Finally Got Them Bugging Out

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2017

(I am at my volunteer job in the local shelter when a woman and her daughter, who is maybe eight to nine years old, come in to check out our kittens. The daughter immediately comes up to me.)

Girl: “Do you have any monkeys?”

Me: “No, we just have cats and dogs, and I think we have a rabbit right now, too.”

Girl: “I love monkeys! I’m going to get one as a pet!”

(She continues to talk about how much she loves monkeys and wants to have one of her very own, while her mother adopts an “oh, no, here we go again” expression.)

Me: “Well, the thing is, it’s actually pretty difficult to keep a monkey as a pet.”

Girl: “It is?”

Me: “Yup. See, monkeys don’t like to be by themselves; they get really unhappy if they’re left alone all day when you’re in school.”

Girl: “They do?”

Me: “Absolutely. Also, they can be hard to feed correctly. Do you know what monkeys eat?”

Girl: “I’d feed my monkey bananas!”

Me: “Well, some monkeys eat fruit, but they can’t eat only bananas. They need to eat a wide variety of fruits to stay healthy. And some monkeys don’t eat fruit; they eat bugs.”

Girl: “Really?”

Me: “Yup, they eat worms and flies and caterpillars…”

Girl: “Eeeew! I don’t want something that eats bugs! Maybe I shouldn’t get a monkey.”

Me: “Yeah, it’s a lot easier to keep a kitten. Would you like to hold one?”

(I showed her several of our kittens. As the two of them were leaving, her mother turned to me and whispered, “Thank you,” with a very profound look of relief.)


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