She’s five (“and a half!” she’ll tell you) and Swimmy the Beta-fish quelled her pleas for a pet of her own for approximately two days. We already have three cats (mutants from the same litter–I am a cat-lover, but these cats are just not right). But each of my three boys has his own cat (all females, despite their names: Roy, Chestnut and Smokey). She wants her very own pet, preferably something cuddly. You can’t cuddle a fish.
When I was her age, I was desperate for a pet, too. I begged for a puppy and to my utter shock, a little black ball of fur wriggled out of a Christmas-wrapped box. I pleaded for a hamster–I really just wanted the Habitrail, because all my girlfriends had one–and I received two hamsters in a stinky wooden cage that was impossible to clean. I had guppies. My black puppy disappeared one day while I was gone at school (my mother had a new baby and the dog had to go, I guess) and a few years later, I received another dog, a Miniature Schnauzer named Mitzi.
So, I get the longing for pets.
And I secretly think that guinea pigs are so cute. (We pig-sat the fourth-grade guinea pig one weekend.)
My daughter cannot stop asking me to go to the pet store. I keep telling her, “No, I’m not taking you to the pet store.” I rue the day her daddy took her into the local Petco while we were waiting to be seated at Red Robin. That’s what rekindled this whole thing.
I purchased a small-creature cage at a garage sale a few years ago. The price was excellent and the cage was brand new (with accessories). I foresaw this day. Because that’s what moms do: see the future.
But we are not going to the pet store. Not yet.
My daughter said to me, “Mom, don’t you understand how important this is to me?”
Oh, I do. I really do. But three cats might eat a rat. And while little white mice are cute, I don’t want them lose in the heating vents. Hamsters sleep all day and make noise all night.
She will continue to lobby . . . and I will resist until I can resist no longer. I hope that day is distant.