Why in the world do we have so many pets? Anyone who’s been to our home or seen my Instagram knows we have a lot of pets. I suppose that wouldn’t be strange if we lived on a farm or something but we rent half of a two bedroom duplex in the middle of a city. So, why?
I did grow up on a farm and developed a love for animals, almost from birth. While my parents were raising animals for our dinner table, I was naming them and getting to know their unique personalities. So, I gave up eating them at age 14. I learned so much from them as a child; love, loss, birth, and life. It’s hard to imagine my life without pets now.
So, my son and I have 3 hens who live in our back yard, 3 cats, a gecko, a newt, a dwarf hamster, 4 goldfish and 2 plecostomus. We have to take all of their different needs into account when making a home for them. B is aware that they each have a unique biome and food requirements. He helps with feeding when he’s so inclined, but he’s not required. I want him to know the love aspect of caring for others, rather than the drudgery of unpleasant chores. The care is most genuine then.
There is so much to learn from having so many different kinds of pets but it’s not the main focus of why we choose the ones we do. We adopt pets when we do because we want to share our lives with them. Strange to some, I suppose. They give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, although I’ve never been a morning person. When a bout of depression strikes, they give me a lifeline to hold onto. Before B came along, that was huge for me. I need to be needed in times like those. These little creatures depend on me and I won’t let them down.
B has loved and lost pets several times in his short life and he remembers each one. He has learned to guard his sensitive heart ever so slightly but he still loves deeply and talks about how sad it will be when it’s their time. I believe that having learned young the fragility of life, helps one better enjoy and appreciate the time we do have.
While these pets are in our care, we take the best care of them that we know how. They are part of our family and B knows they have feelings and needs just like we do. We take them in for life when we adopt, no matter how difficult that may prove at times. We learn about them, from them and also about ourselves as people. I’m more inclined to wonder why people don’t have pets.