and now for a wee lightening of the existential load.
We are a house w/o pets. (Unless you count Ingrid, who lately has taken on the personal habits of a small, furry canine–but more on that later). We used to have two cats, Thumper and Squeaker, who were furry and loud and demanding some of the time, and warm, soft, and cuddly at other times. They lived with us in St. Louis, in Berlin, in Salt Lake City, and in New Haven. These were well-traveled cats. Evidently the move to Manhattan was more than they could take. Squeaker went off her feline nut entirely, and with her bizarre behavior and inappropriate elimination routines expressed to us her wish to go on living amongst the inferior humans no longer. So we obliged her with the final trip to the vet. Sorry, Squeakie. Thumper, poor fat soul, managed to live on a bus route in the urban heck-hole of New Haven and survive intact, but three months in a suburban Manhattan neighborhood did him in. He was hit by a car. Sorry, Thumper.
Greta wants a pet. (Of COURSE she does, she’s six.) She would prefer a dog. We can’t do “dog” right now. We have no fence, the kids are old enough to torment the poor thing, surely, but not old enough to share some of the responsibilities for it, and, really, having a dog is like having a toddler and I already HAVE one of those. (Ingrid has obviously picked up on the general urge for something furry in the house. She goes around sniffing things now–like a bloodhound on a scent.)
But, like Greta, I want a pet. I was thinking. . . “guinea pig!” Then I was thinking “bird!” Then bird got nixed entirely by “winged-creatures-should-fly-free” Dale and “ohmygodhowtotallyvile” Donna, so I’m back to GUINEA PIGGY. And then, . . . someone suggested a rat.
So, dear readers (all three of you) please tell me what critter I should get Greta! I’m planning on either a Christmas gift or a 7th birthday gift (April.) My mother might not ever come to visit again if I have a rodent in the house, but isn’t that a small price to pay for my daughter’s joy?