Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Are you a pet lover? We are without a pet for the first time in 53 years of marriage.  It's about to kill me but Bob likes it that way. I've never let his opinion stop me in the past but now there are other issues to consider.

1) We are apartment dwellers these days. There's a $350 deposit plus $25 monthly fee for owning a pet.  That's enough to stop 'depression era' Bob's heart.

2) We are older, him 83, me 73.  Will we live as long as the pet?  Will we remain in good health and able to care for a pet?

3) Vet care these days is almost as expensive as people care.  Pet insurance is very inferior.

4) I want a dog but Bob and the kids say no.  My head understands that.  My heart does not.  Dogs require more care.  If I'm tied up in the medical world with Bob there's no one here to walk the dog. It rains a lot in Oregon and walking a dog in the rain can be tricky and is usually on the messy side. I have a great fear of falling on wet sidewalks.

5) We've mostly had cats and that's probably what we'll do if we ever get another pet.  Our son and his family are cat lovers and would help with care of a cat.  (They are not dog lovers.)

6) I've really enjoyed having a clean house, no spots on the carpet, no barfing up hairballs, no cat hair on my black pants and all over the furniture.  A cat would need to be 'inside only' and I'm having a hard time working up excitement over caring for a litter box.

7) I want a kitten one more time, but with an older cat you can see is what you're getting, kittens are an unknown.  Cats don't think a lot about pleasing humans.  Older cats can mean higher vet bills because like people healthcare increases as they age.

I've really worked my brain trying to think of a way to have a pet under these conditions and can't think of a thing.  Even looked into hedgehogs, now that is desperation.

How do you feel about pets at this stage of life?


  1. I have two indoor dogs and an outdoor cat. When these are gone, there will be no more. DH works out of town a lot and it has already been more than I can handle without his help with the care, feeding, and vet visits.

  2. We lost our dog, Molly, on Dec. 31, and our home has felt empty since then. We miss her terribly. Yesterday while I was out walking, an elderly neighbor was driving by, and he stopped to ask me if we still have our dog. I was always seen with Molly when I went for my daily walk. I like the company of a dog, the loyalty of a dog, and the fact that a dog keeps me active. Yes, we'll get another dog. We were discussing when we'll get him or her just last night. Oh, and I've heard rabbits make great house pets. They're litter box trainable, very clean, etc.

    1. Rabbits do make excellent pets! We had one years ago and he even sat to watch TV with us.

  3. Older cat might be better. They have very long life spans--most of mine lived to 20 years or more. Also consider an automatic litter box. I love mine--visitors swear they can't smell anything.
    Have you thought of a fish. Siamese fighting fish are beautiful and can be quite pet like. They come to the edge of the tank to be fed by hand. They are quiet, don't shed or need exercise, are low maintenance, and don't soiled carpets. They haven't managed cuddling yet though:) They do best by themselves but to be humane make sure they have a decent sized tank not a bowl.

  4. We did not intend to have another pet, and then we had to adopt our son's cat. We love her, but life would be simpler without her.
    I think you have thought this through very well. I cannot advise you. Your heart may speak louder than your head.

  5. Good points all. I have almost always had a pet. Your apartments charges are pretty steep and financially it would prevent me. But being alone in the house without someone/something to talk to would be too hard for me too. I know my children will take care of whatever pet I have when I get too old so I guess I will always have one.