Douglas Milewski (dacuteturtle) wrote,
Douglas Milewski
dacuteturtle

Hermit Crabs

My mother didn't believe in pets. She may have believed in other people having them, but not us. (Even so, she noticed that other people's houses smelled like animals, and that was a cut.) She didn't want to take care of them as she already had enough children. Having no faith that we would keep up our responsibilities, she never gave in to a dog, let alone a cat.

My sisters did have some pets. We won goldfish here and there, and the poor creatures lived somewhat random lives in our house. I can't say that we were the best pet owners. On the other hand, they were goldfish.

Judy did have an aquarium for a while. I don't know how that got afforded. I think that we kept it for a few years. The tank ended up getting smashed when I had tried some weight lifting. It was straight out of a comedy. I put the weights on the bar, lifted it above my head, then immediately went backwards, the weights falling and hitting the tank. (So I guess that I earned a reputation for clumsiness about my family.)

The only pet that I had in my youth that was my pet was a hermit crab. We bought him down at Ocean City, one for me and one for my brother, and we were awfully excited to get them. We would pull them out and let them crawl across the floor. We had food for them, too, put in bottle caps, and water, in bottle caps as well. The cages lived on our book shelf.

As you can guess, the excitement didn't last. After the excitement comes forgetting, as you forget all toys. One day we noticed that the water caps were empty and the crabs weren't coming out of their shells. We had ignored the poor critters to death. I think that I was more disappointed than sad, and I had convinced myself that I was going to pay attention. In my imagination, I was going to be the best hermit crab taker-care-of ever, and my crab would get bit, and it would all be COOL. I would be everyone's envy. That's not how it turned out.

These days I have a cat, not a hermit crab, and he does a good job of making me pay attention to him, so there's not much forgetting. I would be truly pained if I were to forget him. That cat has a temper.
Tags: 1970s, childhood, toys
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