Monday, October 18, 2010

An Argument Against Owning Pets

Let me preface by saying I grew up with cats and have also been a dog owner. Let me also add that I absolutely love animals. I stop on the street to pet anything that'll accept a little cuddle, and have no qualms about Baby getting up close to the stray cats that come around to our terrace and beg for food. I really, really love animals.

But I've been firm with myself over the past few years, and while I cannot imagine having a pet-free household forever, I do not want any now. We travel too much, for one thing; and it's just too much responsibility.

That said, lately my resolve has been waning. Baby loves pets too, but until recently, I was
happy to let him play with our friends' dogs and cats. Then a young grey tabby started coming round. I estimate he was about six months old, so past the worst of the kitten stage, but young enough to train. (Assuming one can train a cat. We'll talk about that another day.) He was incredibly sweet, and would put up with Baby's tugs and pokes; he would head-butt Baby lovingly, and purr; he wasn't scared by Baby's squeals of delight. Once, he snuck into the
house and I found him sleeping curled up in a corner of Baby's room.

My resolve was in serious jeopardy.

Then I got the following email from my brother, who has two cats.

I have a cat flap, and my beasts regularly drag half-dead (which means half-alive) RATS into the house!

Once, the first time, the damned thing got away from them ... The next day, while watching TV, I saw the very much alive rat hiding on top of the curtains! Since that fiasco, the cats drag in vermin that can't get away. Often I just find headless rodents, or worse, just the entrails.

That's yuck. Had to clean up that the other day.

My resolve has returned.

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