It's happened - she's asked the question I've been dreading for most of her life - the one I thought I might be able to buy some time on:
"Mummy? Can you buy me a kitten?"
"Oh. Can you buy me a puppy."
"Can you buy me a tiger."
I just don't do animals. I know that this might seem a little unfair to a 3-year old but who's going to end up taking care of the damn thing? I detest dogs - stupid, slobbery things - I'm actually secretly glad when the great big mutts up Weston Woods try to kiss/lick/annoy Celeste because, though I don't want her to be scared of them, I definitely would prefer not to have one in the house! We couldn't anyway because the house is actually a flat and it just wouldn't be fair. Right, sorted! Can't have a dog, no way.
Hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc, are on a par with vermin, so no thanks! Anyway, we've got plenty of wood rats scurrying around here at the back of the house.
I admire cats though: I like the way they appreciate freedom, the way that they use and abuse - gollop the food, grab a cuddle and then sod off for a couple of days until they need some more sustenance. Even still, I'd rather not be responsible for the vet's bills or for buying food for IT as well as for us and I certainly don't to go through that inevitable training, pissing stage.
I know I could start small and get her a fish or something but it'd be me who has to change the water, buy the food, flush it down the loo and replace it with another slither of gold when it dies in a couple of weeks/months time. But I've got enough to do already and usually I don't even get around to doing that.
For example, I was in the bath yesterday, where I had little choice but to glance over at the toilet right next to me (it's still without a seat and lid after it broke about, erm, four months ago). Hygiene levels were low and I thought that if I'd have sat on THAT toilet in anyone else's house, I would have been horrified!! It isn't even fit to flush a mythical goldfish down!