Pet Peeves

What happens when the kids are grown and gone but the pets live on?

When our girls were 14 and 8, we finally allowed them to get kittens. But before the trip to the Animal League, their father, a lawyer, drafted a three-page agreement detailing their responsibilities for said kitties. The girls signed, and the system worked, more or less. They adored those cats, which were their babies. Now Sara is about to be married, and Joanna is a sophomore in college--and the adorable Milky, Sammy and Seis, along with their worsening digestive difficulties, are mine, all mine, to comfort and clean up after for years to come.

Empty-nesters everywhere are giving voice to the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!