When, as newlyweds, my wife and I moved into the two-bedroom condo we’d bought, we wondered whether we’d be able to keep any pets with us. We decided that we’d start off small and see as we went along whether it was realistic to have any more pets.
Many people keep budgies and parrots in small living areas, but there’s just something in me that couldn’t do it. I’d feel guilty that it wasn’t flying freely in the sky. Perhaps there’s some argument against that – maybe it wouldn’t know how to survive – I’m not sure, but we decided against keeping birds anyway.
Fish were a different matter and we had a lot of fun building an aquatic environment. Fish are at once pets and interior décor. Adding a couple of tasteful tanks along your walls suddenly seems to increase the value of your property in a way that a lick of paint never could.We have a variety of fish now, some large and some tiny. The stars of the show are undoubtedly the discus fish, which visitors always spend time observing.
Fish are easy to take care of and a lot of fun to have, but they don’t really have much in the way of personality. It was probably this thought that carried me off to the cat shelter one afternoon with a couple of furry felines to surprise my wife with. Everyone knows that kittens can be a bit of a handful, even if they are insanely cute. I thought that getting two would be nice for the kittens as they would become playmates. I don’t think I was quite prepared, however, for just how much energy two kittens have. We took our time patiently trying to get them to use their litters as they went absolutely berserk around the condo, playing and fighting with every appliance and every piece of furniture. Now the cats are older, they have settled down a lot, of course. I learnt that older cats, especially black ones, often struggle to find owners as they are shunned in favour of kittens. I love the cats I chose but feel slightly guilty that I didn’t give a fully-grown cat a chance.
The last addition to our household menagerie was Fido (we’re quite traditional when it comes to names and it was always going to be Rover or Fido). He’s a Manchester Terrier whose owner could take care of him anymore. He gets on like a house on fire with the cats. They spend most of their time in the condo but they can climb up and observe out of the window, or just chill out watching TV. We bought portable pet crates that we saw in order to take them out in the car with us to my wife’s parents’ farm and other places.
We’re now expecting another addition to the family later in the year, this time one that will eventually walk on two legs. No matter how small your home is, there’s always room for more if you make them part of your family!