'That Reminds Me' - Pets & Animals

It isn’t only people and places which feature in our memories. So this week we are going to focus on the animals that have had a special part in our lives.

Here are some of the ActivLives staff pets!  Please send photos of your pets in, we’d love to see them!

Julie’s cat Billy

Julie’s cat BJ

Is there a particular pet that you recall as you were growing up? It might have been your own, or it might have belonged to another family member or friend.

What about your very first pet? If you weren’t lucky enough to have a cat or a dog, perhaps you started with something like a guinea pig or a rabbit? Or it might have been a budgie or a goldfish (quite possibly won at a fair). Going smaller still, I seem to recall a time when every child in my class seemed to want to keep stick insects!

Going in the other direction, you might have had a horse or pony – or spent hours at the local riding stables wishing you did.

What is the most unusual or exotic pet you have ever encountered (or kept)? Lizards, snakes, parrots, giant snails?

How about pet names? These are always fun. I once worked with a woman who kindly adopted a cat called Tarzan, which was too old to re-name. She was always faintly embarrassed about calling it in!

The recent lockdown hasn’t only highlighted the existing role of pets in many people’s lives.  Home confinement and changes to working lives has encouraged others to want to embark on pet ownership, perhaps for the first time.   All sorts of other wildlife has also been drawn to our attention, with the respite in traffic noise helping us to hear birdsong and the buzzing of bees, while emboldened foxes wander through gardens in broad daylight. If something of this nature has lifted your spirits recently, we’d love to hear your story.

Maybe you were always an avid amateur naturalist? In which case, what birds, insects or other creatures captured your attention, or were your favourites?

Perhaps you grew up on a farm or remember a time when people kept rabbits and chickens in their back gardens, not as pets but as a food source?

As always, do look out any photographs or other mementoes of the animals in your life – and add them to you scrapbook or memory box.

For extended fun, spend some time remembering films, cartoons, stories, songs or nursery rhymes about animals that you have enjoyed. Who remembers Bambi (tissue alert) or the original 101 Dalmatians?  What about TV’s Top Cat or the Spotty Dog in “The Woodentops”? How long before you start singing “Nelly the Elephant”, “Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow Wow”, or “Eye of the Tiger”?

Julie’s cat Spike

Sam’s cat Ella

YOUR CHALLENGE (Should you choose to accept it…)

This week is to MAKE or CREATE something to do with animals!

It can be anything you like. Something really simple or something really elaborate, if you have the skills. Let your imaginations run wild. Whatever you do, please send us a picture.

Some other ideas:

  • A toy (of an animal)
  • Something for a pet (to wear or to play with)
  • A drawing or painting (engage with your inner child and see what you can do with finger or thumb prints)
  • A collage of photographs or pictures (my example is a hastily assembled commemorative display featuring a much-loved family pet which died just before lockdown and just shy of her 20th birthday – take a look >>>)
  • A leopard-print face mask to wear on the bus!


    Send us photos of your pets or what you make via the button below – we’d love to see them!

Here are some photos sent to us from members – with pets all shape and size!

Send us your photos, as we’d love to see your furry family members!

If you have anything you’d like to share with us, and are happy for us to post onto this page, and our social media pages – please email them over to sam@activlives.org.uk.

We’d love to hear from you, and make this a fun community activity with loads of people taking part and sharing their stories, photos, comics – and anything else!


Have a go at this animal themed quiz!


  1. What long-running BBC TV series about a veterinary practice shared its name with the line from a hymn?
  2. Which animals have babies called crias?
  3. Who originally recorded “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh…?)
  4. Who wrote “My Family and Other Animals”?
  5. Where is there a much loved statue of a little dog called Snooks (local knowledge an advantage)
  6. What is the name and breed of cartoon character Tintin’s dog?

Answers to last weeks quiz:

1. Dixon of Dock Green was a policeman

2. Captain Mainwaring was a bank manager

3. Mr Chips was a school teacher

4. Clark Kent worked as a journalist when he wasn’t busy being Superman

5. Mary Poppins was a children’s nanny

6. Ross in “Friends” was a palaeontologist, initially working at a New York museum and later as a university professor

7. The eponymous hedgehog in Beatrix Potter’s Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle was a washerwoman

8. Jane Eyre was a Governess

9. Popeye was a sailor

    You can support us by making a donation:


    Donate through Give as you Live Donate

    ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.