During the course of researching the working life behind the frontage of this week's glorious Bristol shopping experience, I did what the vast majority of modern shoppers do: checked out the shop's Facebook page, and clicked "Like" to keep ahead of the most recent news.
A couple of days later, a post appeared amongst the usual tide of party pics, gossip and events in my timeline that made my technology-hardened heart melt: "Special Bundle Offer for Starter Pack for Horsefield Tortoise! Includes tortoise, tortoise table, basking lamp and holder, UVA light, food dish and water dish. Available now!"
Few of us can't recall the days when, as a nine, ten or 11-year-old (the average age, according to the PDSA, that a child's wish can be taken seriously) we craved a pet of our own; who didn't make the plea "oh, pleeease can I have one?"
Step into Rogers Pets in real life, and those memories – and similar familiar urges – are sure to hit again. But would an African grey parrot really get on with my beloved cat?
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If anybody can answer that question, Robert Rogers can. This modern-day Dr Dolittle (who actually does rather a lot!) established Rogers Pets in 1983, when he originally opened a fruit and veg shop with a small area dedicated to pets, specifically birds bred and raised by him.
"I discontinued the fruit and veg side of the business In 1998 to concentrate on what I really like to do best," says Bob. "Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength. We sell a vast range of all kinds of pets and pet products – if we haven't got what you're looking for, we can get it for you. But really, we're best known for our birds."
And if you weren't aware that Rogers Pets is an epicentre for the bird-brained, its USP comes across loud and clear the moment you step through the door to be greeted by all manner of colourful creatures from jewel-coloured Kakarikies to super-sweet love birds by way of the enduringly popular, playful budgerigars and, of course, those gentle, elegant African greys singing out loud and clear, resulting in a fascinating, captivating chorus of domesticated wildlife.
There are tortoises too and, if you're lucky, plenty of other furry little things guaranteed to make you go "aaaah", and reptiles that may make some go "eek!". But as we're all well aware, pets are for life, not just for swooning over and taking home on a whim – and this is where Bob's expertise really comes to the fore.
If you think you'll walk out of Rogers Pets with a new-found feathered friend in under five minutes, think again – this is most definitely not a one-stop shop for those who act on impulse. Caring properly for a bird can be trickier than caring for more traditional domestic pets; each has it's own unique, specific needs, from housing to feeding and exercise – did you know, for example, that birds that live exclusively in a cage will need a space of three times their wing span as an absolute minimum? Bob does – and he'll make sure that every potential new bird owner does, too.
"We develop a very strong relationship with our customers," he says. "We offer a friendly service, and appeal to a varied range of people, from those who feed the birds in the garden to pigeon racers, professional breeders and children caring for hamsters and rabbits."
And, during the current financial crisis, Rogers Pets ensures that our non-human family members don't have to shoulder the burden of the credit crunch. "We've remained consistent in keeping our prices very competitive," says Bob.
Paying less for necessities such as the right feed and the various vital accessories (housing, bedding and more) required to ensure a tip-top home life for your pet means that there's always a bit of extra in the budget to take a little treat home too.
Ah yes, my beloved cat loved that catnip; the idea of sharing her home with an African grey, however, is yet to be discussed.
Rogers Pets 18 Gloucester Road, Filton, Bristol BS7 0SF. 0117 979 0082 / www.rogers-pets.co.uk.