Question of the Week: May 22nd, 2018.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kinds? Or what pets would you want to have?

When I told a past professor I was going to be researching asexuality she told me she knows someone who might be asexual. Her reasons were the person was never in a relationship and had a lot of pets. My professor assumed she had pets to replace the companionship she’d get from a romantic and sexual relationship. I was surprised by the stereotype and haven’t heard it since, but it got me thinking about asexuality and pets. I assume aces have the same amount of pets as everyone else, but who knows? Take this as an excuse to brag about all the lovely nonhuman animal friends you cohabit with.

Right now I have an amazingly affectionate cat-sized chinchilla rabbit, a border collie/black lab dog (in my profile picture), and too many water snails to keep track of (they came along on some plants I bought for a water garden and they’re so soothing to watch and care for). In the past I’ve had more rabbits, birds, hermit crabs, fish, and cats. In the future I hope to adopt more herbivores. I’ve always wanted to have a small vegan sanctuary for rescued chickens, sheep, and/or cows. We’ll see if I get there 🙂

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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7 Responses to Question of the Week: May 22nd, 2018.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I have one cat, and I am really glad I only have one. Contrary to the asexual cat lady stereotype, lol. Because I have had to foster a lot of feral kittens in the past, and try to tame them so they could be adopted, either because a stray had kittens in a shed or the garage, or because someone else had that problem and basically pressured me into doing it. I like cats, but it is VERY stressful to do that, especially when it’s really not something you volunteered for or expected, and your partner is allergic. I was planning to keep a couple of the kittens last time, but we couldn’t because they turned out to bother her so much that she started getting asthma attacks. I was really sad to see them go.

    But it was also kind of a relief… because seriously, kittens are a LOT of work. I would much rather adopt an older cat. But I don’t want any more cats right now, and my cat really dislikes other cats anyway. And somehow, she doesn’t bother my partner’s allergies very much (she didn’t bother my old roommate’s allergies much either). She’s probably the easiest cat I’ve ever had to take care of, she learns quickly and follows commands I never even really tried to teach her, she just sort of picked it up. She’s also SUPER friendly towards people, and wants attention from anyone who stops by, lol.

    My partner wants a bird, so maybe we’ll get one at some point. I’m not sure how that will work with the cat though. I guess we’ll figure it out if it happens.

  2. Nowhere Girl says:

    I don’t have any pets, first of all because of my allergy. However, to be honest, I would’t really want to. I RESPECT animals, I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t want to take the responsibility of caring over an animal. I’m no EXTREME loner, but I guess I’m anyway a genuine loner who can feel good without companionship. I developed such feelings early, already at the age of seven I would rather sit in my room and read than go out to play with other children.

  3. TreePeony says:

    I’ve heard the stereotype plenty, unfortunately. (Directed at myself and others) And perhaps it’s not entirely false, either. But I’m aro ace and I still adore animals despite never once having felt the need for human relationships of the non-familial variety. Imo the companionship that animals provide is much more honest, straightforward and relatively drama-free than what you get from humans, so I can’t imagine why anyone would compare the two.

    Anyway, I have a yellow lab that’s more of a family pet than a personal one, mostly because no matter how much I love dogs I don’t have the energy or the friendly and overly affectionate disposition needed to become a truly good dog owner. My personal pet is a cat (a kitten from a stray who had a litter near my aunt’s place), and I’m perfectly satisfied with just the one (more love to go around ^^). I’m too lazy to take on any animal more high-maintenance than a cat, though I also like fish, rabbits, hedgehogs, etc. Felines are just perfect for me!

  4. Portia says:

    I have an affinity for animals and have had many rescues, mainly cats. I always found the non-verbal, direct communication and genuine gratitude and how they were THERE for me when I was sick or miserable to be so much different from my family’s cold self-importance, and actual ridiculous jealousy of my pets. I have not found at all among my animal rescue cohort humans that asexuality is common–I am the only one as far as I can tell.

  5. I have one cat! She is a great companion and keeps me on my toes. I used to have a bunny, and she was incredibly fun and sweet, but I don’t think I’ll want another for some time—they’re too high maintenance for grad school! I relate a little bit to the idea of animal companions giving things I’m not getting from relationships with humans—like cuddling!—but they also bring things that are pretty different. Being responsible for another creature’s well-being is a pretty good motivator for getting out of bed.

  6. luvtheheaven says:

    I tried to answer this last week but my comment never posted. I’m not an animal person, I’m not a pet person, although I did hear the stereotype about asexual women and being a crazy old cat lady at like the very first in person asexual meetup I went to, that one was in a house 4 years ago and the host had a cat and made a brief joke. I’m surprised as I get older just how common pets really seem to be?? If I had to choose between cats and dogs typically I’d choose cats, but honestly I’d probably rather just have a fish, that was always kinda my thought as a kid too. I never had a pet growing up. Hermit crabs for about a week maybe (after a trip to the beach). That’s one area I think I’d be happy to compromise on going forward into a committed partnership though. I’d be happy to have a dog or two if my partner was a dog person. Etc.

  7. Katherine says:

    I have a pet dog… or she has a pet human. When I found her at the pound it was very much a mutual ‘I choose you’ moment; Estelle’s a pretty smart dog too as it wasn’t even a day before she was responding to her new name, as the one the pound gave her was kinda blah. (Made easier in that she never responded to her name from the pound and so clearly hadn’t associated herself with it.) She worries when I’m sick or sad (extra cuddles for the human) and prefers playing with my hands over toys (she knows that ‘ow’ means stop). The only thing I regret is that I can’t let her get into the habit of sleeping on my bed because my pollen allergies amount to ‘if it falls off a plant, I’ll sneeze for it’ and thus while I’m not a allergic to her I can be allergic to things that get on her… which I very much don’t want transferred to my blankets and pillows. As it stands, she is the biggest blanket/pillow thief on the couch so I know she’d try to convince me she needs my pillows more than I do if I let her sleep regularly on my bed. (The way it is now, its a treat for her after putting up with the much hated bath.)

    I keep considering whether or not to update my account pic on wordpress to Estelle, but right now I have a picture of Patches, who passed away while I was in college, and I can’t quite convince myself to put her picture away yet.

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