With Great Cuteness Comes Great Responsibility


Ally McAlpine/Fourth Estate

My best friend in the whole world is my kitten, Donkey. To me, he’s the cutest kitten on the planet, but I’m likely biased. I got Donkey back in October of 2019 and he has been my best decision in the past six months, hands down. I’ve owned pets before, but getting Donkey was a bit different. This time, I wasn’t living at home — I was living in my townhouse with my roommates, without the help of my parents or siblings.

The responsibility of taking care of my own animal didn’t seem like a foreign concept to me because I had done it at home many times before, but what I didn’t realize was that this kitten was only relying on me — not my parents or anyone else. I was the breadwinner for this kitten, and having to manage that responsibility wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realize all the time management skills I was going to need to be able to take care of him. My daily routine consists of going to class, going to the gym and then going to work right after, so I don’t have much time at home during the day. This was an issue I realized after having Donkey for only a day. 

I was, however, able to find a solution to my time issue — my roommate. My roommate was able to give attention to him when I wasn’t there and playing with him eventually turned into her daily routine.

Another thing I didn’t think of was the money aspect. Most of the money I get from my paychecks goes to groceries, rent and gas. But not only was I paying for myself now, I was also paying for my small furry friend. Having to manage my finances with him wasn’t easy — but I found a way. Many vets provide assistance with finances, whether it’s low-cost neutering/spaying or shots, so I was able to take advantage of that.

Although there are issues that must be considered before getting a pet in college, I ultimately think I made the right decision by getting Donkey. Many of my friends talk about getting a pet while being in college, but I always ask them three things before they really decide. Can you afford it? Do you have enough time? And, will your roommates be able to help out? 

College is very time-consuming and expensive, so if you or anyone you know gets the itch to get a pet, ask yourself those three questions.

College can be rough, and sometimes having a source of comfort is what a person needs — and having a pet truly does bring that feeling. Donkey hasn’t been the easiest kitten to take care of, but he has definitely made coming home so much better.