Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are You An Animal Lover?

I often ask my boys to 'feed the animals'.  And then, when they ignore me, I start asking why we have the animals after all.  I started to think about this, wondering why I have just about always had animals in my life.  I grew up on a gentleman's farm, with horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and dogs and cats.  When I went on to college, I got a cat.  And then for grad school, I 'adopted' my boyfriend's (now husband's) dog, while introducing him to my siamese cat that had come across country with me.  Now, we have 2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, a bunny, a gecko and many house mice.  What is it that we animal lovers get from these 2-4 legged creatures?
I get unconditional love, and entertainment.  I get a warm fuzzy body curling up in my lap just when I seem to be feeling lost or just the slightest bit blue.  I look at the bunny - who pretty much just gets fed, and doesn't really provide much cuddle or communication experiences for us.  What do we get out of keeping pets like him?  We don't get his fur for warmth, or eggs to eat.  He doesn't provide us with much, per se.  Somehow, just by being a part of our family, he has found an important place.  He now sits in our kitchen, to keep him warm and out of the chilling winds and blowing snow/rain of New England winters.  But I think maybe he'll just stay through the spring.  He's looking a little slower and thinner and just a bit older to me, and he needs my watchful eye to protect him.  Although we don't get to hold him (he bites), he has burrowed his way to my heart, and I will miss him when he moves on.  (I'm not pushing him along - but I don't think it will be too long now)
My younger son BEGGED for guinea pigs at Christmas.  And of course I said no no no.  I knew who would end up feeding them, cleaning the cage, etc - yep.  You guessed it.  Me.  Well I made a pact that I would NOT be the one taking care of these new girls.  No.  No Way.  Uh Uh.

Well.  I don't let them starve.  I go in after my youngest goes to school and make sure they have their food and water - he's 11 and he's trying to do a good job.  Sometimes he forgets, so I take care of that.  They're sweet little girls in that cage - and I just love animals!

What animals must you live with??

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