I was sitting in the truck on my way home with three rabbits in a milk crate balancing on my lap. The smile on my face could’ve stretched all the way across Clinton County. Adrenaline rushed through my body as we whirled down the road. I now own three rabbits, and no cage, no food, nothing. My parents told me no more animals, but I guess it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right?
This wasn’t the only instance where I have brought home animals on a whim as a last minute decision or even planned out without anybody knowing. Ever since I was little, I have had an enormous love for animals. Big or small, fat or skinny, fluffy or scaly, I love them all. Something about their innocence and unconditional love tugs at my heartstrings. Animals to me are like drugs to an addict. I guess you could say I am addicted to animals. This love of animals has led to many instances like the one above, and many pets along the years.
Betta fish. The first instance of this was before I could even remember it. I was with my godmother one day, and she started a fire that has not stopped burning. She decided I needed a pet fish. So to the pet store we went and I got myself my very first betta fish. My mom wasn’t happy but didn’t have the heart to make me take it back. That very fish lived for over 5 years.
Goldfish. When I was a little older, my mom would always take me with her when she went tanning. Well low and behold the pet store just happened to be a couple doors down. My mom would always give me a couple dollars to spend on a drink and a snack while we were there, but we both know that’s not what happened. I would prance down to the pet store and buy myself however many goldfish my money could buy. Let’s just say, eventually, she stopped giving me money.
A cat. I found it in a tree, lost and alone. I couldn’t just leave it, so I decided it needed a home. It was a scrawny black kitten with a little white patch on its chest. I brought it home and fed and watered it, as it was desperate for something to fill its stomach. When my mom got home though, I was informed that two cats are enough and I need to find another home for it. So, after spending a night in my bathroom, off to my boyfriend’s house the kitten went.
More rabbits. After buying three rabbits, I decided I needed more. After buying more supplies and telling my mom they were for the rabbits I already have, I took off to go purchase more. I originally was just going to get one, but rabbits are like Pringles, you just can’t have one. So, I bought one that was pregnant and a companion. Mom was fuming, but she got over it.
Even MORE rabbits. The Maquoketa small animal swap was coming up and I knew I needed to go. I told my mom I was going “just to look” and for some reason, that poor woman believed me. I had extra money in my pocket begging to be spent, and a craving to feed my addiction. After wandering around looking at all of the choices, I decided on a lop-eared bunny in a tiny little cage, and a baby Oreo-colored mini rex the size of the palm of my hand. Needless to say, my mom was not happy, but what can you do?
Another Betta fish. On a spur of the moment trip to Petco, I stared at the fish in the tiny cups just waiting to be freed into a bigger tank. I looked around the store, finding the tank I thought would fit best for a betta. I picked out a tank and a fish and off I went. As I poured my fish into its new tank, it glided through the water like a torpedo. This was one pet mom didn’t care that I got.
A hamster. On another spur of the moment trip to Petco, I dazed at all the hamsters running in their cages, some were loudly munching on their pellets, while others were running on the wheel, which squeaked with every turn. I’ve always wanted a hamster, the closest thing I’ve had is a gerbil at my dad’s house that suddenly “disappeared” out of my cage. With Christmas money burning up in my wallet, and after pleading with my boyfriend to let me keep it at his house, I picked out a cage, some food, and a hamster. I beamed with joy filling out the adoption paperwork at the store. I tried to keep it a secret from his mom, but his little sisters make it an impossible feat.
Another hamster. While at Petco with my boyfriend buying fish, I decided one hamster was not enough and decided on another. I decided I wanted a different breed than my previous one so I purchased another cage and another hamster. Debating on which one I should get, I gazed into the cage and found a teeny white and grey hamster with red glowing eyes. I also tried to keep that one a secret, but again it didn’t work.
And yet, ANOTHER betta fish. After mourning the loss of my previous one, I decided I wanted another one. While at Walmart in Davenport buying fish, my sight gazed over to the betta fish in tiny cups. I noticed a beautiful purple and white betta with a tail that flowed like the river. He was in a tiny cup, which obviously needed to be cleaned. I picked up the fish and immediately smelled stale fish food, and the feces that the fish was swimming in. I heard a drop of water splash onto the floor and looked again at the cup to notice it looked like a cracked windshield. I decided that he needed to come home with me. After picking out some new rocks, plants, and a tank, I hurriedly scuttled to the checkout to try and get out of there as soon as possible. After getting home, I gleamed as I could tell the fish was much happier being in a bigger, cleaner tank. My mom still hasn’t been in my room and seen the fish, but who knows how long that will last.
This betta was the most recent animal I have unexpectedly bought and brought home, but I know it will not be the last. After purchasing all of these animals, I have realized that I would like to have the resources to do this for the rest of my life. This realization has led to me finally deciding what I would like to do for the rest of my life. A vet. Due to my love of animals, I have finally decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a vet. I have realized that by pursuing this dream, I will be able to provide for all of my future animals in many different ways. Lord only knows what unexpected animal I will buy next, but it is guaranteed that I will continue to satisfy my “addiction” throughout the rest of my life. Always remember, it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.