What to do if your kids want a pet

So your kids want a pet, and you don’t?

I’m not saying you absolutely have to let your kids have pets. I’m just saying, sooner or later, your kids are going to despise you for not letting them get a pet.

Here’s where it’s handy to do your homework and have on hand a list of all the worst things that can happen when you welcome a cute little animal into your home. You can lean on me, the sucker to end all suckers. I have rarely said no to a pet, and I’ve spent the last 20+ years systematically learning how stupid I am.

Here is the short list:

Hermit crab. I mean, it’s basically a bug, so have fun with that, I guess.

Some fish are suicidal, but it takes them a really long time to die. They’re going along, going along in their crystal clear waters with the right amount of food, and healthy plants doing their part to increase the physical and psychological wellness of the environment, and the temperature and ph are well controlled, and they get just the right amount of indirect sunlight and just the right amount of everything, and for some fish, this is just TOO MUCH.

As soon as you go to bed, they will gather their strength and hurl themselves out of the water, up over the side of the tank, and then somehow fly sideways so they stick to the dishcloth you keep nearby to polish the outside of the tank to give it a pretty gleam.

Then, when you haven’t had your coffee yet, you will have to decide if you’re ready to admit you have the kind of life where you have to unstick a somehow still not dead fish from dishcloth before you’ve had your coffee yet.

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3 thoughts on “What to do if your kids want a pet”

  1. My mother-in-law was like you and would take care of any pet her sons wanted. I, on the other hand, have been very clear from the beginning that if it is not an animal that has been domesticated so that it willingly stays with humans, it’s not a pet for us. That leaves cats and dogs. So far we only have two dogs, and they’re outside dogs. We may end up with an outside cat at some point, but I’m trying to delay that as long as possible. Cats consider cultivated garden beds their own outdoor litter box, and I do not need that among my carrots.

    We live in the country with wild animals everywhere, and I had to come up with some logical way to prevent the outside animals and insects from coming in.

  2. After the hamster died, my daughter wanted to get rats. She researched and researched, told me all about them until I was sick of listening, found a rat breeder in our area online (yes, I said “rat breeder”), saved up for the rats and their stuff, and we drove 45 minutes to pick up two highly bred vermin. I ended up completely falling for the little guys. They were charming and sociable things, and they loved me (I think because I always smelled like food). My daughter got two more rats later, but we have only one left alive. I miss my favorite ratito.

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