Anyone knows when they are not loved. Even crickets. Crickets are not terribly bright about most things. They're fed water in a sponge lest they drown themselves attempting to drink from a dish. One of those creatures that does very poorly in the body mass to brain ratio, although some crickets do brilliantly in the testicles to body mass ratio - who needs brains when you've got ba**s, right? Still, I'm sure even crickets with their minuscule brains and ginormous testicles know when they are not loved.
We've been over this a few times. Working adults aren't meant to have kids, let alone pets. Our 9 year olds argue, quite irrefutably, that didn't stop us from having kids so why not have pets too? No reason to add insult to injury, but never mind. Finding the right pet for a family, one that becomes a part of the family is hard. We already have a fish tank, and that just became furniture. A dog would be great! They can be personal trainers, mediators through family crises, fluffy bean bags on cuddly evenings, watch guards, floor mops all rolled into one jumping, slobbering, loyal, lovable thing that's ecstatic to see you every single time you walk through the door - he's you're therapist, an any-time anti-depressant, you name it! Unfortunately they also need company, which we can't even offer each other enough of. So dogs were not happening for us. We were looking for something convenient. Something that the kids could love and care for as much, get attached to, but preferably didn't occupy as much space, cause us any work, take up any of our precious time and yet make for a perfect pet. My husband, this man just keeps dazzling me with his sheer brilliance, came up with the perfect solution - Crickets!
At first it was a bit of a hard sell, so he sold it hard. I wasn't sure about keeping creatures in captivity for the sake of the children's emotional development and entertainment. We were doing it with the fish in the tank and now we'd be doing it again. I tend to be a snob when it comes to principles - only the loftiest and purest will do. But I backed down this time. Apparently in the wonderfully convenient class system of creatures of the world, crickets really didn't matter. So I let myself be awed as he extolled the benefits of having crickets as pets. Each can have a pair of their very own, in their own rooms in terrariums! The investment is minimum since crickets are mainly sold as feed for other pets. They only live a 100 days and they might even have babies in that time, giving our kids the opportunity to witness the cycle of life first hand. And if not, the kids would have still lived out their pet phase, with all the nurturing and caring 9 year olds can shower on a pair of crickets in a 100 days. Everyone's served, pet chapter closed, we all move on. I must say, it all sounds pretty damn good!
So the crickets, aka our extended family now, were ceremoniously brought home. There were a few days of research and re-work that followed till the sexes were sorted to make pairs. The chap in the pet store just couldn't have been bothered to add sex-sorting services for 15 cents a cricket. Well anyway, they all got names, we learnt to tell them apart, it was all very exciting and everyone was so happy!
.........to be continued :-).