Kiddo#3 has decided he wants a guinea pig. While I was trying to work him down from the frenzy of grief of not having one (yet, possibly ever) his sister said, “Well for my birthday, I’m going to ask for a kitten.”
Shoot me now.
Our objections to getting a guinea pig are pretty straightforward. First, Kiddo#3 loves intently and briefly, an emotional hurricane of love that overwhelms him, rearranges his life, and then blows past as if it never happened. I fully believe that right now, he would love and cherish a guinea pig and it would make his life complete. Then next week he’d fall in love with those little rubber pencil toppers you get five for a dollar at the corner store, and we’d still have a guinea pig that needs affection, care and someone to clean out its cage for another six years.
The second reason is that we have cats, including a mighty huntress cat who survived in the Swamp for at least six months by eating things that look remarkably like guinea pigs. Meaning we might not have to clean out the cage for six entire years, if you get my drift.
A kitten, though — I can’t argue that we can’t get a kitten because of the cats. In fact, that would be an argument for getting a kitten, an argument Kiddo#2 already made, with a mournful look in her eyes: one of our cats is sick and old, and what if she dies? Then Jerina would be left alone. And that would be terrible.
It was time. Time to tell Kiddo#2 my philosophy of cats. “When you need a cat, God sends you one.”
She said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “How did we get Jerina?” (If you weren’t around back then, after a few neighborhood sightings six months earlier, she showed up in our yard injured, and it took eleven days to trap her.)
Kiddo#2 said, “Yeah, but does that mean God sent her?”
I said, “Well, how did we get Venus?”
She laughed. “Venus saw me in the back yard and came right up to me, meowing because she was scared and hungry.”
Kiddo#2 was fourteen months when that happened, by the way. We think she came to Kiddo#2 because she was the least threatening.
She said, “And Stormy too! Dad found Stormy when he was walking to class and there was an injured kitten on the sidewalk.”
I’ve proven my point. When a cat needs a home and you need a cat, God gives it to you. But I don’t think she’s given up the idea of a birthday kitten.
Then again, there are lots of rescue kittens needing homes… 😉
My daughter wants a hamster or guinea pig for her birthday. I’d rather get a kitten, actually. But I do think she’ll keep up the care. Still, I find myself thinking “I’ve got one more week without a guinea pig in the house . . . “