Chat Write Man Woman


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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?


Written by Jennifer

September 14, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Kids, life

9 Responses

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  1. Does a fish count? You could break the kids in slowly with the responsibility of feeding the fish and cleaning its bowl. However, I tend to think that a fish falls more into the category of “house plant” than “pet”.


    September 14, 2007 at 2:38 pm

  2. I think a pet, by definition, needs to be furry. Fish don’t count. And Ingrid is afraid of Nemo. . . .


    September 14, 2007 at 2:49 pm

  3. raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. big one. then you can give it a hard-boiled egg to eat.


    September 14, 2007 at 5:27 pm

  4. How about a snake? I wanted one as a child and it wasn’t allowed. It may not be furry, but you can take it out of the cage and play with it.

    Tara C

    September 15, 2007 at 6:58 pm

  5. I might be down with a rat. The snake, however, will NOT be the future pet in my household. Ick, yuck, nasty, foo.
    The rat and egg thing was kinda . . . weird.
    Someone in G-girl’s Girl Scout troop is trying to offload 2 gerbils with cage. I don’t think gerbils are the way to go, though. First: too many Richard Gere associations, and not in a good way. Second: they don’t have a long life-span and I don’t want to deal w/death soon after adopting some “used” gerbil.


    September 15, 2007 at 7:44 pm

  6. I would definitely go rat. It’s not as big as a guinea pig, but not as small and easy to squish or lose as a hamster/gerbil. We have friends with some and they seem really friendly. I think the fact that Mom spent all those years telling us “no” on the rodent front is a great reason to get one for your kids. 🙂


    September 17, 2007 at 2:08 pm

  7. Isn’t that funny?! My sister and I feel the same way about rats! Let’s get one and TOTALLY gross my mother out! Yay.


    September 17, 2007 at 2:13 pm

  8. Rabbits are nice too. You can train them to a litter box so they don’t have to be in a cage all the time but you have to watch out, they like to nibble on electrical cords.


    September 19, 2007 at 4:44 pm

  9. If they really want a small rodent creature, how about a cute teddy bear hamster? They require the same care as a rat, but, don’t live as long (i think) which can be a good thing. And, some people who have that instinctual “Eek, it’s a rat!” response don’t react the same way to a hamster.


    October 1, 2007 at 9:01 pm

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