the family pet….

You can only stall for so long-

I was adamant that there would be no pet in our house, until all of my children were toilet trained. It was one thing to deal with little incontinent accidents of my offspring- but quite another thing all together, for me to be cleaning up and chasing after those that went two by two on Noah’s Arc. Let’s face it- there is only so many hours in the day.

As a mother of three boys, who just spontaneously pick up after themselves without any prompting or nagging (if only). I was not that keen on getting a puppy, kitten, guinea pig or any other animal for that matter, until there was some level of compliance within my own tribe.

They are now all toilet trained. I should think so given their ages 11, 9 and 7. When they were little, I thought it would never happen. The concept just seemed beyond them. So I thought the statement would mean at no point, EVER would we add a pet to our family. So after several family meetings we decided that we would look at possible pet options.

Getting a fish was mentioned- I have never had any luck with fish over the years. Any time I tried to clean the water in the bowl it ended with disastrous effects. A fish bowl within my house, was a very big risk.

I could already picture the outcome for any pet fish in our house- it would firstly involve a ball being used ‘illegally’ inside our house. Then said ball, coming into direct contact with the bowl, next, the fish flapping tragically on the floor boards surrounded by shards of glass. Nope no fish for our house.

There was talk of getting a budgerigar. I was optimistic that a budgie in a cage out on the back deck might keep the magpies from defecating on everything. But the thought of a budgie and the cleaning of the cage was just too horrific for me to face.

The first pet I had as a child, (I was nearly four) was a budgie. I remember lifting the little door up, tipping the birdseed into the little container, with your arm blocking the bird from flying out. I also remember being able to see myself in the budgies little mirror. A happy memory.

What I also unfortunately remember, is my mother cleaning out that birdcage. I am hoping that there is a statute of limitations for her sake- I don’t want my mother being charged with manslaughter by the RSPCA some 36 years after the event.

I think it is safe to say that most routine bird cage cleans do not end in tragedy. My mother, in the interest of saving time decided that the best course of action to get this bird cage ‘spic and span’ was to use a vacuum.

Who knew the suction capabilities of the vacuum? Somehow the bird was sucked up into the nozzle where it became stuck. It is hard to know the true cause of death. Was it asphyxiation? Or a heart attack? From the sheer fright of sitting on ones perch and then being sucked up with great force unexpectedly into a vacuum. I still recall the last flap of its wings lying in the dust.

I had two rabbits after the bird incident. Not at the same time however. The first rabbit I named after my cousin Elizabeth she was not long for this world. This rabbit died by eating the grass that had been poisoned around the perimeter of our house. Despite me lecturing her not to.

Elizabeth was promptly replaced by Sam. This rabbit again named after a cousin. I remember taking Sam for walks on a leash. My Dad tells me that Sam died by eating his collar- which, seems unlikely to me- Mum probably cleaned out the cage. Rabbits out here at our little house on the hill are not really an option, we already have a billion here on our two acres. So they are more pest,  than pet.

There will be no cat here in our house, we are not cat people. Please don’t judge me, some people drink tea not coffee, some people follow rugby league, not rugby union. Potato- potato. My observation has been that cats live parallel lives to the occupants of the house. I feel it’s all about what the cat wants. If cats were more like dogs then I think I would consider getting one.

We have ignored other possible pets such as guinea pigs, and all reptiles. It seems that the logical choice will be a dog. There was some level of consensus on this option within the family unit (we talked K out of getting a guinea pig).

The next step will be narrowing down the multitude of canine breeds out there and then finding a suitable fit for our family. I am confident that my vacuum cleaner despite very strong suction capabilities will not entrap a dog. Actually let’s take Chihuahua’s off the list. You can never be too careful.


2 thoughts on “the family pet….

  1. A very funny, insightful and relative story to a person who also swears a pet will not join this family of 5!! My first two children maintain the youngest is like having a pet in the house….I am backing this view for as long as possible. Will be keen to hear what transpires! !


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