My pets ARE my time to myself. I spend pretty much all of my time with them and on the rare occassion when I do manage to go away for a day or 2 I miss them terribly and just can't wait to get back home to them. I go to the store for 5 minutes and I miss them. My animals are all very well behaved so I can still get things done with them surrounding me and on me (except I tend to trip over my oafish Lab a bit) and I like it that way. They help me stay sane and if I start getting overloaded with work or too stressed, they are always there insisting I take a break and scratch their heads. I'm one of those weird people who enjoys every aspect of caring for them, including cage cleaning. I suppose they are alot of work but I enjoy doing it so it's no problem.