My daughter, the Lobbyist

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.

12 thoughts on “My daughter, the Lobbyist

  1. We’ve had our guinea pig for over a month now. He IS a real cutie. I know you’re dreading it, but when you give in (hopefully not too soon) I would recommend one. I find that I am even seeking him out for a cuddle buddy when I’m watching TV or sitting outside in the backyard. I change the bedding in his cage twice a week and throw in a handful of lettuce once or twice a day. He is really good with the kids too. Good luck.


  2. Mel, I got a chuckle out of this post. We have always had pets, too. My son announced just yesterday that we had 13 animals that lived with us! No! “How could that be,” I thought. Then I took inventory, and he was right: 8 cats (6 are 4 week old kittens), 1 rabbit, 2 degu’s, 1 hedgehog, and 1 dog(our 22 yr old daughter’s pug-just for the summer). Over the years we have had just about every rodent known to man. The list includes rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and degu’s. Our family really liked the rats the best. They are really smart and friendly. Just be careful….you might just wake up one morning to hear your daughter announcing that you have 13 animals living with you as well!!


  3. Guinea pigs are the way to go. Rarely bite, large enough to gently cuddle, personality plus, and not too loud. They need more than just lettuce to be healthy though.


  4. Good luck with this.

    I’ve always wanted a cow. And a little farmer boy to care for it. I just want to know it’s there. For me. A cow.

    I have no idea why.


  5. I made the mistake of taking the kids into a pet store. We were “just looking” and were “NOT buying anything”!

    We are now parents of a 3.5 month old Bichon.

    Leason learned!


  6. We had guinea pigs (five! we started with two, but that didn’t last long–gotta be careful!) when I was growing up and they learned that the the sound of the fridge opening usually meant carrots or a handful of lettuce or something else equally yummy. Pretty soon they started to squeak and run around and get all excited and generally be very very cute every time the fridge opened. They were spoiled brats, but we loved them. One was an Abyssinian (the type that has the hair growing in all directions–kinda like mine!) and my dad used to say he looked like an unmade bed. We used to make enclosures and mazes for them in the backyard and let them run around and graze on the grass. I think they make great pets for kids but they do need to have their cage cleaned regularly or it stinks!


  7. Please consider adopting from a shelter rather than buying one from a pet store! The shelter workers can steer you towards the ones with great personalities (at least ours did). We love guinea pigs too & were heartbroken when our rescue pig Baxter died of cancer 2 1/2 years ago. Sweet little critters with big hearts & I looooove the squeal!


  8. p.s., I’m with Judy, but my secret wish list includes a miniature horse or mini donkey. I don’t have a farm boy but my hubby loves them too. Unfortunately, the HOA doesn’t.


  9. I see a doggie in your future! (Want ours?) I see a great 6th birthdays present!

    Count your blessings. Kathryn’s been asking for a pig since she was 2.

    PS You make me laugh.

    PPS See you tomorrow morning!


  10. we have a petlover!!! mine is named zoe…zoe the animal lover just recieved 2…yes, TWO guinea pigs, for her 8th birthday. the jury is still out on how successful this venture shall be.


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