Why I Got a College Pet

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My summer in Blacksburg was quiet and slightly lonely, all my friends were gone and I had just had a new roommate, Ruthie, move in. Things around the house were quiet and awkward. I spent my days waitressing and a local bar, PK’s. By the time the end of May came around Ruthie and I had become acquaintances, but nothing more.

One night we were sitting talking about home, Ruthie had several cats at home and she was missing them severely. A lot of college kids have to say goodbye to their childhood pets, which can be sad and really hard for some. I have never had a pet. My mom always said she had enough kids that we didn’t need a pet, but I have been begging for a cat since I could talk.

This was the night we decided we had to get kittens. Coincidentally, Ruthie’s friend’s cat just had a litter of five. They were four weeks old and absolutely adorable. We left the house with one more cat than expected; We brought our two kittens home: Ladybug was Ruthie’s and Bandit was mine.

One of the downfalls of college pets is worrying about the expenses. If you’re looking for the least expensive pet, I would not recommend a young animal. You do have to worry about frequent vet visits, vaccinations, and they eat a lot of food. However, for me it was worth every penny.

The first night we had them I had to go to work. I remember being yelled at by a costumer and coming home defeated and in tears. Yet, the moment I saw Bandit run to the door to greet me everything else seemed to disappear. Now everytime I come home, I hear his paws running on the floor, coming to say hello and it feels like home. 

Now Ruthie and I are co-parents and we are closer than ever. (Cleaning cat pee and throw up usually does that to a friendship.) Bandit and Ladybug have seen Ruthie and I through it all; they have been there to watch us cry over boyfriends, apply for internships, they have met numerous of new friends, and now they are watching us start classes.

One of my favorite parts about getting a young pet in my 20’s is the fact I know they will live to see me though the rest of the big milestones in my life like getting my first job, hopefully Bandit will be my flower cat at my wedding, and meet my first kid. Honestly, Bandit feels like my first child and I love that wild cat. 

For me, Bandit was a saving grace. This summer he was a remedy for loneliness; this semester he has helped me deal with the stress, and reminds me to take a break every once in a while but only to play with him. He is the cutest ball of energy and I never thought it possible to love a small creature this much.



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