You’ve got to worry about the pet horoscope people

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A worthy alternative to roasties?

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Readers of my column will have previously read my views about the two pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, currently residing at Edinburgh Zoo.

So naturally I was interested when the second instalment featuring our furry friends made more headlines last week.

This time the excitement was about the 36-hour mating window in which the female panda could get pregnant. But alas, this is something we could not see.

I’m not saying that seeing pandas mate is something we would all rush to watch, but turning off the panda cam and viewing galleries in order to protect their privacy was mad.

Imagine Tian Tian saying to Yang Guang: ‘Not tonight love, there are thousands of people looking on the webcam and I’ve seen a few shifty looking men in long raincoats staring in through the viewing gallery.’

Ridiculous! Pandas don’t get embarrassed, they don’t all of a sudden turn shy because the cameras are on.

They’re not humans. They are animals. Anyone who has been to Monkey World will know that animals have no problem performing in public. And I’m sure at one time or another most of us have had to fend of the amorous advances of an excited Jack Russell.

But possibly the most bewildering piece of news to come from the story this time around, is that the astrologers have been rolled out to give their views.

I’m not talking Mystic Meg or even Russell Grant. They brought out the big guns here, the UK’s only pet astrologer, Fiona Celeste.

Fiona helpfully informed us that the pandas are both fire signs, meaning that they are both likely to be loyal and that’s a good combination. Thanks Fiona.

Apparently Fiona, conveniently living in Edinburgh, has 100 animals on her books with their owners paying £30 a pop. I’m in the wrong game clearly.

Fiona says: ‘I know some people think I’m bonkers, but horoscopes are a great way for owners to get closer to their animals.’

Bonkers yes, but not as bonkers as the owners of these animals who pay to know that Hammy the Hamster is an air sign and therefore will have no problems settling into a house with a labradoodle.