I did not grow up in a successful pet house. The mean male cat, confusingly named Josie, was a short-lived experiment. My fish got Ick. My hamsters, my beloved Tico and Taco…turned into ridiculous rascals. Someone should have TOLD ME sister hamsters will eventually try to kill each other. That was a bit too Shakespearean of a lesson for an 8 year old. I imagined my adult life occurring in loaded Jeep Cherokee, living in a huge, spotless ranch with a circle drive, completely pet free.
And now? Now I drive a minivan that spews Chex Mix as I putter through town, and my 2-story, circle driveway free house is overrun with furry critters. I STILL can’t tell the difference between Syd and Cy until I pick them up, so thank God Max is a different color. As much as I’ve been a pet-doubter, on one very cold and unfortunate morning, when the girls arose from a fitful sleep, running down the stairs screaming, “TODAY IS THE DAY!!! MOLLY’S BIRTHDAY PARTY IS FINALLY HERE!”, and this very morose Mommy had to inform them that Molly had the flu? Not even a cuddly Mommy could stop the tears of disappointment. Sensing their despair, baby Cyrus crawled into their laps, cuddling underneath a blanket, and fell asleep in their arms. The tears stopped, the day rolled forward, and in a brief moment I got the whole “pet thing”. A live animal who will cuddle without ceasing, listen without judgement, and forgive without consequence? Priceless. Kids need pets, the ultimate pal. I get it now. Take a moment to tell me about your furry loveys!