Five reasons to have a pet in the Peace Corps

1. Proof that you’re not crazy

When someone catches you talking to yourself, you can just pretend that you were talking to your cat.

2. Theft deterrent

Nobody else in your community keeps an animal inside their house, so if the foreigner is doing it, it must be a dangerous guard animal. A dangerous guard animal that weighs six pounds and spends half the day eating its own hair.


I've probably consumed five pounds of cat fur in the past year, which is about how much Hobbes eats in a day

3. Instant conversation starter

You can talk with curious kids for hours about your cat’s name, what it eats, what it’s doing RIGHT NOW, where it sleeps, what it’s doing RIGHT NOW five minutes later, and whether or not Americans eat cats.

4. Learn a whole new vocabulary

I not only know how to say “cat” in Bemba, I also know how to say “the cat is eating,” “the cat is sleeping,” “the cat is making too much noise,” “the cat has two little baby cats,” and “the cat will eat your toes if you keep pulling its tail.” Dr. Seuss ain’t got nothing on me.

5. When it breeds, you get cute offspring

Hobbes had kittens a couple of weeks ago. They’re not yet big enough to play with me, but I’m patient.


Meet Siri (R) and Mance Rayder (L) -- (5a. Never miss an opportunity to teach Zambian kids about American culture)


Hobbes is already starting to get tired of these little rascals


11 thoughts on “Five reasons to have a pet in the Peace Corps

  1. Nice! I’ve actually been thinking about getting a small dog for when I serve, but I’d seen so many things saying having a pet is not recommended. Seems to have worked out nicely for you though!

  2. Those are some pretty legit reasons. I wanted to get a pet here in Ethiopia, but I know I’d get far too attached and have to somehow bring the damn thing back with me. Instead, I visit other volunteers’ pets (not the volunteers themselves haha) on a regular basis. There’s a lot less fur involved!

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