do you have pets?

Growing up we never had any furry pets, just a turtle that I outgrew in a couple of years and gave to a "turtle farm"...  looking back I have some serious questions about where this "farm" was, now that I think about it, haha! I desperately wanted a cat for years and regularly asked for one for my birthday, and in letters to Santa Claus. Visiting friends who had cats was the only halfway solution.

Eventually I got over our family not having a cat (my mom did have allergies after all), and once I started having babies the thought of adding another living, breathing, mammal into our home who would never be fully potty trained, independent, helpful, wasn't exactly appealing. Plus we live in the city and love to travel, so there's the whole trouble of making sure your animal gets enough exercise (again, cats were tempting in this regard because they live their best life all day long in snuggle mode) and finding caretakers for them if you're leaving town. There's also the added expense that animals bring to the table. We are incredibly thorough with our finances and somehow make it work in an urban setting, with three kids, on one salary, but having an animal is a financial decision, not just an emotional one. There's the food, the equipment/accessories, but especially the vet bills which can come unexpectedly. I have friends who have had unplanned vet bills for hundreds and even thousands of dollars!

Animals, I'm told, are wonderful additions to any family, despite it all. I posted something similar on Instagram and the comments were insightful and even moving. Some said their pet was at times their only friend during a lonely childhood, others say their pets are truly part of the family and your love for them surpasses any drawback. I think it certainly depends on the family and your context, but for us, I'm not swayed, to my children's dismay. I love my fur-free, unscratched furniture too much, I'm not ready to face the added expense, but most importantly, I love the freedom that being a pet-free family affords. If we're having fun at the park, and have been out all day, we don't have to run home to take the dog out. If we find a last minute deal and want to travel for the weekend or week or even more, we can just go (provided work and school allow).

I can't deny that snuggling my friend's baby kitten a few weeks ago brought a moment of total relaxation and awe - like holding a snuggly newborn who will never cry (loudly) or grow to have tantrums, or claim to be hungry five minutes after mealtime. That kitten was seriously the sweetest thing! But for us, that's where it will stay - and thankfully we have several friends with cats and dogs that we can visit regularly to get our pet fix. I loved reading the comments regarding why you do or don't have pets in your family over on Instagram, but if you'd rather, please leave your thoughts here! Tell me, are you a pet family? Why or why not? Were any of my hesitations yours, too?


  1. Anonymous22.1.18

    Cats can live for 18+ years longer then your kids might live with you! I don't think people think though pet before getting them. We took our kids to the Chat Cafe this weekend, they loved petting and playing with the cats, and no chance taking them home. purrfect! Neisha

  2. Anonymous23.1.18

    We're a no-pet family. Even if I wasn't allergic to furry animals, I doubt we'd have a pet.
    When I was growing up, we lived in the country for 5 years and had a dog. He stayed outside and it was really good for my sister to have a dog, especially when it was hard for her to make friends after changing schools. The dog was a good friend for her.
    Personally, I'm like you - I don't want to be tied down to an animal. I was at a staff party once and someone said, "I've gotta go - I need to let the dog out." That's not for me.
    BUT... I do see that animals are great companions for some people. My sister lives on her own and has a cat. Her dog recently died after having it for about 12 years. She still really misses it; it snuggled with her and was someone for her to take care of.
    So I can see both sides of the argument, depending on a person/family's circumstances and preferences. It's great if you have friends with pets to help you all get your animal snuggle fix!