Saturday, March 15, 2008


I'm struggling to understand people's fascination with pets. Why would you want yet another living creature who is dependent on you for food and nurturing? Why would you want a creature that can't take itself to the potty? Or if it can, needs you to clean up it's litter box?

Our entire family is allergic to dogs and cats so those animals are out as pets, much to my children's dismay and my eternal gratitude. (must admit, that I do adore cats, but right now another creature for whom I am responsible will kill me off).

Ben and Shira want a pet badly. They, for some reason, do not think that Beanie Baby stuffed animals do the trick. I've told them that they can have any animal they wish as long as it isn't a rodent,bird, reptile, fish requiring heating or any animal to which one of us is allergic. (I stuck that one in because I mysteriously develop allergies to animals that are not on my list).

I can sort of understand why people would want a cuddly, furry cat or dog. They snuggle, they are affectionate and they have personalities. However, they need to be walked, no matter the weather. They need an inordinate amount of training. When that's all done, they can't ever have a conversation with you and they can't ever take care of themselves. To my mind it is like signing up to have pre-potty trained toddlers forever. Who in their right mind would sign up for that?

Then we have pets that live in bowls or cages. If I can't understand why you would want a cat or a dog, this category of animal totally bemuses me. The only "benefit" you get from them is a stinky house. I want to hurl when I walk into homes with caged animals as the smell permeates the house.

I think that if you want something cute and furry you should visit a taxidermist.

If I can't understand why people want pets, this latest pet craziness is even more incomprehensible to me. People take their pets on vacation, they put them into doggy day care and send them to spas. News Alert people, these are animals, not people. I applaud whenever I come across an hotel that bans animals. There is nothing worse than checking into an hotel only to have your allergies flare out of control. Leave those creatures at home or in kennels please people. Get a life, develop relationships with people, not with those proxy people you call pets.


Bettina Colonna Essert said...

The cool thing is that you don't have to understand. It's kind of like you wondering why people don't pronounce 'T's and those same people wondering where your 'R's went...vive la (le?) difference!
I do hear your pain on the hotel subject, though, it's kind of like someone smoking in an NS room. Ack!

colyn said...

I really don't think that having pets and having meaningful relationships with other humans beings are mutually exclusive, nor do I think that my pets interfere with me having a life. Most pet lovers get on just fine in many areas of life despite truly enjoying their animal companions. Some folks work, some have volunteer jobs, friends, and children. Children! You know, if you switched around a few words in your blog post, you could echo the sentiments of many of the zero-population growth folks. Messy, smelly, expensive, difficult to travel with, some can be unpredictable and dependant on you for a loooongggg time. And my dog has never told me that he hates me. (So, as mother/caregiver to many, many creatures, both 2 legged and 4 legged, I get it from both sides, LOL!) Not everything is for everybody, and someone who isn't just crazy over pets should certainly not have them. (There are certainly enough people like me to pick up the slack. :-) ) I think either you "get" it or you don't, much in the same way people who don't like children don't "get" those of us who choose to breed. I can't speak for all pet lovers, and my feelings for animals are deep and complicated. But there's something truly special about a dog crawling in my lap and lying down. Or the cat who hops in bed with my child and snuggles up beside her. It's very simple, pure, and wonderful. Again, though, not for everyone, but certainly for me, if I'm living up to my end of the bargain and being responsible, and not a nuisance to anyone else. As long as I'm not letting my dogs poop in your garden or my cats leave little muddy footy prints on your car, I think we're all good. :-)

Shez said...

I realized after I received really upset emails on this topic that I wasn't clear enough. I think that there are pet owners and there are pet owners. I was ranting about the people who take pet ownership to extremes. Loving animals and having them as pets is very different from some of the behavior I see with pet owners. I have nothing against cats and dogs, I just would be overwhelmed if I had to add them to our household.

Henry Cate said...

All of my daughters enjoy animals. One of the benefits to having pets is they learn responsibility and about life. Over the years we've lost many pets.

It is kind of like Housman's Terence, this is stupid stuff.