Choosing a pet is not just an opportunity to have your house stink of pee or algae. It can also be an opportunity to teach your children some lively life lessons. Our first pets were goldfish bought from an eccentric lady who had a glowing neon fishtank filled with fish out on her yard for sale dirt cheap. The goldfish lived fairly peaceful lives with us until the purchase of some african cichlids by a certain husband who did not read the notice in the pet shop that they should not be mixed with slow witted goldfish or anarchy would occur. The result of his purchase, suffice to say, ended in the GOLDFISH MASSACRE OF 2009 in which certain goggle eyed goldfish, let us say, never regained the power of sight.
This led to outrage from the kids who loved the goldfish dearly, about how the cichlids were 'bad boys' and should be put in a 'time out', that they should receive severe corporal punishment with small sticks (don't worry this didn't happen) and in order to stay in the tank should be equipped with small muzzles (!) After I explained that it was not practical to make muzzles for fish and both dead goldfish and live cichlids were flushed (well what would you have done with them?) the life lesson learnt basicially amounted to 'always read labels in pet shops before purchasing new pets.'
|Marshmallow, it's for you!|
We have also had discussions about whether it is suitable to have Peanut live in a dolls house.
The answer being no unless we can equip it with a flushing guinea pig toilet (patent pending).
Further investigation on the internet for critter fashions has indicated that there are certain guinea pig fashion designers who take things a tad too far. It has been explained to the girls that guinea pigs should not be fashion plates, partly because I do not wish to shell out for such outfits (all fashions posed by models):
One unfortunate side effect is that I have become obsessed with Peanut and Marshmallow and am very concerned with their welfare. Their nails have become too long now and I must either cut them myself or take them to the vet and I am worried they will get hurt - you know, how you are worried about your child hurting from having a shot at the paediatrician. I will only get more and more attached to the animals I call my 'grandpigs' and as they live about eight years I fear I will only get more obsessed with them.
So, do tell, is it normal to think of your pets as children and what has your pet taught you?
Cocktails at Naptime - A Woefully Inadequate Guide to Early Motherhood is available for download at the ibookstore here or in paperback here.