... 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.