Michael and I both grew up with pets. We’re both big fans of family pets, and we think it’s important for children to grow up with them. Austin has learned a great deal about responsibility, whether it be feeding or exercising our furry family members.

And they’re just that. Family. When Austin cries it pains me, and I do everything in my power to make him feel better. When our cat screams like a banshee, I comfort him, too. My fur babies are my children.

A boy and his best friend

A few weeks back we noticed growths on Zara, our coonhound’s, hind legs. She required tests to ensure they weren’t anything to be concerned about, and surgery to remove them. Anyone with pets knows that the veterinarian costs associated with such visits are far from cheap. But that’s not a consideration.

Jason, our Devon Rex, cuddling on the couch
Morning cuddles with the family

Over the years Jason, our Devon Rex, has had problems with his bowels and ears. This is common with his breed, and unfortunately he requires care and treatment at least a handful of times every year. We don’t think twice about it.

I’ve had several conversations over the past few months with individuals who think it’s crazy to spend the kind of money we do on our pets. I’ve read terrible things on the internet. Some see pets as lesser creatures. We see them as family.

Jason sleeps in my arm every night. Under the covers, snuggled in close. His purr relaxes me and soothes me to sleep most nights. It’s also his banshee cry that wakes me in the morning, but that’s besides the point. I love my little monkey with all of my heart, and I treat him with the same love and affection as anyone else in my family.

Zara is daddy’s big suck. She will follow Michael everywhere he goes. She would be on his lap, for hours on end, if he’d let her. When Michael travels, she pouts. There is an incredible bond, and endless love. She, too, is family.

Tonight we had to make an unforeseen trip to the Animal Hospital with Jason. He’s ok, but it made me realize just how much these non-human children of mine really mean to me, and to my family.

I don’t have a point, really, other than to say this.

If you cannot love a pet unconditionally, caring for them in sickness and in health, then perhaps you should consider a plant. Or a rock.

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