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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: What’s the strangest or most exotic pet you’ve ever had, or would like to have?

What’s the strangest or most exotic pet you’ve ever had, or would like to have?

My life has been rather boring in this department. We had a cat when I was very little, and a dog for a short while when I was in high school (she was killed, run over by a car, only months after we adopted her), and then I’ve had cats and parakeets as an adult. Now, I’m petless. But if I had the money to buy one and the attention to give that they require, I’d love to own a big bird, perhaps an African gray parrot. It would be like having a little alien intelligence in the house.


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  • Cori Ann

    I had a hedgehog for a brief period in high school. I got her my senior year though and right after graduation we ended up moving across the country and my school wouldn’t allow her as a pet, so my boyfriend at the time ended up taking her. She was pretty awesome even though I don’t think she liked me very much. But those are pets that definitely require a very lot of attention!

  • Tully

    I also had a hedgehog for several years; they are great pets, but they are very high maintenance. Once they’ve gotten used to you, they are quite friendly and affectionate. They unfortunately have a tendency to acquire a bad autoimmune illness, which is almost always fatal. I highly recommend them if they’re legal in your area.

  • my family has had a history of strange and exotic pets… as an adult, all i’ve ever had are cats. i plan on getting goldfish soon. however, when i was a kid, we always had dogs, cats, birds (canaries and parakeets) and fish. then we had a pet chipmunk (rescued) for 7 or so years; a duck, several rabbits (all this while living in NYC). after my parents moved to the country, we had: goats, horses, a pig, a pigeon, a raccoon (and yes, they were all pets!) THEN came the capuccin monkey (another rescue), a kinkajoo and the first parrot. my parents were the kind of people who, if someone offered them an orphaned elephant, would have said yes. then the moved to tennessee. more of the usual, then more parrots! then my sister got involved in raising exotic animals, but that was after i was already living on my own in NYC.

  • also, there were rats, snakes, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs.

  • Isobel

    I would love an African Grey parrot too, or a Hyacinth Macaw if that were ethically possible but I don’t think they are bred in captivity in the UK so that’s out.

    I’ve had a lot of pets, we had a couple of acres when I was in my early teens. So, cats, dogs, horses, gerbils, rabbits, geese, ducks, chickens and bantams, peacocks (all the birds were tame and would eat out of your hand), a Jersey cow (she was such a sweetie – we got her when she was three days old and fed her milk for about a year longer than necessary ’cause she liked it and so did we. She got these little tiny curly horns and she was always tiny). Also budgerigars, a mouse, a chinchilla, goldfish and a bunch of tropical fish.

    Currently (and sadly) petless.

  • Orangutan

    If I had the time to devote to it, I would love to have an Umbrella or Molluccan Cockatoo as a pet. And in the realm of ‘never gonna happen’, I always thought a descented and tame skunk would be awesome. But I know that isn’t possible. :)

    And as I type this, my dog comes running over to give me the ‘take me outside now or you’ll regret it’ look. :D

  • Danielle

    My hairless rat was as exotic as I got. I loved that little guy. Rats are fantastic pets.

  • Joy

    I currently have two snakes (Great Plains Rat Snake adult and an 8 month old Albino/melanistic Corn Snake), and a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula. I love both types of pets. LOW maintenance, yet high enjoyment. Recently I saw a Brazilian Possum for sale in a shop. It is between the size of a mouse and rat but has a cool prehensile tail. Long snout and very loving when hand reared. I was very tempted.
    Oh yeah, I also have two cats and a blind dog with a thyroid disorder. lol

  • LaSargenta

    …well, there was Robert, who loved going for walks on the leash…

    Oh. You mean a non-human pet?

  • Neil

    I had a brown-haired tarantula for a couple of years.

    I’d like to get a Bengal cat, and possibly a Maine coon.

    My (recently ex)girlfriend has a Scottish terrier/shi-tzu cross, looks a lot like “Benji.” I love that dog, but I guess I will have to learn to live without her now that the G/F and I are kaputs. -_-

  • JoshB

    I would like to own a porcupine.

  • Isobel

    There are loads of squirrels in the woodland around the block of flats I live in, and I do occasionally yearn to tame one of the squirrels.

  • Althea

    When I was a kid we had a skunk for a while. He was adorable and a lot of fun, but we(my family) too learned that it’s hard to keep a non-domesticated animal as a pet.

    As for me, there’s almost no animal I wouldn’t love to have around (besides my cats), but if I had the means I’d have an alpaca, a miniature horse, and a miniature donkey. It would be fantastic taking them out for walks.

    And even though it wouldn’t be a pet per se, a badger or two to live on the grounds.

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