I was talking to a relative the other day, and they expressed great distress at the size of my ever increasing household - in just over a decade, my husband and I have managed to provide a home for not only ourselves, but five cats and now three dogs (there was a fish at one point, but then, remember, we have five cats...).
To them, the word menagerie doesn't even begin to cut it - they feel we're basically starting our own zoo. Now you need to realize that most New Yorkers live in a small apartment, or if they are lucky enough to have their own house, it typically has a very tiny yard in front and back, or even just a side yard. Whereas here in the Ozarks, we have acres instead of yards typically and all kinds of animals including livestock, fowl, horses, you name it.
However, I was really surprised by their tone, and their concern. To me, each addition has found their niche, brought their share of love into the house, and done their part to really make our place a home. It made me wonder why they are denying themselves the joy of furry ones (or scaley ones or feathery ones or what have you) in their lives. I mean, a friend of ours has an amazing household full of birds, lizards, snakes, cats, dogs, goats, pigs, bunnies, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, a horse and a cow. So, we're really small scale at the moment you know?
Besides, I can't imagine living without our munchkins - granted, they're messy sometimes, and we do have dangerously large dust bunnies that roam the hallways on occasion, and a few tiffs tend to break out in the evenings come feeding time - but so what? How does that compare to the many mornings of hugs and kisses, lap warmings as you drink your coffee, evenings snuggled up with a massaging purr-box on the couch, the afternoons of playing with dingle-balls and using old rope for a quick game of tug-tug?
The more I think about it, the sadder I feel for them. All they can see is the mess and expense - none of the joy and unconditional love. I can't wait to tell them about the chickens, guineas and goats we're getting!