PANDEMIC PETS

With ongoing pandemic lockdown, I decided that if we couldn’t leave the house in search of food and fun, I would shop online and bring it to our doorstep in the form of a pet. Great idea or what?!

My seven-year-old daughter wanted a fluffy dog. My three-year-old son wanted a fluffy cat. I wanted a pocket-sized chihuahua. Lucky for them, I was willing to compromise with a fluffy pocket-sized chihuahua that had a passing resemblance to a cat.

“No inside animals! Pets should live outside.” Regrettably, my husband was opposed to the idea of an inside pet. Bah, what a party pooper!

We argued that our fish once lived in the house and they were considered pets! Well, until the unfortunate fish massacre. Since we lost our treasured Zane (greedy angel fish) and Archie (chilled albino catfish), my husband has been reluctant to return to pet ownership.

Due to the lack of a proper backyard, we agreed that our pets needed to be hardy and low maintenance. While it was my intention to have the children be responsible for looking after our new pet, realistically I would be the chump lumped with the task. So, I wanted a pet that didn’t need regular exercise (because I hate sweating) or grooming (because I’m lazy) and could survive not eating and drinking for a few days (because I’m sketchy at best).

We are now the proud owners of a thousand new pets. You read correctly, a thousand, give or take a few and they only cost us a measly fifty dollars. Have you guessed it? Worms. Wriggly, slippery and icky worms.

They came packed in some worm bedding inside a plastic bag and packaged in a cardboard box. In true Kathy form, I threw away the instruction booklet and in doing so, inadvertently discarded the troubleshooting pages. I could have saved myself a gigantic amount of pain if I had taken the time to read the ‘what can go wrong’ pages, for I’ve encountered a great deal of problems.

There’s been the Great Plague of the Vinegar Flies caused by my overzealous feeding with organic waste. FYI, flies really love banana skins. I tried vinegar/soap fly traps, moist cut up paper scrap barriers, removed big food scraps, conditioned and aerated the soil and changed the order of the trays. I stopped adding organic waste for a few weeks and eventually, most of the flies have disappeared.

Next came the Invasion of the Black Ants caused by the worms hibernating instead of eating during a short period of blistering cold weather. I ended up googling and putting trays of water around the legs of the worm farm to prevent ants from entering the trays. I also tried to drown the suckers with extra watering.

And because of my lack of restraint, I have a problem with potworms. Turns out, an overly moist environment, abundance of rotting fruit and vegetables and ungrounded eggshells have encouraged the growth of these unwanted worms. Originally, I thought these tiny white worms were finally the results of my worm farming mastery and happy worm bliss coupling. Not the case. Again, I consulted the wise ol’ Google and was advised to put a stale piece of bread drenched in milk to entice the potworms to the surface for disposal.

Now, I have another attack of the Black Ants AND a healthy population of Prolific Potworms. Sigh. So much for low-maintenance pets. Anyone got any ideas other than gifting it to my dad?

It’s a good thing that we live in a world where information is at the tip of our fingers. For without YouTube and Google, these worms would have already died a painful death from my mismanagement and negligence. Can you get a fine for worm cruelty?

The children want nothing to do with the worm farm, complaining that it stinks (It doesn’t!). The husband isn’t interested in co-ownership, even with supposed “benefits” thrown in. I’m on my own folks.

I know people say that a pet is for life and not just for Christmas… ahem, I mean lockdown, so now I have only one question. What’s the lifespan of a worm? Or in my case, a thousand worms?

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Kathy - KN J Tales and Snippets

Creative writer and storytelling enthusiast, sharing snippets of my journey through life and parenting. Aiming to inspire, empower and ignite laughter with every word that I write.

19 thoughts on “PANDEMIC PETS”

  1. I used to have a worm farm. It dehydrated in the summer and there were no survivors. I understand how finicky worm farming can be!

    If you’d ever consider submitting some of your work for publication, Dixie State University has an online literary journal and is currently open for submissions.

    https://r7review.submittable.com/submit

    We are in dire need of fiction and nonfiction submissions like this. We also accept memoirs, audio recordings, visual art, book reviews, multimedia (video/audio), photography, etc. You can check us out at R7Review.com. The deadline to submit this year is November 6th.

    Liked by 1 person

              1. Hey. I just confirmed with my professor that I told you incorrectly about blogs. Do you have a piece in draft that you could allow us to publish first? Then, once we publish, you retain all publication rights.

                I’m so sorry about my mistake. The other editor and I love your writing and hope to publish you in our issue!!

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Hi Rachel, that’s no problems. It happens. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything of similar writing in drafts. I write on the fly most weeks 😬 The few I do have are currently in comps or don’t meet the word limit or of a different style of writing. Next time then!

                  Like

  2. I’m sorry, but what the utter f*ck? I think you need to do a little more research on the definition of cute cuddly pet. Worms? No one wants those jumping on the bed and snuggling up next to them during the night.
    😳

    Liked by 2 people

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