I have an update on the Olley household pet situation!
Billy and I went down to the local garden centre, which has a pet section, to try and decide who was going to be the object of his affections. He fell in love with the rabbits – there was a gorgeous black and white one who had one sticky-up ear and one floppy ear who I have to admit was very appealing. But as Billy is already a teenager, I feel that in a few years time he will have lost interest, and I'll be doing all the work. Not a good plan.
We talked about this with one of the shop girls, and she suggested trying to find a rescue rabbit that was already a few years old and therefore wouldn't live so long. Billy saw the advantage of this compromise and was preparing his arguments to persuade his dad that this was the way forward when he saw the hamsters.
He was hooked. There was a little brown hamster with markings like a chipmunk that seemed to be making eyes at him. As she climbed the bars in her cage she was calling to him – 'Billy… Billy… make me yours!'
My comments that she might keep him awake at night with her wheel running, or his initial misgivings that she was too small to cuddle properly, evaporated as he held her for the first time. And that was that.
Billy is now the proud owner of Tilly, who loves pumpkin seeds and broccoli, and doesn't smell half as much as Olley had feared!
And Billy has someone to love.