Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m an animal lover. And they might even tell you about my cat, Mr. Chew-Cha. Because he’s a big part of my life. What I can tell you is that I really wasn’t ready for the responsibility. But my mom decided I was, so right about when I turned 38, she dropped Mr. Chew-Cha on my doorstep (whose shelter name was “Hobo” by the way). Immediately, I tried to get rid of him. Because I liked to travel, be footloose and fancy-free and I was single and had no ties. After putting up flyers with the clever headline “Hobo Needs a Home” and emailing all my friends, it was clear that Hobo and I were stuck with each other and that he needed a new name. But at no small price. I love him more than life itself but I do miss my freedom. You see, I’m the kind of person who knows that he misses me when I’m not there. And that he’s always home waiting for me. And most important, that he depends on me for everything. I don’t think I got that as much when I was in my 20s. Fortunately, I really didn’t have pets back then and my roommates never really wanted any. So some poor animal didn’t suffer because of our late hours and lack of responsibility.
Word to the wise: Think long and hard before getting a pet. Do you really have the time or desire to give them the love and attention they deserve? You need to be fair to yourself and fair to them. Pets can bring great joy into your life, but you need to be at a place in your life where you can bring them great joy, too. Here are some thoughts for college students considering getting a pet: https://vet.osu.edu/education/responsibilities-pet-ownership, which unless you’re a complete hermit, I wouldn’t recommend.
Do you have a pet? Ever seen some of your friends who have them and wonder why they do? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”