I admit I'm a lazy pet owner. I never want a dog of my own because they take way more energy than I'm willing to give. One time I had this goldfish for a year. I hardly ever cleaned the tank and forgot to feed it all time time and yet it hung on admirably. I'll probably have to answer for it's life someday.
I did enjoy having cats. Most of my life my family had at least one outdoor cat at any given time and they were great because all you had to do for maintenance is put out food and water. Unfortunately, sometimes their life expectancy was akin to the goldfish, but sometimes we had a rock star that stuck around for half a dozen years (three cheers Tiger). "My" current cat has been with the family 8 years now, but I attribute her longevity to indoor life and my mother's care so I don't really get credit for anything but picking her out at the Humane Society for my 18th birthday.
Because of my lazy pet-owning history, sometimes I fear I shouldn't be a parent. I felt like I should try out some other kind of nurturing to boost my confidence. Some people get a dog as their "starter" child. I decided on a houseplant. I expressed this to my husband so one day he came home from the grocery store with a primrose. I was excited and a little nervous and read up on the care of indoor primroses and planned to buy a little pot and soil to give it a better situation. A day later I put it near a window out of directly sunlight as instructed. Unfortunately, by the time we got home the sun shifted and the poor thing was toast. I had it for literally 2 days and killed it. I felt like a terrible human and a doomed pro-creator.
Since this failure had the opposite effect on my confidence that I needed, I impulsively picked up a half-dead basil plant at the grocery store to start anew. Husband was a little wary, given my history and the initial state of the organism, but he supported my efforts. I cut it back and nurtured the living parts and I'm proud to relate that I've not only kept it alive, but it's actually thriving . I finally procured a larger container and a friend donated some potting soil so I could upgrade its habitat. I've used bits of basil to make tomato basil soup this spring and it turned out great.
Ok, I realize that raising basil is not super hard, and it doesn't exactly disprove that I'm a lazy nurturer. But it's baby steps to... well, baby steps. Today it's basil, tomorrow... still basil. But someday? The world.
4 days ago