4 Things I’ve Learnt From Keeping Pets

4 Things I've Learnt From Keeping Pets

When I was little, I had many kinds of pets – turtles, rabbits, hamsters, hedgehog, cats, fish, and yes, even chickens. When I think back, I realize that my family and I are really fond of animals. But the only pets I have now are some fish, 5 cats and 3 kittens. Having had pets for years has taught me some things worth sharing with all of you.

1. Upholding Responsibility Is Crucial

We all want to be called responsible, and most of us would jump at the chance to do something that would showcase our sense of responsibility. But really, responsibility is not a light matter and it should be taken seriously. When you have pets, you need to feed them, clean them, care for them and treat them well to the best of your ability. That is a responsibility that I shoulder the moment I decided to keep them at home. Pets are living things and they feel as much as we do. The only department they lack in is the mind. Therefore, that shouldn’t be any less of a reason to not be responsible in treating them.

2. We Can’t Be Selfish With Our Time

Every day, I would have to allocate some time to feed the cats, clean their litter and replace their water. My dad normally does all that. But of late, I’ve come to share the job with him. As long as I’m home, I would always help out with the pets routine. It is no biggie, though. The point is, there has to be some time to spend to care for the wellbeing of my pets. Not just pets. In the case of someone who doesn’t have pets, there has to be time to be spent with family and friends, no matter how busy we may be. They have a claim on our time and we should be aware of that. It is like an unwritten rule – no one says it aloud, but we know it’s there intuitively.

3. Consistency and Perseverance Is Important

I can’t be feeding the cats and fish today, and just not do it the next day, can I? I can’t clean the litter today and not do it the next day. It would be disastrous. There are times when I get reluctant and lazy to let the cats out the cage and clean their litter. Especially when I know that the only thing that would greet me should I leave my bed is their reeking litter. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic. But I’d hear prolonged mews for some time and just do what needs to be done. Were I the one in the cage, I’d definitely want my owner to do the same each day, every day.

4. Animals Show As Much Humanity As We Do

Throughout the years, I’ve had 3 mom cats. My family would call the cat that gave birth ‘Mama’ as she was the one creating the new bloodline of feline family in my household. Of all the 3 mom cats, the first ever mom cat is always my family’s favourite because it was the first ever cat we adopted in 2003. And she created the first bloodline. And as far as everyone in my family remembers, she was the only cat which never misbehaved or scratched any of us. And she would come into the room where my family and I were praying together and just sit there, as if praying along with us. It was touching.

In August 2008, she was diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), a cat type of AIDS, and died of secondary illness of fluid accumulation in the belly. It was too late when she was diagnosed and there is no cure for that disease. We initially thought she was miraculously having more kittens despite being spayed already. So, she passed on. To me, having Mama around was an eye-opening experience, and it thought me the meanings of strength, kindness, love, patience, and perseverance in a very human way.

This entry is a long one, I know. I hope we all get something out of this one. Write in on us about your pets and what you’ve learnt from them. We’d love to hear from our readers.

*Image of Mama, sleeping.

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