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My UAE Pet

January 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · UAE

Well, I don’t have one. Thinking about getting one, though. OK, more musing than thinking. Not seriously. Musing is never serious.

I live in an apartment with two rooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room and a kitchen. Not a lot of space for a pet.

Some considerations:

–Pretty much can’t be a dog. Most dogs want to go outside, at least a little, and that’s a bad idea from mid-April to mid-November. Going outside could kill the dog, then … and maybe you, too. Just walking around in 110 degrees … Oh, and the whole “unclean” thing is pretty intense here. Towards dogs. And anything but the dumbest, oldest dog, smallest dog probably would get bored being alone in the apartment.

–Can’t be a cat. Don’t like them, and that comes ahead of being allergic to them. Non-starter either way. However, cats are socially acceptable here, and I know a few people who have them.

–Something small and rodent-y? Hamster, guinea pig, mouse, rat … A little cage and the industrious mini-mammal inside, chewing on seeds or running on a wheel, sucking on the little water holder. Could. But what if they escape? It would freak out people. And those creatures tend to die within a year or so.

–Something small and reptilian? Again, talking cage, and snakes freak me out, so it would have to be some sort of lizard, one that doesn’t mind the fact that the AC runs six months (plus) around here, and its environment will always be about 70 degrees, which a lizard might not like.

–Something small and amphibious? A frog? A cage means no jumping around, which seems cruel, and feeding them is weird. Like, dead flies? And no one likes to pet a frog.

–Something small and aquatic? This might work. An aquarium! Maybe 15-20 gallons, with a faux shipwreck in the rocks at the bottom, and the oxygen gurgling round the clock (a fine type of white noise), and a dozen brightly colored fish just gliding around. I find aquariums to be both soothing and interesting. Just a bunch of dumb tropical fish chillin’ … and circling the tank, and if you’re lucky one of them won’t eat all the rest. But this can be an expensive hobby; my father liked to keep tropical fish, and something or other was going belly up every few days, and the replacement would be something expensive. Sort of a money pit, an aquarium is. Plus, they should be cleaned regularly, and that’s no one’s idea of fun.

–Something small and insect-y? Had an ant farm at least once, as a child, and I know I spent hours staring at it. (For those of you who haven’t seen them, the typical ant farm has two glass walls, about an inch apart, and stands maybe 8-10 inches, and you fill it with dirt and then you dump in the ants (carpenter-type ants; big enough to watch) and every once in a while you drop in some sugar. And the ants dig tunnels and work work work. But … what if they get out? Would I want to be Ground Zero for an ant infestation of the tower we live in? Maybe not.

OK, maybe this: A goldfish.

Small bowl, a scrap of fake palm tree (why do we like to see land-like figures under water?), a goldfish swimming in circles. A bit of color. Cheap to feed. No chance of breaking loose, can’t really feel bad about not entertaining them — they get all the entertainment they need every lap around the bowl, which (we believe) seems new to them on every circuit.

And if it all goes bad, the bowl can turn into a terrarium, and the dear departed Goldie can go down the drain. Could be the perfect UAE pet.


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