I’m becoming concerned that, when it comes to behaviour towards pets, Others are not like Us. And by Others, I mean normal people. You know, those people you see around who have kids or iPods or colour co-ordinated clothes or fake Louis Vuitton bags. Normal people. As I cannot count myself amongst the normal (and I WANT the iPod, I do; but it’s just too expensive to justify for someone who screams BAM-A-LAM, BAM-A-LAM throughout the entirety of Spiderbait’s ‘Black Betty’ remake) then I must reconsider our approach to the animals that live in our house.
Things that We Do that I don’t think Other People Do:
- Talk back to the cat. In cat language. It has got to the stage where Mr. T cannot tell if any given “Meh!” comes from me or from the Cat. (But only one of us wants kibble.)
- Ruin the dogs’ self esteem. Either Dog walks up, all waggy tail and pleased to see us. Mr. T bends down and says, clearly and distinctly into the dog’s face, “I don’t like dogs. I don’t like dogs and I don’t like you. Nobody likes you.” Bonus points for maligning the Dogs in public, where horrified people can think bad thoughts.
- Re-enact the hospital bed scene from The Simpsons when the Cat is sitting contentedly on your lap. “Bed goes up – bed goes down. Bed goes up – bed goes down. Bed goes up – hey, where ya GOING?”
- Talk openly about skinning your animals for their fur.
- Pick a favourite animal when all are present in the room.
“I like the black one today.”
“Really? The black one? Even after his little ‘incident’ with the soft toy he wasn’t supposed to touch?”
“Dammit, I forgot he chewed the eyes off Eeyore. OK then, I’ve changed my mind. I’m having the tabby one.”
“But the tabby one’s MY favourite.”
“No, he’s mine. You can have the dogs.”
“I don’t want the dogs.”
“NOBODY wants the dogs. Now go pick up their poo.”
“Now I don’t want YOU either.”
“Like I care. Now go! The spade awaits!”