Fri 16 Feb, 2007 04:51 am
For most of my life there have been warm-blooded animals in my home--dogs, cats, birds.
When my cat died a while back, I decided that I would not get another pet. First and foremost, I can't afford vet bills, and I won't take on the responsibility of a life without being able to give that life all the benefits it deserves. Second I'm allergic to cats and birds. I lived with a cat despite the allergy, but I'm finding that I'm breathing better now that no cat is here. I can't walk well, so I wouldn't be able to walk a dog. Easy decision. No pets.
I'm going nuts. I can't stand not having an animal here. I'm creating imaginary scenarios in my head about pets.
What if a bug walks across the floor. Will I become emotionally attached?
How do I get past this? Or don't I. Do I spend the rest of my life craving a pet?
We've also been petless for a while. I tend to pet the neighbors' dogs a lot.
How about a hamster?
No, seriously, have you considered a pet that's indoors, like above, that you aren't allergic to?
A snake? Sugar glider? Chinchilla ? Hamsters? Gerbils?
All of those , except the snake of course, can run around you, play in a ball on the floor, make noise, and give your house a 'busy feeling' with out the cat hair.
you could also get a really small dog.
They dont have to have the miles and miles of walking for basic health because they walk a TON just to follow you to the bathroom.
I too can not imagine my home with out another animal in it.
My cat is approaching 10 years so her life is getting shorter by the minute.
I dont know what I am going to do when she dies. But I can promise there will be another animal.. but what?
I'm very uncomfortable without a dog in the house. I talk to dogs. One would think that one could achieve the same intellectual and emotional satisfaction from talking to the ghost of a dog, but that isn't so.
Out here in the boonies animal shelters are looking for Foster Parent Homes where mistreated pets can be civilized before putting them up for adoption. Foster Parents aren't responsible for vet bills.
Of course, you'd be saying "Good-bye, Furry One," on a regular basis.
Jes, I LUNGE at neighbors' pets. They probably think I'm some kind of animal prevert.
Thanks for the suggestions. The problem is that all such pets could get sick, and I'd be saddled with vet bills. I don't view little pets as disposable. When I had parakeets, I took them to the vet. The vet bills were more than the cost of the birds.
I'm trying to adjust.
When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary dog. A German shepherd. Maybe I should conjure up another one. Then the vet bills would be imaginary too. (I abandoned the imaginary dog when we got a real one.)
Do you have low cost clinics where you live?
Yeah, small animals can be expensive. But far less expensive than say a dog or cat.
And they aren't exposed to as many things as a dog or cat so I don't think they get sick as often.
Try a guinea pig.
They are sweet little dears.
I think Chai and Bella are right about hamsters and guinea pigs. They are low maintenance, but cute and you can interact with them. Rabbits are good apartment pets and they can be litter box trained. Although you can't just leave them out unattended because they chew.
How about a chinchilla?
It's interesting that you mention vet fees. A few years back my husband and I seriously cut back on our menagerie (just dogs and rabbits now, no cats, the ferret finally died) because of this cost. We have a small farm and I was thinking of getting goats, but when I saw my girlfriend's vet bills for her goats I nixed the idea - even factoring in the cost of grocery bought goat cheese didn't balance the expense.
What about pet-sitting?
An NYC friend of mine paid as much as $150 a weekend for private, loving care for her tempermental terrier.
Noddy, What you're suggesting is a good thing. I could never do. Never let go.
shewolf, There's no low-cost anything near where I live. I tried the ASPCA clinic for my cat before I found a private vet. The bills weren't that different.
I still owe a friend for my cat's surgery last year. And I owe the vet for his euthanasia and cremation. I can't take on anything that would involve an expense--and everything would involve an expense--if it was sick.
I've met guinea pigs and hamsters. Tres lovable. And that chinchilla is mighty tempting.
The only possibility would be if I fostered an animal that nobody wanted. Then I could keep it indefinitely and not pay the vet--if it works that way.
It's mighty bleak without an animal.
Let's face it. I don't think there's an answer to this problem as long as I can't pay a vet. So I'm just whining and kvetching--two things I'm good at. Thanks for indulging me.
Found this and thought it interesting.
Costs of Pets (according to the SPCA)
Uh oh....nix the hamster idea. From what I read below, they're cranky.
This article says guinea pigs are very passive, but not really affectionate.
What about mice or even a rat Roberta?
My first reaction to that is "Ewwwww" but when I really think about it, they're supposed to be smart, and can learn tricks, so they like to interact.
They're also inexpensive.
Thanks, Bella, and interesting. I think they underestimated the amount for a cat. I had more food and more litter than they had on the list. But still interesting.
Of course, what's not included, and what I fear, is what it costs when things go wrong.
I don't ever want to be in a vet's office again and be told that my pet needs surgery that I can't afford. Life saving surgery. This happened with Mikey. I was so overwhelmed with guilt that I almost fainted. My friend lent me the money.
When my cat Miranda got on in years, she developed kidney trouble. I hydrated her at home with needles and IV bags. I even bought an IV stand. I would never be able to do such a thing again. She lived what seemed like a good life for more than a year with my treating her.
I don't know what it would cost if a guinea pig or gerbil got sick. I don't know how many vets treat such animals. I'd probably have to go to the Animal Medical Center, an amazing place--and expensive. When I took Mikey there for an emergency, there was a woman in the waiting room with a goldfish in a bowl. I guess they treat anything that's living and not human. But it's pricey.
Chai, I was just getting ready to click submit when I saw your post below. Nix on the mouse and rat. I have an irrational insane lunatic fear. In fact the reason I got my first cat was that I was terrified of mice. I needed a protector.
Oooh, I'm a charter member of this club.
When I was a kid, I always had pets. I loved animals, wanted to grow up to be a naturalist (Gerald Durrell and Jane Goodall were twin heroes), volunteered at the zoo for three years. By the time I left for college I had a dog and four cats (our cat had three babies and we couldn't bear to give up any of them). I loved them all dearly.
No pets allowed in the dorms, of course.
Then no pets allowed in my next couple of student places, either.
Then I met E.G.
He's a fabulous, fabulous guy with one major flaw -- multiple severe allergies and, because he's always had these allergies, a dislike of pets.
I've worked on him and worked on him and we may be getting somewhere, but the problem is how those two issues interact. After a lifetime of having his throat close up when he comes into contact with a cat (especially) or dog, there isn't anything he likes about them even if the allergy part can be handled. I'm not willing to force the issue -- that wouldn't be good for anyone.
Sozlet also REALLY wants a pet and that's an angle that looks like it may bear some fruit. He's sympathetic to that, and I've said "a sibling or a pet" a couple of times. He's not ready yet though.
If you lived down the street, that'd be the perfect solution. You could host "our" cat, sozlet and I would come visit him or her often, and we'd take care of the vet bills.
soz, A shared pet. Now there's a thought. I'm gonna try to stay away from cats. I had no idea how badly my breathing was affected until I didn't have one. But I think you may be onto something.
Also, you have my sympathies. My allergies (and asthma) developed late in life, or I might never have known how wonderful it was to have a pet.
One word: tapeworm.
It's the perfect pet.
Goes where you go.
Eats what you eat.
I really wanted to post primarily for the whole small pet thing. They end up being more expensive than you'd think, even without emergencies and sickness.
I saw the title of Roberta's thread and immediately sat up in my chair. Finally, I thought, a subject where Roberta and I share the same passion.
I began to formulate my response and while doing so rubbed my eyes and realized that Potless and Not Liking It wasn't what she had written after all.
My disappointment is legion.