(I know this is a rather random topic, but I figure that it’s something my kids will enjoy reading later.)
I saw a tiny baby bunny in the back yard today. Cary was thinking about scooping it up in a bucket and putting it in the woods somewhere. I’m a big softy, and it reminded me of the one I used to have as a pet. I figure that as long as we have a garden fence, bunnies are just cute.
I had a lot of pets as a kid, and would probably have one now except that:
1. I have four small children to take care of, and my plate is full.
2. I have four small children who would likely terrorize a pet (unintentionally of course).
There are other reasons, but those are the two biggest.
My first “pet” was a toad. We lived in a farmhouse near a couple of ponds, and would often see frogs or toads in the evening, sitting on our sidewalk. My toad was named McKenzie. I’m sure he was really several toads, and maybe even a frog or two, but I was convinced that he was my pet and that he kept coming around because he liked me. He even followed me to my new house. I was so excited to see him again.
After that I had some hamsters and we had lots of cats. The hamsters weren’t very memorable because they weren’t too fond of being held or petted, but I really loved the cats. Motley, Purrball, and Jake were a few. Jake was probably my favorite. He was a stray that became part of the family. He was orange, very loving, and drooled like crazy when he was happy. He often slept on my pillow at night. It’s amazing what awkward positions I was willing to sleep in so that cat could have his choice.
Then, I had Crumpet, my pet rabbit. I learned a lesson I would never forget from Crumpet. My brother Jordan had cared for rabbits for years. I fell in love with a little one at the fair, and thought it would be wonderful to have a pet bunny of my own. My parents got him for me and I eagerly took him home and fed him, let him run around, etc. I loved Crumpet, but not enough. When winter came I got lazy. One day I went out to find him dead, with the water in his dish frozen solid. Crumpet had died because of my neglect. I cried and cried. I was sad that he was gone, but mostly I was sad because I knew it was all my fault. How could I be so selfish and let a living thing die just because I didn’t want to go out in the cold? I was so ashamed of myself. I’m sure the experience did me good, though I’m still sorry that Crumpet had to pay for it.
My last pet was Stuart. Cary and I wanted to have children as soon as I finished school, but things don’t always happen the way we want them to. It would be three more years before Everett would join our family. It was very hard for me to wait, and sometimes very stressful and emotional. I worked at a portrait studio at the time, and would take pictures of babies and children all day. I also had a hard time when I would hear of someone who expecting and didn’t want to be. We got Stuart when he was a tiny kitten, and he was a great comfort to me—someone else to love while I waited for Everett.
I’m sure that our kids will get to have pets too, when the time is right.