My first encounter with animals was in Alor Akar, Kuantan way back in 1961. They were not as pets though. They were more as food for a small hunter or trapper like me.
The first were Yellow-vented bulbuls (merbah). Uncle Mat Saman (my father's colleague) brought me along during his trapping trips to birds' natural bathing area in the jungle nearby.
We used a special natural glue made of jack-fruit (nangka) sap among others, pasted onto long bamboo skewers which were then placed near the pond where bulbuls frequented.
The birds would get themselves stuck to the bamboo skewers as they landed on them.
It was very uncommon sight for us two bringing a pail full of birds at the end of such trips.
Most of the time it was my duty to process the birds. By processing I mean defeathering, degutting and getting them ready for deep frying.
I enjoyed what I did. The delicious finger-licking fried bulbuls were unforgettable.
Then there were the mousedeer (kancil or pelanduk). We caught them using traps. As bait we used the shoots of a jungle tree (red in colour). Passing mousedeer would never miss it for anything - thet was why our traps were never empty.
It was the skin of these mousedeer that was special to me. Properly prepared, they tasted very good, even better than the shark-fin!