I am a great fan of family pets! Personally I grew up with both dogs and a cat. We loved the dogs and we ignored the cat (bad us, I know).
Our current cat as a kitten
I even had a brief stint with a goldfish. I remember getting the aquarium for the first time and being sooo excited about it. Then we went to pick some fish. It was my job to feed them daily (an easy task) and clean the tank weekly (a boring task). I do remember the first few days, sitting on a chair in the kitchen and watching my fish as if they were a TV screen. Literally, for hours. Or maybe it was about 10 minutes, but it felt like hours.
But it was a great way for me to learn about responsibilities – as well as I guess consequences…. I had asked for fish. I was lucky enough to get them and now I had to look after them. I also learnt, that if I cleaned the fish tank badly…. the fish died. Yep. I killed at least 3 fish this way (I reckon there was too much soap left after my enthusiastic cleaning – I bet I wasn’t even supposed to use soap- and we should have checked out fish tank cleaning materials beforehand).
We also had gerbils for a while. We were assured that they were two boy gerbils. Ahem. No. Soon we had about a 30 of them. This time I remember let them have a run “around” the kitchen table… and them falling off the end. Ouch. My father in the end, ahem, took them to the park and let them go (I think). Is that illegal?
Now as an adult, we briefly dabbled in chickens (My long suffering husband indulged my wishes and MADE the coop for me, how fantastic is this). Oooh they were so cool. I loved them. Espcially collecting 2 fresh eggs every morning. Cleaning up the poo was less fun. Persuading the neighbours to clean up the poo whilst we were on holiday even harder. But the fresh eggs sure were fabulous. I miss them. Then one hen died mysteriously. We got a replacement hen. A few weeks later that one died too. With baby number two on the way and winter approaching I decided to give up. The remaining chicken and cage went to a good home via freecycle!
And now we have two cute cats. They are lovely. So great with the children. And very cuddly and affectionate. We have had them for 6 years now. And now… for the first time EVER, they are starting to both wee and poo (yes, not very nice) in our house. All the time. There is a meanie ginger cat terrorising them. I am not sure what we can do, save for use the cat litter. Sigh. I do hope that they sort themselves out again. It has been 6 months of it now! Funny how when all is well, they are “our” cats.. and as soon as trouble starts they are “my” cats.
But with all our mishaps and issues along the way, I think family pets are wonderful. They enrich our lives and the children learn about animals and the environment around us.