There's this feeling I'm having at the moment. It's the feeling that as things stand, there is a distinct lack of living breathing fuzz. I didn't expect this feeling when I came back to uni in September. Unfortunately, it doesn't disappear after having a shave, and I'm pretty sure I've never had a rodent problem to begin with.
Okay, so various things still smell, there are still things curled up in bed at 2 in the afternoon, and by 11 there will be at least one creature who seems eternally willing to greet anyone who steps into the room. That feeling's still there. It's slightly depressing, really.
The truth is that few things will ever replace a good pet, and that's one more reason to go home for Christmas; aside from the free rent, food, washing and loot from this year's season of goodwill.
Whether it's the fuzz, the entertainment, or some other more personal reason, pets are awesome. It's why so many of us have them. And you never really notice how much space they use up until you live somewhere they don't physically exist. Things seem quieter, less busy. Even those absolute morons of the animal kingdom take on a certain value when you no longer see them every day- whether you like them or not.
At this point, understandably, you might get the impression I'm a one of those people who loves pets a bit too much. The sort that buys their dog an advent calendar each year, or takes their cat to beauty therapy classes.
Trust me: I'm not. I view animals the way I imagine they view us; a commodity that just so happens to fit into my life. They are ultimately expendable, which is why I don't ask my family to read out personalised texts to the cat and wait for a response.
Some people can afford to have pets at uni. One guy I know from college posted a shot of his resident guinea pig/"skinny pig" (he shaved it) Reggie online, so it seems some landlords do allow them. The majority I've met don't, but there's always the possibility.
Personally, however, I'd avoid it. There's some fairly obvious reasoning behind why we're not usually allowed them. It's one more living creature in your already hectic lifestyle- one that can't survive without a level of care and attention you will struggle to provide for it.
Granted, a Labrador will eat seemingly anything that even suggests edibility, but I imagine you will too if you can't afford to buy actual food for a week. It won't love you for it either.
As much as I miss the fuzz, I simply can't afford to have it at uni. I can barely afford bread. And to be honest, it's yet another distraction from why I'm here in the first place. I have enough of those already, and none of them give me Bambi eyes every time I go to the fridge.
Best to leave the fuzz at home, where it makes sense.
Follow Tim Manton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beastofaswan