Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published May 19th 2014
Eek, Shriek, Bubble, and Squeak
Creature Company, Wimbledon, The Broadway
Walking along The Broadway on Friday, I noticed that something looked different. But what? I couldn't put my finger on it. All the shops were there: CEX, Casa Nostra, Cancer Research, FARA, Creature Company - hang on a minute. What happened to the big dark green sign and overreaching red shop canvas?
In its place, I was faced with a friendly sky blue spanking new logo. That wasn't the only change; the shop windows now features animal illustrated cardboard cut-outs, colourful displays, and even a bowl of water on the pavement to quench the first of any patient pup waiting outside. No doubt about it, Creature Company had undergone refurbishment.
As the grandson of a farmer, Sebastian loved animals from the start, and it was always his dream to own a pet shop. With degrees in agriculture and business, he trained as a dairy farmer, worked for a cheese company, and was an intern for numerous pet shops. Finally, Sebastian achieved his dream of owning his own pet shop, and the Creature Company Pet Emporium has now been a familiar feature in Wimbledon for the past twenty or so years. It is where I bought Speedie the guinea pig when I was nine, it was my faux rival when I started my own pseudo pet shop for Business Studies coursework, and on a more general basis, Creature Company has provided all my pet's food for the last seventeen years.
During that time, I think the shop has improved enormously, and this refurbishment only adds another tick in the box. A number of years ago, I might not have felt confident about asking the staff about a pet care questions; sometimes it felt that hey were just there to serve as a cashier, and weren't necessarily knowledgeable about all the animals they cater for. All that's changed now. Every member of staff loves animals, own at least one pet each, and all have qualifications in the industry. Their new uniforms just adds to that assurance. The staff all have personalised t-shirts, and by personalised, I don't mean a name tag. On the back of each shirt is a different phrase that let's you know which animals they specialise in, for example, the lady that served me had a shirt that read 'I love all animals small and furry', while a man dealing with another customer had 'I like bubbles and squeak best'.
Stepping inside, I was interested to see what had changed, and was very pleased with its new look. The floor is now much more spacious, bright, and everything is easier to reach and find.
On the left is a Pet Hotel, where you can leave your pets while going on holiday. Accommodation is between £2.99-£5.99 per day, and they take hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, degus, chinchillas, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, and ferrets.
Although they do not sell cats and dogs, Creature Company provides everything you need to look after them, including toys, veterinary approved food, and medicated treatments.
One of the newest brands they stock is Animology, who make award winning shampoos. These shampoos are designed for specific purposes, such as removing fecal matter, producing a glossy black coat, or looking after sensitive skin.
In the corner is a table displaying doggy treats, which you can scoop into a bag a bit like sweets in a pick n' mix. Since even I was tempted, I can only imagine how much a dog will enjoy them.
A new feature is Creature Company's dog grooming service. After many owners had enquired about a pet grooming service in Wimbledon, they decided to open one back of house. Creature Company also does a salon service for small animals, which includes nail clipping. Soon, they hope to open a cat grooming service as well.
In the second section of the shop, you can buy supplies for rodents, cavies, fish, and reptiles. I bought my regular supply of Guinea Pig Excel and a new snack product by Burgess.
If you don't have pets, but like to feed the local wildlife, you can also get badge, fox, and hedgehog food. I know this is a controversial subject, but I don't have a problem with people feeding wildlife in their back garden.
First find your chameleon.
All these products are wonderful, but there is not much point in getting them unless you have a pet to match. At Creature Company there is something for everyone, including some exotic pets, such as turtles, snakes, geckos, and chameleons. If you want a chameleon, your first job will be to find it. Everyone in the shop was staring inside the cage for ages.
Whenever I go into the shop, I always have to see the guinea pigs and rabbits. It is an essential part of the trip. On Friday my heart melted over a baby guinea pig that was so small it almost had to climb into its bowl to reach it food, and a tortoise shell lop bunny.
There was also the most adorable white rabbit, that one of the staff took out of its cage for cuddle training. The more animals are handled when they are young, the better they will interact with humans as adults, so this is an important - and highly pleasurable part of the job.
Whether you are a pet owner, pet seeker, or just an animal lover, the Creature Company is the pet emporium of choice.