Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Not Just For Christmas, Dammit!

This morning I got an email that was annoying. Not from an annoying person-- it was from a lovely person, who I like very much, and who was doing a good deed. But it was about a social matter that gets my knickers all in a twist on a fairly regular basis. The email basically said this:
"Hey everybody-
Anyone interested in a wonderful cat? She's absolutely lovely, affectionate, and very friendly, but a co-worker had a baby, so they can't keep her anymore. I hope we can find her a great new home."
Below was the original email from the cat's owner, who has had a baby and who is now afraid that the cat (who likes the baby, who thinks the baby is nice, who does not scratch or maul the baby) is GOING TO SLEEP ON THE BABY'S FACE AND SUFFOCATE IT IN THE NIGHT.

Now, first off, this has never happened. This is what cranky old ladies who hate cats say to terrify their daughters-in-law into getting rid of the cat so they can visit Precious Son and Precious Grandchild without being annoyed by a feline presence. The same women would probably try to convince Precious Son that the child's mother would do the same thing, except society has nixed this one already. Cats (even my sister's, who is pretty hard-core in his affection) do not sleep on your air passages in such a way that you die. This is not comfortable for the cat, so they simply won't do it. Selfish beings, selfish reasoning. The baby is warm, so if you leave your child unattended on the sofa or bed (??!!), the cat is likely to curl up nearby. The cat is not going to curl up on a baby's big lump of a skull and think , 'Golly its comfy to have this child's chin poking into my squishy cat-liver.'

But that isn't the real problem. The problem is that people seem to see their pets as some sort of temporary child-replacement, dispensible as soon as the real thing comes along. And it happens all the time. What I don't get is that people seem to have all the patience in the world for older siblings who want to get rid of the baby (I believe a friend had an incident where her older sister tried to dispose of her infant self by flushing her down the toilet a la Goldie), but as soon as the family pet (adored for the last 10 years and used as a baby substitute) is cranky that Baby has taken all the attention/his favourite toy/is eating his food, he gets kicked to the curb. Why don't they get the same opportunities to adjust to the new addition to the family? (Actually, because they have a more limited capacity for understanding than small children-- at least for the most part-- they should actually get more time)

Anyway, the point is that if I catch any of you trying to give away your damn pets after spawning, you can bet your sweet ass that you will get one hell of a verbal battering from me. Also, if you can possibly come up with some sort of explanation of this for me that doesn't involve 'But its a HUMAN!', that might also help stem the tide of rage.


Blogger TooBlue said...

I totally agree with you on the dire reprehensibility of not taking one's pet responsibilities seriously ("oh my god, a baby, a cat, AND two begonias? I can't POSSIBLY manage it all!"). Although, to take it in a complete other direction, I can't deal with people who refer to themselves as "pet parents" and celebrate their pets' birthdays with presents and PARTIES. Oh, lord.

5:01 PM  

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