Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Price of Pets

Tonight I have said goodbye to my beautiful 13 year old cat Stinky Pete. I won't talk about him too much as an ode to someone else's dead cat is not the most interesting of reads. But I will say he was bonkers. He was vicious. He was ginormous. And he was mine. He saw me through a bad breakup and subsequently when I first introduced him to Stephen. He bit his knee. He had my back that cat. And he once attacked my Mother on the toilet. Which made me laugh.

We have suffered the death of two beloved pets this year and each time I think "why the hell do I put myself through this?"  Why do I bring something into my life that will be so short lived? They are an inconvenience. Before each night away we had to work out who would look after each animal (we have a dog too). They smell. They cost a fortune. With at one point £100 a month going on pet insurance alone. But I know that, not yet mind, but in the near future I will be in the process of buying another pet who will crap all over my house and bite me. 

The reason is simple. Pets give us a purpose. Before I had children they were the ones there to be hugged, fed, stroked and loved. And subsequently my children have always been surrounded by animals. They have shown them some important values. Basics like how living things need food, water and shelter to survive. To discussing more tricky topics like serious illnesses. And the big one. Death. 

It may seem macabre discussing death with toddlers. And maybe we should have fibbed and done the old "oh they have gone off to live on a nice farm" trick. But no. We have as tactfully as possible explained the pets illnesses to our children. Taught them how to treat the poorly or injured animals with kindness. We even spent a few hours gathering towels and making Stinky Pete a hospital bed in the playroom out of a ball pool. 


I'll be honest? My girl has not been bothered and rather brutally asked if we could have a baby pony now or a guinea pig. But she does firmly believe that both cats are hanging out together in the clouds (our easily explained away version of the afterlife). And when the odd McDonalds balloon escapes on the way back to the car, it's flying up there for them to play with. 

Anyway, my mind is all fuddled with a mixture of grief, sadness and just horribleness. But my point is this. Pets are a pain in the backside. But I really believe that our little clan of beasts have helped my tiny ones see both the best and the worst of life. And for that I will forever be grateful. I would like to think that Pete is up in the clouds with the utterly delightful Babs now. Watching over us. But if there is a heaven? Of which I am fairly dubious. Pete would see Babs. And either a) scratch her face off or b) walk aloofly in the opposite direction. The mental cat. 

21 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your cat. :(

    Agreed, pets are a pain in the arse but they are so, so worth it. :)


    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry lovely. I lost my first cat when I was 18, she had been around my whole life and I remember crying into her fur on my bed every day after school. She helped me through my bullying and was always there. I promised myself I would never put myself through that again - and now we have two cats. Luke and Leia. Twins! I can't imagine them not being here, they have been through everything with us and if they live until old age the children will know that they've died and we'll have to deal with that, it makes me sad thinking about it even now. Lots of love, hope you're ok x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cats are great like that. They are who they are and that is FINAL. There's something irresistible about that. I have two cats that are 13 and 14 years old now. We've been through a lot together. And I complain about them daily (I'm sure they do the same between the the two of them) but I can't imagine them not being there. I'm so sorry about your loss!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so sad. Ours were both that age and it is a good age and I was always sighing and getting grumpy with them and now feel a bit guilty! x

      Delete
  4. Sorry to hear this. I'm too much of a cry baby when it comes to death and so after losing our rabbit this year I wont be getting any more pets. We have enough maniac pets in our family that the children can enjoy though. Have a big cry, best way to feel better. Big hugs and I will give you an extra squeeze tomorrow x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did have a huge cry lovely and it was so nice to see you at the weekend. Hope you had fun! x

      Delete
  5. Aw, goodbye, Stinky Pete - sounds like you were quite a character (and a very handsome kitty). I agree that pets are a nuisance, but they're also wonderful. I grew up surrounded by animals and really wish we could have a cat or dog, but our flat isn't big enough and we can't really afford a pet right now anyway. Maybe a guinea pig or similar when Pumpkin is a bit older.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my god we spent so much money on our pets! It was a bloomin nightmare!!! So we are saving a bit of money which is good x

      Delete
  6. I'm so sorry to hear about Stinky Pete! Cats are the best pets to have. Although a pony is a perfectly reasonable request x

    ReplyDelete
  7. So sorry to hear about your cat - it is always so hard to lose a pet. Stinky Pete sounds like he was quite a character x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aw so sorry to hear this. :( Sending hugs. We lost one of our cats a couple of years ago...put down at Christmas! It's devastating losing them isn't it. Even though they are a massive pain in the arse! My cat puts up with me too though since she took a back seat when G came a long, or even when G's father was there who she wasn't overly impressed with. G got brought her first pets (as Bella will not go near her unless she is sleeping ...she does not like loud, fast moving humans) by her grandparents a couple weeks ago. Guinea Pigs. I used to have them when i was a child, but god how much do they poo....forgot what a pain in the bum it is to have to constantly clean them out! But it's worth it for her having two little friends and since I can't give her a sibling (or a dog ha) right now which is what she really wants/ needs (she tries to show her toys to the guinea pigs and chats to them and was trying to throw a ball for one when we first had them out). Pete sounds like he was a great cat .... attacking someone on the toilet ....hilarious! You'll always have the memories xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was amazing! I am thinking of a guniea pig for my two. But they do poo so much don't they which is a ruddy nightmare and also you have to cut their nails which is a bloody nightmare x

      Delete
  9. Very sore about Stinky Pete. He certainly sounded like a character.
    Pets are a bit of a pain sometimes and there are times you question your sanity when you are cleaning animal poo from the carpet but I think really I would be lost without ky kitties.

    You are spot on about the lessons they teach children, about basic care and compassion.xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really want some more kitty cats now. Please could you send my husband a letter to let me have some! Sob x

      Delete
  10. Sorry to hear this, but you make a very good point about the lessons they teach kids. I resisted pets for many years - none of us are animal lovers and they just seemed like an extra hassle we didn't need. We got our guinea pigs over the summer and I must admit I've changed my tune. I love our guinea pigs! We had tears before we even got them as my younger son was frightened of them dying. He had a 'pet' caterpillar for a few days a couple of years ago and his heart was broken when Colin died :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RIP Colin. I do love your guniea pigs so so so much. They are like toys! They look perfect x

      Delete
  11. Sorry to hear about the cat. Big hugs. I had to put one of mine down earlier this year too and I bawled my eyes out for hours... It's like losing a member of the family. But she was becoming a pain in the bum as she was so poorly and we had to give her pills, cream etc and she kept sicking up a lot. Monkey didn't even notice! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh god my girl could not care less! We were beside ourselves we cried so so so so much x

      Delete

leave me a comment! they make me happy bab...