Before she became one of Singapore’s leading dermatologists, Dr Patricia Yuen role-played physician with the menagerie of creatures — dogs, cats, rabbits, roosters, fishes, turtles — her father kept at home.
She’s now helping SPCA raise funds for its new community animal clinic. But whenever she seeks a respite, she knows her pet lovebird Matcha is at home, ready to entertain.
“Growing up, I only had big dogs like German shepherds and Rottweilers. But 20 years ago, I had my first Jack Russell — and I’ve had four since. Pan Pan is a Parson Russell Terrier that I brought back from a trip to Wales. He’s only one-and-a-half years old but is full of character. My son Quentin loves wrestling him!”
“I adopted Matcha in August 2017 when he was several months old. My friend had bought him for his daughter but she left for further studies a few months after. I’m entertained by Matcha every day in so many ways; he hops onto my finger and nudges it, and he loves following me around the house while perched on my shoulder. Oh, that’s his favourite place to be!”
“Matcha is very demanding of my time. I need to spend at least an hour with him a day. He gets so excited when he hears my footsteps and tries to get my attention by banging on his food bowl. I love him so much but because he’s so delicate, I can’t squeeze him like I do Pan Pan. I can only give him gentle massages behind his ears and baby kisses on his head.”
“I’d bought Wasabi as a Christmas present for Matcha because I thought lovebirds needed company. As it turns out, Matcha became jealous. So I had to separate them. Both birds spend the morning in the garden (to boost vitamin D!), after which they spend the rest of the day relaxing on the patio.”
This story first appeared in the April 2020 issue of A Magazine.