I suppose it's because I never have. Even though our family moved country every few years, we always had cats and dogs at home - pets that often, sadly - had to be given to new homes when we left, or had to spend time in kennels when we were 'on leave' in the UK.
But they were as much a part of the family as my brothers and sisters.
Just as my animals now are.
In fact, at the risk of sounding judgemental, I think that bringing children up without animals is a deprivation as bad as bringing them up without books, or clothes, or treats. I think they are an essential part of teaching children to love and share with someone outside themselves, of teaching them about caring for others, and becoming aware of the other occupants of our planet.
My biggest problem is in turning a needy animal away, and the In-Charge (also an animal lover) dreads me seeing orphaned kittens, or abandoned dogs, or anything else in distress, as he knows I won't be able to walk away. And things have only got worse in the time I've lived in Ireland, as I've always felt a moral obligation to share the generous space we have with as many animals as possible.
But I don't think I'd make a good foster-mother, as I'd never want to part with any of the rescues that came through the gates. I wasn't very good at finding homes for the one set of kittens and one litter of puppies born on our property - I practically made any interested parties sit written exams proving how good a home they were offering.
Spanish Inquisition - eat your heart out!
I've often said that if there aren't any animals in heaven, I have no interest in going there.
And it's true. I'd be completely lost.
Happily, I think they'll all be lined up, waiting for me - the dogs, heads cocked, wagging their tales fit to drop off; the cats pretending they just happened to be at the Pearly Gates by chance as I arrived. I expect even the hens will be there, busying themselves somewhere in the background.
It's been a bad year since Pet Remembrance Day last year.
We've lost so many in this twelve-month. The Little Empress died this very time last year,
And then we lost Napoleon.
We have also lost Henrietta, and Popsicle and - a real blow - the tiny, gloriously beautiful Golden Princess, aka Mrs Smith.
But far and away the worst losses of all were my sweet boys, Top Dog and Under Dog who I still miss every single day.
But thank goodness we had them at all. They have all, in their own individual way, made our lives richer and better, more entertaining and more fulfilled. Pets want to be with you all the time, and don't care if you're wearing makeup or just a hessian sack, they hold nothing back, and hold nothing against you, they're sensitive, great company and entertaining and moreover, their love is absolutely unconditional.
How many people would fulfil those criteria?
Tonight I'll be lighting the candles and raising a glass (sadly, of cough mixture and night nurse) to them and all the animals we have loved and lost over the years. A toast in gratitude for ever having had them at all.
And I'll be raising another one to my fabulous Model Dog, and the TeenQueen, to Hobbes and Pushy and Pixie, to Wellington and all his girls - because I love them all and they make every day special.
I hope you'll join me in memory of all the animals you have held, or do hold dear.
It was my blog-friend, IsobelandCat who started this special Pet Remembrance Day, and she and many others all over the world - including Pix, will be saluting their animal friends today.
Thank heaven for them all, past and present.