“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” - Anatole France
My wife and I are huge animal lovers.
However, when our cat, Bennet, died last year, we decided he would be our last pet of the feline variety.
It’s not that we don’t love cats. We just decided our two dogs are enough. They go everywhere with us, so we never have to worry about getting someone to pet sit when we go on vacation. Plus, they are both doodles and don’t shed at all. So my mornings of waking up with a beard full of fur are a distant memory.
We made the decision mutually and have both been happy with it.
However, we are parents.
And my daughter has been asking for her own pet.
I believe a pet is the greatest thing you can get for your kids, so I wasn’t going to say no. I was hoping for something that would live in a cage or terrarium. Maybe a hamster, lizard, or snake (yes, my daughter loves snakes.) Something we could easily drop off at my sister or sister-in-law’s house if we needed a sitter.
My daughter was open to looking at all pets but seemed especially interested in a kitten.
“No cats,” I said. “That’s the only rule. No cats.”
For months we went from place to place looking at pets.
“I really think she wants a kitten,” my wife said.
“No cats,” I replied.
Then a couple of months ago, one of my wife’s co-workers conveniently showed my wife pictures of her cat and its newborn kittens. Of course, my wife showed my daughter. When I came home from work, they showed me. Then they both sat there staring at me as if I held the keys to all their future happiness.
So……….here’s Buttercup with his new brother and sister.
He’s already claimed my side of the bed, which means a future of combing the fur out of my beard every morning.
But my daughter is ecstatic and is head over heels in love with her new friend, so the morning beard combings are a small price to pay.
Spend Your Time Wisely
This could have qualified for the ‘Best of Twitter’ feature, but I wanted to say a little more about it.
I’ve read before that 75% of the time we spend with our children happens by the time they are 12 years old.
And 90% of the time we spend with them has passed by the time they reach 18.
I was reminded of this when I saw the tweet below from Sahil Bloom. His thread displays a series of graphs showing how much time we spend with people throughout our lives.
As we age, we spend less time with our parents, siblings, and children and more time alone and with our partners.
It’s depressing to see the graphs that relate to time spent with parents, siblings, and children trending down and to the right.
To make it worse, I’m an older-than-average parent, so it’s probably more like 95% of my time with my daughter will be gone by the time she reaches 18. While this is a little unnerving, it is motivation to put all the effort I possibly can into maximizing my time with her today and making sure the quality of that time is as good as it can be.
Sahil wrote more in-depth about the topic in his newsletter, which I encourage you to check out here.
I have never considered myself a creative person. The fact that I’m writing a newsletter is pretty ridiculous. At no point in my life did I ever yearn to be a writer or anything else that would fall under the arts.
But here I am, and the more I do it, the more it grows on me.
This letter from Kurt Vonnegut to a high school English teacher and her students is the most refreshing thing I came across this week. And it highlights one of the most important benefits I have experienced from writing.
You learn a lot more about what’s inside you.
That’s all for now.
I hope you all have a great week!
As always, I would love to hear from you.
If you read something here that resonates with you, leave a comment.
If you would like to discuss something further, shoot me an email.
If there was something you absolutely hated, @ me on Twitter.
And if there is something you think I should be writing about, please let me know.
If you want to see more of my work, visit chasinganswers.co.
Thank you for reading, and if you liked what you read, please share.
Thanks for reading chasing answers! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
The human - animal (maybe non-human is better) connection is deep and odd. This video surprised me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyUYeLrXqug&t=51s&ab_channel=TheDodo