Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When Are Kids Old Enough to Have a Pet?

We don’t have a pet. Sweetie the hamster died about a year ago, and the Grow-a-Frog died (after a very short life) this summer. Getting a dog freaks me out and here’s why.

I would have to pick up poop. I would have to feed and water the dog. I would have to remember to get it shots and tags. I would have to rearrange our lives and race it to the vet if it got sick. And if it got REALLY sick, there goes our modest savings account.

“But your kids are old enough to help,” you say. Sure, but WILL THEY? Without constant hounding, I mean. It would clearly be up to ME to keep the thing alive. I have FOUR people to keep alive on a daily basis plus myself. That’s plenty for now.

And if you’re wondering why I’m such a curmudgeon, let me give you my pet history. I had the requisite dogs and cats growing up, and they were lovely. I got to see cats make babies and the babies being born. When I was older, I had about 3 cats of my own, then a few babies came out of that. I had about 5 cats sleeping around my head on any given night. And I loved it.

I picked up a stray cat one night at a gas station, and Aron let me keep it at his apartment. She was a schizoid cat. Later, in searching for Aron’s lost male cat, we got another cat. They were fine until we started having kids. The schizoid girl crapped all over the place. They both scratched up the furniture. Joel ate their cat food and played in their cat box. It became a problem.

So I know what hard work pets are. Who do you think cleaned Sweetie the hamster’s cage, maggots in the summer and all? Kept her fed and watered? Played with her? Carried her in a tiny sling while I did dishes?

If my kids were pets, Joel would be a Chihuahua. Michael would be a turtle. Callie would be a Siamese cat. Eva would be a bunny rabbit.

1 comment:

  1. tiny sling so you can do the dishes? HA! So clever!


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