To Pet Or Not to Pet

Friday, 20 March 2009

I am succumbing to pet adoption (and yes, I enjoy Shakespearean-style titles)

I know, I know – you’ve read my blogs on pets before and you’re rolling your eyes thinking “She’ll never do it.” But I am. I am doing it.

We are getting a pet.

Well, two pets, actually. Two rabbits. I said we’d maybe get them when we got home to Australia, to a large patch of grass that could keep rabbits well away from the house. We now have that grass. And yes, Ella has been wearing me down with her pet-pestering (only taken her five years, God love her). But none of these things are what convinced me that we should just go ahead and bite the proverbial bunny bullet. What convinced me to go ahead and get these rabbits was this:

Ella has begun collecting pet ants.

Now, it’s not until you actually witness a child laying on the footpaths outside your house, talking to crawling bugs and gently nudging them into jars with shards of Tiny Teddies biscuits, that you realise the tragedy of this situation. When Ella had harvested her crop of formicidae friends, and came to show me what she’d done, it brought tears to my eyes.

Each jar had been carefully prepped with its own little paper lid, punched with air holes and scripted with each of the ants’ names – Naughty, Baby, Bitey (it bit her), Bunny and Froggi. Inside the jars, she had created sumptuous little homes complete with cookie crumbs, leaves, twigs and even the odd dead ant in a kind of honourable act of cannibalism (“ant’s eat other insects, mum”).

Now, I don’t know about you, but a child who has to harvest bugs to sate their pet cravings is a child who is desperate for a pet indeed, especially after this innocent comment – “Ants are pets that don’t last long but you can get new ones for free. Although, it’s hard to catch them.”

After this comment, I knew it was time to act and that my years of pet neglect were over. (I also knew my daughter was possibly going quite mad from lackofpetitis.)

So, it didn’t take long for a dear friend to contact me with the news that a work colleague was selling two young bunnies complete with two cages, water bottles and bowls, all for the price of one rabbit and a bag of food at the pet store. I phoned her immediately and the rabbits – Skittle and Rupert, though Ella will no doubt change their names – will arrive this Sunday morning.

I feel excited, I feel nervous. It’s like receiving a baby of the opposite gender when you’re used to caring for the other type. I’m not sure what to do. I’m googling, I have brochures, I’ve bought food and hay. I’m sure that once those rabbits arrive, it will be Pet-Loving Ella who will come to the rescue. Let’s just hope her enthusiasm continues and I don’t live in pet regret.

Whatever the case, Ella will be absolutely ecstatic this Sunday morning.

I’ll report back next week.


oyen said...

2 pet rabbits! I have a friend who has a couple of rabbits too - the vet said that they're of the same sex but they don't know which LOL

But they seem queer - if they're of the same sex, then why did they start humping each other (no one's getting pregnant).

So I guess if you're getting 2 bunnies I hope you get the right sexes :) I hope you'd at least have a choice on the matter!

smileybella said...

Well, they are two boys. Time will soon tell if they're queer!

Any rabbit-keeping tips greatly appreciated for this clueless, pet-avoiding mum...

electric bicycle said...

Lovely girl.

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