So, my house is saturated with animals. We have three cats and a dog. That being said, I still have quite a few spare pets.
The concept of a "spare pet" is one that my brother put words to for me, but has been a part of my life ever since I moved out on my own. See, that's when my cats became my spare cats. I didn't live with them any more, and only visited once a year or so (since they were hundreds of miles away). I still thought of them as my cats, but they really weren't anymore.
This feeling of "my cat, but not my cat" has since extended to the beasties of my friends. I have 3 spare dogs, and 14 spare cats. I thought of including pictures, because I have pictures, but that might be a little excessive.
So I got to thinking--what makes a "spare" pet?
For me, I think it has to do with time and care. I have cared for all of my spare pets while their regular families were away, but they were my spare pets before that, so that can't be the true deciding factor.
I'd say it was just pets that I like, but I like all the pets, except for Tommy's tarantula, and that's just because she's outside my leg rule. So, there are pets that I like that I don't consider my spares.
I guess it's sort of important that my spare pets like me. Hence, I don't think of Ming the Merciless* as a spare cat, because she's a cranky kitty. She's pretty, and pissy, and I still remember when she was "firmly medium-sized" and shredded the toilet paper in my brother's apartment. Ok, so maybe she can be a spare cat too.
Maybe it's that these are the pets I spend the most time with, even if it's not a lot of time. It's more than once-a-year time.
I do know that when I lose a spare pet it sucks nearly as much as losing a pet that lives at my house. Obviously it's not the same as it is for their families, but there are still tears and the sharing of silly memories...
So all that boils down to love, right? Spare pets are pets that aren't mine but that I love just like they were.