The petless dilemma. It continued. I wish we could have adopted the petite lap giraffe (for more on these cuties, see my post, "The PERFECT Pet"). We’d put a harness on it (I can’t imagine a collar, as that might snap its slender neck?) and walk it proudly around the neighborhood. The local dogs would be so startled, they wouldn’t think to bark.
I have spent countless hours googling the perfect pet for petless folk like us, an odd mixture of the allergic, non-allergic animal lover, and the less than animal fanatic.
I started with parakeets. How intrusive could one tiny little bird be? I mean, it’s not even a canary that might sing ceaselessly all day long. The parakeet can talk! And play with fun little toys!
But here’s the thing. Everything I read says a healthy parakeet needs to be out of its cage for at least four hours a day. Four hours? With a bird flying around the house? And they poop like there’s no tomorrow, right? Oh, my less-than-animal-fanatic husband would just love that. He would be the first to find a stray dropping I missed, on the counter or floor.
Nope. Birds won’t work. But it has to be a small pet, one that doesn’t leave droppings or feathers, or especially dander around the house. It would be so nice to have something cute and furry! So I googled “small furry pets,” and these were the top choices: guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils.
The guinea pig! So cute and the closest cat substitute, as quiet and cuddly – except they may pee and poop in your lap. And they love hay. We’re allergic to hay.
Then there’s the hamster. But they sleep all day. How is that any more fun than the hermit crabs?
So nothing nocturnal.
As for mice, Daddy would not appreciate even a caged mouse in the house, not after investing $300 in having our house mouse-proofed; Daddy did not like finding the dead one behind the refrigerator.
Rats. I know they’re sweet and smart. But for some reason I myself even have trouble with that one. I think it’s those long hairless stringy tails.
Then there are the gerbils. I had those when I was a kid! They didn’t make me sneeze! And they are furry and cute! And they don’t sleep all day! And best of all, they’re happy in a glass tank, so they are not messy!
Next step was to convince Daddy. He liked the tank idea; no hay spilling out of a cage. And no droppings around the house (in fact, these tiny rodents hardly poop or pee at all, did you know that?)
Gerbils! The perfect pet!