Pets: Pros and Cons

I have four cats, though it can currently be considered that I have eight cats. My roommate has four and my four obviously still live with us, so there we go: eight cats and me, often home alone because my roommate has a swinging social life and I’m ugly. The upside to cats is that, regardless of what people say about them, you can get some real loving, snuggly cats who notice when you feel bad and want to make things better.

Pig by Okeoghene Onogbo on 500px
Pig by Okeoghene Onogbo on 500px [x]

If you want a cat like this, the best path is to go to a shelter and specifically ask for a cat who’s over age five. Cats are basically adults once they hit five and that’s when they start to get snuggly and lovey. My oldest girl cat wanted nothing to do with cuddles or love until she hit about six and then she couldn’t get enough. She wanted to be in my face at all times, she loved giving kisses (bashing her face against mine) and, oddly, loved to be spanked.

I don’t think it means the same to me as it did to her, but she still seemed happy to have the sides of her butt whacked.

Most of my cats are old, actually, so they adore being loved. Since humans want little to nothing to do with me, this is nice. I’m sure human companionship and the ability to make a joke and have someone else laugh instead of meow are better, but you take what you can get when you look like a dirty pile of half-stale Play-Doh.

Pets in general are good company. I mean, probably not a snake; I hear they’re not really that smart or affectionate, but dogs, cats, guinea pigs, actual pigs—these can all be good companions for those of us who will never know true love. Pets will love you unconditionally no matter what you look like and you can hug them whenever you want, especially dogs and many cats. They’ll be someone you can sleep snuggled up with, someone you can share (certain) meals with, and someone you can get drunk next to while you watch movies. Many common pets lick their own butts so they’re certainly not going to judge your crooked nose and stained teeth.

Dogs and pigs can be good pets if you’re looking to get into shape as well. If you’ve decided you want to really maximize your career and you know that it’s going to be a few decades before you’re in such a place of power that you’ll be able to crush your enemies, then adopt a terrier! Their energy will help you run just a little longer when you’re out exercising each day. In no time, you’ll have strengthened your heart and lungs and made your body healthy enough to hold out until you’re 90 and the CEO of a major company, deciding who gets promoted and who was mean to you for being ugly and therefore will never leave the dank, musty hole of the mail room. Pigs may not be the right pets to maximize your need for long, arduous runs through the woods, but they do like walks. I will never forget the woman who would take her pot-belly pig on walks by my elementary school. Boy did we love to gawk at that happy, tail-wagging oinker every day. Sure, you may be the one people refer to as, “oinker" in this scenario, but who cares? Your pig pal will love you all the same.

Pets do require upkeep, though, some say as much as children. I will never have children as no one will ever want me and being a single parent seems extremely unpleasant and inconvenient so I can’t know if this is true. Dogs usually require a lot of training and emotional support, whereas cats need to be worshipped and given access to lots of places to scratch. Dogs, since they typically go outside often, need shots and regular check-ups, high-quality food in the right amounts, and constant reassurance that they’re good boys and girls. Cats, who should not be allowed outside alone and unsupervised, demand their litter boxes scooped at least once a day, high-quality food, access to toys, and constant reminders that they are the best, smartest, and softest.

If your chosen life path keeps you away from home for most of the days and weeks, pets aren’t really going to be a good fit for you. Maybe try podcasts instead. I hear lots of people listen to them and feel like they’re “part of the conversation.”

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