We have ancient pets. Our outdoor cat of 18 years had some sort of accident a year ago and we had to bring him inside. He was crippled and appeared to be dying. Today he is thriving in his retirement home in the laundry room. Fred has some salt-water fish he transferred to a smaller tank, also in the laundry room, when he dismantled his big 50 gallon tank we had in the living room. Most of the fish had died but the survivors remain today. They have lived well beyond their life expectancy.
Now we don't wish harm on our old pets, but Fred and I were eager to be pet-less. No more responsibility of caring for animals. We can go away and not have to worry about who will feed them. No more cat litter on the floor. No more frozen brine shrimp unthawing on the kitchen countertop. Suddenly I find out Fred and the girls have been talking. He has agreed to guinea pigs! When I questioned him about this decision, he said it will be good for teaching the girls to be responsible. And that they need a pet to care for and love. He had pets growing up,he reasoned. (So did I--every kind imaginable.) I made it clear these will not be MY guinea pigs.
I think back on the gerbil and the rat that my boys brought home for the summer from their school. The gerbil ran on a squeaky wheel all night and kept us awake. The rat was very stinky. Then there was Marissa's pet rabbit that she begged for but quickly got bored with. I cleaned up rabbit pellets for years after she took it to her mother's house. So I'm thinking, guinea pigs? I know nothing about them.
The girls checked out books from the library to learn about their future pets. They discuss guinea pigs endlessly. They've written lists of possible names. They debate the best colors. Today in school Liana wrote a story about the day her guinea pig arrives home. We visited two pet stores and watched the guinea pigs for awhile. They are cute little creatures, I admit. The books say they are gentle and seldom ever bite. Last night the girls were fighting over who will buy the toys and such, and for example, if Liana bought a brush for her pet with her own money, would Arielle have to ask permission to use it on her pet? Important issues to settle. Fred was angry over their squabbling and told them he is re-thinking the whole idea. Liana sobbed at the dinner table at the thought she might not have her guinea pig after all.
The saga continues. Pictures will follow if our family expands.