What’s the definition of a pet?

30 Nov
Pretty much.

Pretty much.

Last week, driving to Thanksgiving, we had Alan’s kids in the back of the car. They’re close in age and both under 10, so their primary goal in life these days seems to be to irritate the living shit out of each other. At least when they’re in the car.

As a result, we try to distract them by asking questions to force a conversation. During this particular drive, Alan asked, “So, how many pets do you guys currently have at home?”

At the same time, his daughter said, “One,” and his son said, “None.”

“So which is it?” he asked.

They started a verbal tug-of-war between One and None. Alan threw up his hand, “Hang on. Let’s figure this out.”

Then he asked his daughter, “Who do you consider a pet?”

To which she quickly replied, “Ladybug.”

His son, outraged, jumped in. “Ladybug is NOT a pet. It’s an insect.”

Now THIS definitely counts as a pet.

Now THIS definitely counts as a pet.

This launched another argument, so Alan hopped back in. “Whoa! There are a few simple questions that will help us determine if Ladybug is a pet. First: would it be in your house if you hadn’t deliberately brought it in?”

Yes: Ladybug was brought into the house.

“OK,” he continued. “Do you feed it?”

Yes: Leaves, a few times a week.

“And last question, does it have a name?”

Yes: Spotty.

“Well,” Alan scratched his chin. “Sounds like it’s a pet.”

His son, not accepting the verdict said, “But it doesn’t have any personality!”

To which his daughter replied, “Does too!”

Then after a minute, she added, “You just don’t hang out with it enough.”

Fair enough.

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7 Responses to “What’s the definition of a pet?”

  1. dianeskitchentable November 30, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Personally I like pets with fur & shoulders. If Alan’s daughter would like some pets to add to her collection I could send her a box of stinkbugs that are still trying to get in my house.

    • popdialectic November 30, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      If you think the stinkbugs would survive the journey, she would happily adopt them, too. I would have to play the bad guy, though, and deny them entry to the house.

      • dianeskitchentable November 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

        Now that’s just being mean & they hardly stink at all unless you scare them or squish them. They make great pets because they love to fly at your face when you’re reading at night – kind of fun lovin’ little guys.

  2. jamers31484 November 30, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    I find ladybugs are the only insect I’m tolerant of having in my apartment. I prefer pets who have fur, but to each their own. =)

  3. popdialectic November 30, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Good job capturing the earnestness in her argument, ma’am!

  4. thesinglecell December 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Interesting. I didn’t know you could keep an insect alive on purpose. How long have they had this Ladybug? Good thing there are no other pets, because they would eat the first one.

  5. skippingstones December 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    I love this so much!

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