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With animals around me all of my life I knew that after I lost my cat Muffin, there would come a day when I would like a pet again. That one day, spending time with the animals at my parents farm wouldn't be enough and either myself or my little boy would be coming home and asking for a pet.
After seeing how good my little boy is with animals, earlier this year I started thinking about what pets I would allow. He might be caring towards animals, but pet care inevitably falls to parents at some point or another. As easy as fish are to look after, I knew they'd be overfed in no time at all and I've always found them a bit tedious to clean out. I've always loved rabbits, but thought they might be difficult to manage with an over excited toddler and my little one doesn't like dogs.
So we'd settled on guinea pigs. I might have been dreading the thought of dealing with their bodies in a few years, once they'd lived a good life of course, but I could happily deal with them while they were alive. They might be nervous animals, but they'd be fun to care for with a toddler and once we had a suitable hutch there would be little more that we'd need to do to be set-up for them.
Then some kittens came along and suddenly it was easy to pick fault with the guinea pig idea. I mean, what were we thinking, our garden is far too tropical for any hutch animal to survive. But, a kitten? I've always found a reason not to take one home before and the thought hadn't crossed my mind at all since Muffin passed away. But, I liked the idea of having a cat sitting on my lap while I blog and hearing little paws charging around the house again.
The idea scared me a little too, I've never had a kitten as a house pet before but, I knew what I was letting myself in for. I'd be back to worrying about the cat while we were on holiday, listening for the cat flap, dreading the vet's visits. Plus there's the worry of all of the dead or alive things the cat might choose to bring into the house.
We couldn't ignore wanting a cat though, even with internet research pretty much telling me any pets with toddlers are a total nightmare and that kittens were probably one of the worst ideas. We knew we had a pet shaped hole in our household and a cat would be perfect to fill it. Myself and my little boy love cats after all and I wanted a pet we'd all share and love. Plus I felt I had the time, I definitely had a lot of Muffin's old things and there was a little baby girl with a moustache that needed a home.
Ok, we didn't settle on our beautiful moustache girl straight away and we ended up letting our toddler choose, but we were ready. Well, we had all the practical stuff. Mentally I was a bit of a nervous wreck thinking how it could all go, worried that the kitten would hate living in a house with a noisy toddler, because even I hate it some days. So, I stopped myself buying anything extra for the kitten, no new beds, no tunnel, no toys and just focussed on the essentials. That way there really wasn't anything to lose.
Then our little girl came home and there was a rush of emotion, my little boy had his first pet and I had a new companion. A little cat with a moustache called Teddy who's rewarded me for finally jumping back into cat ownership by settling into family life in no time at all. She might have had a poop on the carpet and the strangest wee while hugging a toilet brush, but it's clear to see that she loves to be with us and we love to be with her too.
Would I recommend getting a kitten as a first pet for a toddler? No, not really. It's demanding, you need an extra set of eyes in the back of your head and there's far more accidents on the carpet and cries for attention at night. But, what I would recommend is getting a pet for your family, because there's really no greater feeling than everyone loving and caring for a fur baby together.
If you like a catagram account you can find Teddy on instagram: @teddythesmudgelet