Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pets? Aren't Brothers Good Enough?

For the place where I am in my life right now, the best pets are my neighbors pets. The lack of furred creatures in my house is partly choice, partly necessity. No walks, no food, no vet bills, no poop. My kids give me all of that stuff that I need. A bigger issue is that in our family, we have cat and dog allergies. Fortunately, we found out after our last cat died and before we got a new one. (I really miss having a cat in the house.) Hamsters, guinea pigs and the like are cute but I don't care to own one.

We do have three pets: two goldfish and one hermit crab. Apparently, I have a special talent for nurturing small things because these critters have lived far longer than I expected. Our goldfish, $0.19 feeder fish we rescued from a terrible fate, are more than three years old now. Our hermit crab, Clawed McBroad, is almost 2 1/2.

Seriously, I'm stunned that my hermit crab is older than my youngest child. When Summer10 bought Clawed, we researched hermit crab care and discovered that he needed a crabitat. Yes, I said crabitat. (One of the best words, ever) A crabitat is a pretty simple place consisting of sand, a water dish, a little shell for food, extra shells for when he outgrows his current shell and a coconut hut for hiding from prying eyes. At this point, I think I'm the only person who still interacts with Clawed but I like having him around.

This isn't to say that the boys don't still think we need more pets. In fact, one day I thought Clawed had died. I saw a crumpled little body in his crabitat, said a prayer for him (my God loves even the crabbiest of us) and went to tell the boys. Can you believe that this happened to me twice before it became ingrained that hermit crabs molt? Anyway, Summer10's first words were, "Oh well. Now can we get a parrot?" A parrot? As in another thing that talks? As in a bird that will live forever and require a large place to live? I don't think so!

There must be something about birds and my kids though. Today, Spring7 and I saw several large birds flying over our house. He told me, "Mom, I'd like to have a hawk for a pet. Then I could walk around with it on my arm."

I could be the mother of a seven year old falconer.

I'm not cleaning up falcon poop either.

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