up in a brownstone on the Upper West Side meant we had a lot
more room to keep pets than the average New Yorker, and in my
family, that meant a lot more pets. At one point, our menagerie
included a squirrel monkey, 18 mice, two dogs and one cat, a
parakeet, a toad, a skunk, a couple of snakes, and an ever-exploding
population of guinea pigs.
I considered myself an ardent animal lover, but the passion
dimmed with puberty and has never been reignited. But there
are plenty of other New Yorkers who continue to find unbridled
joy through their bond with their fellow creatures.