About a month ago, my stepdaughter Heather posted this on Facebook:
After finally convincing Micah that we aren’t going to buy him a sea turtle for his birthday because there are some animals you just can’t have as pets, he lobbied (or perhaps filibustered is a better word) until he fell asleep for a pet rat instead. I know exactly what it feels like to want a pet that much and would now like to publicly apologize to my mom for all of those conversations I subjected her to in my childhood.
Heather, who has an intense allergy to dogs and cats, has always owned dogs and cats. She does to this day. She just takes allergy medications. Whatevah. But according to her mother’s response on Heather’s Facebook post, one of her many pets included a hamster which got loose and ended up in the wall, requiring cutting a hole in said wall to rescue it. What we do for our kids.
Most of my grandkids are allergic to pets with fur. Petting dogs has sent both Kaiya and Mylee to the ER because of asthma. I might be wrong, but I think Addie, Alastair, and Maggie Faith are all allergic to fur. Maybe Dagny has escaped the curse. And I don’t think that Joseph or Micah have allergies. Apparently, at least, not to sea turtles.
I think that Kaiya, Mylee, and Cole have accepted the fact that there will be no pets in their immediate future, at least not pets with fur. The others, however, all consistently beg for pets. The McLains, for example, have gone through a variety of fish, from the simple goldfish to more complicated aquariums. I have been on call to feed these fish on a number of occasions when they have been out of town. There’s a lot of responsibility involved in this task, let me tell you. When you kill Nemo, there can be no puppy to make up for the loss.
But a while back, Addie began what Heather correctly referred to as lobbying for a guinea pig. Yes, I know that guinea pigs have fur, but that didn’t stop Addie from making her case. Endlessly. Her mother, I think, gave in pretty easily. Though she isn’t a fan of the rodent (and really, how can one be?), she was willing to give in as long as Addie bought it herself, and took full responsibility for its care. Her father took a bit more persuasion, I believe. Still, meet Biscuit….
I have been offered the opportunity to hold Biscuit with my own two hands, and have politely declined. I have, however, been willing to give him (her?) a little pat on its tiny, furry head. Though a guinea pig just isn’t that far removed from a rat, I must admit that Biscuit is pretty cute. The guinea pig also makes cute little guttural sounds (that may be simple precursors to chomping a finger).
I’m on call to feed Biscuit when Addie and her family are out of town in a week or so. Please, St. Francis, make me a channel of your peace, and let Biscuit live and not chomp.
In the meantime, Dagny has allegedly begun lobbying for a pet snake. Should that happen, rest assured my friends, I will not pet its tiny snaky head. I will not even feed the snake little crickets while the family travels. No sireebob. That job will be left to one of the other grandmothers.
Two more things: 1. Addie has already said she intends to purchase a friend for Biscuit, and it will be called Gravy; and 2. the jury is still out on whether or not Micah gets a pet rat. Now that Heather’s mom has reminded her about the need to cut the hamster out of the wall, a second thought might be given to rat ownership.