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My other 17 pets

Did you know that in addition to Duncan I have seventeen other pets?

I haven’t blogged about them before because they’re kind of embarrassing.

Happy LafleurThey’re my Facebook Live Gift pets. It all started 23 days ago when I received a Facebook notification saying my brother had sent me a Live Gift. Did I want to see it? Click here! I clicked, and Facebook conned me into installing the application and then showed me a smiling flower.

“Feed him so he doesn’t die!” Facebook said. So I clicked the Feed button. It seemed simple enough. A little mindless, perhaps, but not too onerous.

Then my brother-in-law sent me a mouse named Scooter, and my sister sent me Doug the puppy. I fed them each morning before work, just by clicking the Feed button. They didn’t wake me up at 4:00 in the morning demanding food and affection. They didn’t poop. It was do-able.

Several others arrived – a puppy from my other sister, another mouse, a cat, a giraffe.

Taking care of seven pets wasn’t much more work than taking care of one.

But then I discovered that they had social needs, and they would be happier if only I would allow them to socialize.

You just click on a pet, and then click the Mingle button, and then click on the pet you want the first pet to socialize with. Both pets get a social point. Easy.

I thought there must be more to it. Maybe something happens if your pet gets ten social points? So I socialized them all up to 10. Nothing happened. Maybe at 100? Clickity click. It was tedious work, but I brought them all up to 100 social points. Still nothing.

Then I made the mistake of visiting the adoption clinic. This is where the starving neglected pets end up. If they’re not adopted today, they’ll die.

This is what Teddy looked like when I first adopted him:

Sad starving puppy

This is what he looked like after I lavished some tender loving care on him:


Then I adopted a sad little goldfish on the verge of death.

“Poor little thing,” I thought, “How could anybody do this to him?”

JamesI named him after my son. First AND last name. I don’t know why I did that. I fed him all the way up to 100% fullness. Then I started mingling him with my other pets until he had over 700 social points. It was mind-numbingly boring, but I got some strange satisfaction from knowing I was taking good care of him.

Meanwhile, I sent my son a giraffe named Joe. My son refused to install the Live Gift application because it was already annoying him with constant notifications like “Zoom fed your Live Gift named Joe with her own food. Feed your Live Gift before it dies.” and “Zoom mingled her Live Gift named Chester with your Live Gift named Joe. You both get one extra food.”

I check on Joe every day to see if James has started taking care of him yet, and he hasn’t, so I feed him and mingle him with some of my pets. I know James just wants to let Joe die (along with the Live Gifts other people sent him and which are also annoying him with constant notifications) but Joe is like a grandson to me now….probably more so than a digital giraffe ought to be. (I might have some attachment issues.)

I was a little concerned about what would happen to all my Live Gifts when I go on holidays, but I see they just added a babysitter feature. It’s pretty cheap too.

For awhile there I kept going into the adoption clinic and feeding the starving animals. Occasionally I would adopt one. This is why I now have seventeen pets. I’m trying not to do this anymore.

The whole application is so pointless, and to be honest, the Live Gifts aren’t even much fun. It’s all about accumulating pointless points through pointless repetitive clicking. If I get enough points I can click on a picture of a roller coaster, and then it will say “Your Live Gift took a ride on a roller coaster.” How can I let something this dumb suck me into all this pointlessness?

I am tempted to just let them die, but I don’t think I can do that. I might be able to let the others die, but not James the Goldfish.


14 comments to My other 17 pets

  • This happened to me when I was in grad school, but it was called Neopets. I was trying very hard to forget that I let my Neopet (named after my real life pet) fade away into obscurity….

  • Linda

    Oh, sweety. Thanks for the warning.

  • The live pets drove me away from Facebook. I abandoned the whole thing when I abandoned the Livepets application. My boys refused to feed their pets too. I’m such a poor example!

  • Gilles Seguin

    “Facebook Live Gift pets”, eh?
    Now I know what happened to those evil minds who devised the Tamagotchi.
    They got jobs at Facebook.

    We Want Duncan!
    We Want Duncan!
    We Want Duncan!

  • XUP

    You should know that this entire confession is going into your permanent record.

  • I feel you and your Live Gift exhaustion. The same thing happened to me, but with the “Lil Green Patch” application, which CLAIMS to help you save a square foot of the rainforest the more you harass your friends with really ugly cartoon plants. I was spending ENTIRELY too much time tending my green patch, weeding, feeding, raking and watering OTHER people’s green patches and after three weeks, I had saved two feet of rainforest. Two feet! I’m helping save 11.4 feet every DAY just by clicking on Eff you, Lil Green Patch!

    Also, “green patch” sounds like a euphemism for something. I’m not sure what.

  • I’d be the same way…. I cried when my tamagotchi died becasue I forgot to clean up his poop

  • I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    Heather and Valerie – my deepest sympathies.

    Dirtwitch – I was wondering where you went – You abandoned our scrabble game too!

    Linda, if anybody sends you a Live Gift, stand firm, hold your ground, do NOT install the app. You’ll be fine.

    Gilles – there will be another duncan fix soon – in the meantime, the 4th Dwarf has taken kitty blogging to a whole new level today.

    Speaking of which…XUP, how come my confession is going on my permanent record, and Fourth Dwarf’s confession isn’t, when his is SO much juicier than mine??

    Roro, I found myself getting sucked into the Green Patch application too, but the barrier for me was the full-blown harassment of friends. I couldn’t bring myself to do that, not even for the rainforests. (Thanks for the link by the way.)

  • XUP

    Don’t worry, 4Ds confession isn’t going to be expunged either. Ever. From any record or from anyone’s memory.

  • Hence my aversion to most of the Apps on FB.

  • Nancy

    Carpal Tunnel here you come! I think you ditched the L’il Green Patch, so I am confident that you can ditch the pretend pets too, JUST SAY NO!!!

    At least you don’t have to feed the rather unattractive winnie the pooh characters which app., of course, I added even though it now says “send Nancy a Pooh” under my profile picture. Nobody really steps back and looks at this stuff before releasing it, I fear.

    Be strong! Remove the app!

  • Oma

    This is all really strange … do people get paid to do these things?

    There are people who think we love our real dogs and cats far too much … but pictures???

  • Woodsy

    Being a virtual creature myself, I’m glad there are real people like you who care… thanks for the recent social points!

  • Woodsy, thank YOU for the recent social points. I enjoyed our mingle.

    Julia, I try to avoid the facebook apps too, but even though I dodge most of them, I still get roped in occasionally. It’s hard to say no to a Live Gift from your brother….

    Nancy, I was wondering about your pooh. I didn’t want to ask. 😉

    Oma, I can’t explain it.