"Pets are people too!"
That's what nine-year-old Kaleb Mohammed wants the country to know.
The standard three student of Maria Regina Primary School, in Port of Spain, is an animal rights activist. He is the only child of his parents and lives with his mom in St Joseph.
Kaleb spends most of his free time volunteering at various animal shelters across TT. Asked why he's so fond of animals, he said, "Everything about animals is cool. They're just so interesting.
"Animals deserve love, care, food and water just like humans do."
He gets his love for animals from his mom Tisha who works at the TT Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals. When it comes to meeting and interacting with new animals, he is fearless. Newsday Kids visited Kaleb at his grandparents' home in El Socorro where Kaleb got to meet a capybara – a furry rodent – for the first time. When he entered the enclosure his instincts took over and he started petting and playing with the animal.
During the interview, Kaleb got to hold a chicken that his grandparents’ neighbour is raising.
Asked how it felt to hold a chicken for the first time, he said, “I don’t know how to describe it, it felt like a chicken.”
Throughout the interview with Newsday Kids, Kaleb was full of energy and excited to interact with the animals around him.
Kaleb's favourite animal is the tiger because of how cool and fierce it is.
"I got to meet the tigers at the zoo once, they didn't really do anything but it was still really cool to meet them."
Kaleb has fed and played with more animals than he can remember. Some of his most memorable animal interactions include snakes and horses at the Samsara Nature Park in Penal.
At his home, he has four cats: Pumpkin, Cali, Toffee and Bella whom he takes care of.
"I chose cats as pets because they are easy to take care of and they can give lots of love."
When it comes to school, he was happy to have an extra day before having to return to in-person classes.
"My favourite subject is lunch because that's when we have no work to do and I get to play."
Asked about his least favourite subject he said, “I don’t really like creative writing because I don’t like writing paragraphs.”
When Kaleb isn’t caring for his animals he spends his time playing video games. His favourite video game is Minecraft where he plays in creative mode and has made over 360 different worlds. “I’ve made so many animals in Minecraft, I really don’t even know how many but it’s a lot.”
Asked why he likes to play in creative mode, he said, “I like playing in the creative mode because you get infinite supplies and you can just make whatever you want.”
When it comes to his career, Kaleb wants to be a YouTuber.
“My cousin and I are starting to make YouTube channels. We will have different channels for different things, and one of them will be just for animals.”