly. This means that few people here have dogs. There are a few street dogs (though vastly outnumbered by cats, rats and automobiles). The street dogs are treated horribly. People stop at them, yell and throw things. The dogs live in general misery and fear. Even for dog lovers like myself, the dogs will not approach. If they're lucky, they find other dogs to pack up with which increases the chance of survival and quality of life marginally.
Cats on the other hand are absolutely freaking everywhere. They are great protection against the rats, if they are bigger than the rats which isn't always. They're the best thing I've seen against cockroaches since the roaches are bigger than the lizards here. The cats are particularly friendly in general but are harmless. They tend to scatter quickly and avoid people but will mill about if there's food.
The cats and dogs will break your heart equally. Neither species get spayed/neutered so babies abound. There is a momma dog just outside my kost (boarding house). When I first moved in there were two puppies with her, about 6 months old. I was told one had been hit an killed just two weeks prior and one had died at birth. Of the remaining two, one must have been hit last week because it disappeared. Then this week the other one has vanished. I'm trying semi-successfully to convince myself that someone adopted them, or took them to their village. I was convinced that momma dog was in mourning until yesterday. As I walked out to catch my ojek to work, I saw a mass of about 5 little tiny puppies. It's either this momma dog or one other that roams nearby. I'm mustering all my will not to bring one home. I had a disastrous incident with a kitten in my second month here that wrecked me emotionally. As much as I've always been an adopter, I have to fight that urge here.
I used the term pets, but so far I've really been talking about street animals. From what I can tell in student surveys, most kids have hamsters, birds, fish or turtles. Turtles seem to be neck and neck with the hamster as the favorite pet which surprised me since in the States people always talk says that turtles bring more disease than other pets ("Salmonella!!!")
Upon examining this blog post in the preview, I've decided to move the third P to a separate post but leave the title of this as is. As a request, I'd like some feedback now that I've put up a few posts. Are more shorter posts better? Longer posts but less often? Is anyone out there?