The Pet Dilemma

Domesticat

New member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
This is going to be a long post. I also am NOT on any moral anti-pet crusade; I just want to say my own feelings and experiences with pets. I have always been a pet owner only; I don't come from any breeding or commercial motivation.

The first pet I had, as a kid, was a cat called Fluffy in 1982. From the moment we got her she was angry. She always had an angry facial expression. We still have the photos of taking her from the pet store for the first time. She was angry. She also liked to ask for the bath tap to be turned on to lick the water drips; she had been somewhere where this was common. She was a black cat cross between a tabby and a maine coon. In late 1982 we moved house. We took Fluffy with us. Then she vanished; she was trying to go back to our previous home. She went for miles in that direction and came back to our new home after about a day. Fluffy lived for about 19 human years which is about 100 cat years. In the end she had arthritis and could not walk so we had to put her down. I feel selfish; we should have done it earlier and saved her a lot of pain.

Then there was Sooty. She was a dark, thin almost tabby cat. She was a nice cat. Until one day someone in my family was backing out of the driveway. She was caught under a wheel and had her spine crushed. We rushed her to the vet clinic which luckily is 5 minutes drive from our current house. The pet gave her oxygen and did X Rays. But her injuries were so severe that she was beyond saving. We held her paws as she passed from the injection. That was about two years ago so it's been a new feeling to have no pets for the first time since 1982.

Then there were the rabbits. We had two pet rabbits. We built a proper, long rabbit run outside with a netted floor under the soil so they couldn't dig out. We would open the run many times a week and the rabbits would run freely around our garden. When it got too hot in mid summer, even in the tree's shade over the run, because here in Australia summer can be like Arizona, we would bring the rabbits inside into our laundry where it was a lot cooler. They were happy rabbits, happy to munch on any vegetables, until one night they somehow both escaped from the run through the tiny gap between the door and the wired roof, and we fiund the pretty gruesome remains of rabbit fur in our garden. Something, foxes, dogs, had grabbed our rabbits not long after they escaped.

All my pets brought me and my family a lot of happiness. But I don't know if I could ever have a pet again. Not even an aquarium pet; I went to the ocean once and my high school collected sea life to put in the school aquarium. We had to pump oxygen into the buckets or the crabs and fish would die of shock ay being uprooted. Knowing that, I could not have an aquarium. Other people want to have one, I don't judge them. As I said at the start, I am not on a moral crusade.

I like animals a lot more than people. But I like animals that much that I don't want to repeat what happened to my pets. Is this the pet dilemma?
Thank you.
 

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LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
This is going to be a long post. I also am NOT on any moral anti-pet crusade; I just want to say my own feelings and experiences with pets. I have always been a pet owner only; I don't come from any breeding or commercial motivation.

The first pet I had, as a kid, was a cat called Fluffy in 1982. From the moment we got her she was angry. She always had an angry facial expression. We still have the photos of taking her from the pet store for the first time. She was angry. She also liked ask for the bath tap to be turned on to lick the water drips; she had been somewhere where this was common. She was a black cat cross between a tabby and a maine coon. In late 1982 we moved house. We took Fluffy with us. Then she vanished; she was trying to go back to our previous home. She went for miles in that direction and came back to our new home after about a day. Fluffy lived for about 19 human years which is about 100 cat years. In the end she had arthritis and could not walk so we had to put her down. I feel selfish; we should have done it earlier and saved her a lot of pain.

Then there was Sooty. She was a dark, thin almost tabby cat. She was a nice cat. Until one day someone in my family was backing out of the driveway. She was caught under a wheel and had her spine crushed. We rushed her to the vet clinic which luckily is 5 minutes drive from our current house. The pet gave her oxygen and did X Rays. But her injuries were so severe that she was beyond saving. We held her paws as she passed from the injection. That was about two years ago so it's been a new feeling to have no pets for the first time since 1982.

Then there were the rabbits. We had two pet rabbits. We built a proper, long rabbit run outside with a netted floor under the soil so they couldn't dig out. We would open the run many times a week and the rabbits would run freely around our garden. When it got too hot in mid summer, even in the tree's shade over the run, because here in Australia summer can be like Arizona, we would bring the rabbits inside into our laundry where it was a lot cooler. They were happy rabbits, happy to munch on any vegetables, until one night they somehow both escaped from the run through the tiny gap between the door and the wired roof, and we fiund the pretty gruesome remains of rabbit fur in our garden. Something, foxes, dogs, had grabbed our rabbits not long after they escaped.

All my pets brought me and my family a lot of happiness. But I don't know if I could ever have a pet again. Not even an aquarium pet; I went to the ocean once and my high school collected sea life to put in the school aquarium. We had to pump oxygen into the buckets or the crabs and fish would die of shock ay being uprooted. Knowing that, I could not have an aquarium. Other people want to have one, I don't judge them. As I said at the start, I am not on a moral crusade.

I like animals a lot more than people. But I like animals that much that I don't want to repeat what happened to my pets. Is this the pet dilemma?
Thank you.
I think it depends. If you take good care of your pets and give them a good life, then that is great.

If you are going to put a baby fish (that would reach 8” as an adult) in a 1 gallon bowl with no filter and clown vomit colored gravel and feed it soy meal with food coloring everyday, then yes, that is wrong no matter what way you look at it.

Now, if you are going to give that fish a large tank with lots of filtration, driftwood, live plants, and actually do some research before you get it, then I think that is perfectly fine and you are enjoying a pet the way it should be enjoyed.

There are some things you can’t prevent. We live in a messed up world, and death exists. Accidents happen, animals get sick. There are also things that CAN be prevented. Research your pets very well and really learn how to take care of them before you get them, and do it right. Look for signs of pain or stress and get on fixing the problem immediately.

Catching wild fish and throwing them in a bucket to take to a school aquarium is a bad idea no matter what way you look at it unless you really really know what you are doing. I don’t think that was good animal stewardship at all. There are certain things logic and research should tell you not to do. That is why researching an animal and learning how to really take care of it is always the best way to go. An animal should never experience that much stress when it can easily be prevented. I wouldn’t judge all aquariums on that experience.

The important thing is that you do what you can to you give them a good life and be a good steward of your animals. Don’t get an animal unless you know a lot about it and are very confident you can take care of them right, and if they get sick or hurt, don’t ignore it, and don’t just give up. Fix the problem and do it right.
 

Domesticat

New member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Original Poster
OK, thanks for your response! I also had another cat, Spice, who was old and started needing to drink lots and lots of water every 5 minutes. She started making painful noises. The vet took one look inside her mouth and told us that her kidneys are gone and she should be put down. As I said in the OP, I would not let animals live to that age if I had any pets again.

Also worth adding that collecting fish and crabs from the wild ocean for an aquarium is dangerous. Here in Australia we have blue ringed octopuses that are deadly and cone snails that shoot out a toxic barb that won't kill you but will give you hours of excruciating pain. That and the prosaic dangers of drowning or being caught in the incoming tide. In hindsight I am surprised that the school allowed us to do it but that was the late 80's and a lot of pretty foolish things went on then.
 
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linda2147

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
its unrealistic to think your pets will outlive you. So you get a pet, take care of it and love it when the time comes you have to let it go. that doesn't mean you can't get another, remember life is a terminal condition, no one gets out alive.
 


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