Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Animals of Jenworld...

... are non-existent.

In response to a question from a reader, I'm going to talk briefly about why we have no pets.

There are two reasons:

Numero uno -
I'm very allergic to dogs and cats. Pete's allergic to cats. And, based on allergy testing done on Elegant last year, we believe she'll develop an allergy too.

Numero dos -
The larger issue is that I simply don't like animals.

Sorry people. I know that's blasphemy to some of you, so no need to email and tell me how wonderful Rover and Fluffy are. I'm sure they are fabulous creatures and I'm glad they make you happy. I just don't dig them myself.

So the rule in this house is that we will have nothing with fur, feathers, and fins. In short, no pets. Period.

Not only do I not like all creatures great and small, I simply do not have the time to give to caring for them. Because we all know who will ultimately be responsible for the care and keeping of any living creature -- human or animal -- that comes into this house. I am completely immune to the begging, whining, negotiating, pleading coming from a puppy-crazy daughter: "But Mommy, I promise I'll take good care of it and feed it and take it for walks and clean up after it ..."

Yeah right. These are the same children who can't quite manage to get their dirty laundry to the hamper on a daily basis. And I'm going to trust them with the care of a furry creature that would need to be house broken and would very likely chew on My Precious? I don't think so.

So, no pets.

A few years ago, we experimented with easy pets: hermit crabs and fish. We had a 100% mortality rate with two weeks of coming home from the pet store.

So, no pets.

Graceful, on the other hand, loves all animals and aspires to be a vet when she grows up. She asks regularly if we can get a pet, just in case I've changed my mind since she last asked me. Given that I have said 'no' probably dozens of times, one would think that she'd get a clue, but she's a persistent girl. Hmm, I wonder where she gets that from?

Most parents worry about what their children might do when they grow up, such as getting tattoos, experimenting with drugs, or becoming lawyers. Me? I worry that Graceful will live on a farm with four dogs, three cats, and a variety of hamsters, fish, and other creatures that give me the willies. I'm sure she would do a wonderful job of caring for her animals, but I know I'm going to hate visiting a house where I'll get my crotch sniffed upon my immediate arrival, followed by having a couple of felines do figure eights around my ankles.


But I'll worry about the future when it actually occurs.

In the meantime, we are an animal-free zone here in Jenworld and it's going to stay that way.


MizMell said...

I agree pets must be planned and cared for and adjusted to---just like having a new baby!
During the course of raising my girls, we have had countless kittens and cats, a rabbit or two, dogs and puppies, gold fish (and other fish), turtles, hamsters, cockatiels and lovebirds, and even a corn snake.
I applaud your reasons for not having pets... but also appreciate the educational opportunities that pet ownership provides for children.

Janet said...

It's good to know I'm not the only Mean Mother in town. My daughter - who can't manage to water her plants every day - begs constantly for a pet. We're pet-less and I intend to keep it that way. I don't mind cats and have had them in the past. However, the last one we had was in 3 fights in 3 months, costing us $800 in vet bills. I don't like indoor-only cats, so she had to move to a farm. Really - that's not a euphemism for something more sinister!

Dogs? Too much fur, too stinky, and they need too much attention. Fish? Who wants to clean the tank? Rodents? I don't THINK so. Birds? Noise and bird crap, enough said.

We must be the only 2 families in town without pets!

Linda and her Surroundings said...

We have a dog and recently acquired another until December. One dog is quite okay but two dogs has made all of us realise how "doggy" they are. And as for poo patrol - gross. Plus, if I did not walk them they would NEVER, and I mean NEVER get a walk. Dog hair - vaccum every day. On and on just more stuff I have to do. All three of us agree that when Angus goes to dog heaven, no more pets - ever.

blackbird said...

So, today I like you EVEN MORE.

Aims said...

As you know I am an animal lover, and would fill my house with the Ark of Noah if I could, however I do understand your point of view.
When I was 8, I begged for a bunny rabbit, which I then got, and then pretty much abandoned straight after. Because it didn't DO anything but sit there and poo. Mum sold it without telling me, after showing me his sore paws from him trying to scrabble out of his cage. I still feel guilty about it, but I was just too young.
You have to factor in the quality of life for the animal when it comes to getting a pet for a child.

Happy Working Mom said...

Oh my gosh...I always get such mean glares when I tell people I don't like animals. I hate the zoo. I hate pets. It's just not my thing. I hate dogs that jump up on me...especially when I'm dressed for work (with the old sitter this happened all the time!).

I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't like animals!