Pets provide comfort, companionship for students

February 3, 2014 6:13 AMComments Off

Story by Katie Ericson

College transitions are tough. You’re in a strange new environment. New rooms, friends, food. It’s a lot to deal with.

From time to time, we all miss the comforts of home whether it’s laundry day and you wish your mom could explain why everything turned pink or it’s after your fifth batch of burnt mac ‘n cheese. But we all miss one thing: pets.

Whatever animal it is, we all love seeing our pets. They’re overjoyed to see us, and there isn’t much that compares to a pet’s love. Not having them here is hard. But what happens if you get your own pet?

Junior Bailey Cernohous did just that. Living in a house off campus, she now has a curious kitten to keep her company.

Cernohous and her roommates discovered a whole litter in their garage when they moved in.

Little Toothless (named for his black fur and green eyes) got caught in a raccoon trap. The housemates took him in, and their landlords agreed to let the group keep him.

“Sometimes, you just need some alone time, it’s nice to have a cuddly kitten during that time,” Cernohous said.

Junior Kelsey Tyler didn’t find cats in her apartment, but she did want a pet.

“I missed my pets at home but wasn’t ready for the financial commitment of a large pet,” Tyler said.

Having researched the matter, Tyler discovered cats and dogs are pricey. You can adopt for less money, but pets need beds, food and vaccinations. Even rabbits and turtles aren’t cheap. The pets themselves are expensive and then there are cages and food to consider.

Tyler found another possibility: gerbils. They’re less work, less money and still adorable. Now Tyler has Kaylee and Inara in her apartment to keep her company.

Cernohous also warned about the responsibility of having a pet.

“If anyone wants a pet in college then I hope they are prepared for the worst of things,” Cernohous said.  “You cannot just leave for days on end to visit home over breaks unless a roommate is staying home to take care of it.  Also, they make messes, so you have to be patient and responsible for anything they do.”

It’s important to understand that pets like cats and dogs aren’t allowed in the dormitories. There’s not enough room for them. However, fish are still allowed.

Sophomore Katie Canepa got her Beta fish, Carl, with her roommate. Both wanted a pet their freshman year since they were missing their pets from home, so they found Carl at the Crawford fish sale.

Though Canepa’s happy with Carl, she did warn against people thoughtlessly buying fish.

“People need to accept the responsibility of taking care of another living thing even if it is as small as a fish,” Canepa said.

There are plenty of options for students if you’re having some trouble missing your pet from home. But make sure before you get any animal – fish, dog, cat, etc. – that you can give that pet the time and effort it deserves.

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