Oh, gosh, a week of folks gushing about their pets and now it’s my turn. Yes, we have pets, but you won’t find me gushing over them. I don’t dress them up for pictures or parades. (Yes, our town actually held a doggy costume parade last weekend. No, Rufus and I did not attend.) And I don’t sleep with them!
Look, I have kids. Not that I gush over them or dress them up and take them to parades either (or sleep with them … anymore). It’s a good day when I can remember to feed my children (and you know, you really have to feed them more than once a day) and keep them up-to-date on their shots. Doing anything more than that for my pets would really push me over my domestic limit. I mean, I have one pathetic potted plant in my house, which is practically fossilized because I just can’t seem to remember to water it. And the damn thing lives over the kitchen sink, for goodness sake! Every year on Arbor Day, they send a little tree sapling home from school with the kids. Yeah, I think, another damn thing I have to nurture! And sure enough, the tree sapling sits around neglected until it loses its will to live and it eventually joins its brethren out in the woods behind our house. And trust me, it ain’t upright.
But okay, there may have been a time in my life – before all the stress of remembering to feed the kids three times a day – when maybe I did have a softer, fuzzier spot – not to mention the time and disposable income – to baby the pets. After all, wasn’t I the one who brought not one – but two – cats with me to Africa? And this was no simple – or inexpensive feat since we had to pay their tickets by the pound and these were two FAT cats (well, not so fat after a few months in Africa). Oh, and did I mention that one of them was blind? But back then, no cost or effort was too great for the health and happiness of my beloved furry companions.
My how times have changed. Now we have Rufus (a BIG ol’ pound puppy) who had to have surgery to repair a ruptured ACL ($1,500) and then promptly got hit by a car ($900) and now has to have an invisible fence ($1,200). Then there’s Tizzy, our neurotic and highly vocal part-Siamese brought back from Uzbekistan (paid for by the US Government; she was on official business). We recently brought her to the vet ($257) to see if there was some reason for her nearly-constant whining and occasional floor peeing. The vet suggested kitty Prozac ($100/month). And then there’s Nitwit (a.k.a. Killer Kitty) who stays out most nights and only comes home to eat and play just try to catch me you big oaf with Rufus. She’s actually the least demanding of all our pets, and tries to contribute to the family coffers by leaving at least one dead – sometimes dismembered – rodent on our doorstep each day. (Priceless.)