Why pets at all, I mean we have humans, right, so why pets? Well I think there are many reasons, and I’d like to hear them. For me, I always enjoy having and bonding with a mind other than mine, and more important growing to love and be loved by a mind, a personality, and a creature different to myself. It gives me joy and satisfaction and is something I miss in this apartment. Hooch the therapy cat visited again this week, only she came before feeding so it was a short visit because Hooch kept going to the kitchen, back to the travel basket, then to the kitchen, then to the travel basket, then looking inside the travel basket. Yes, Hooch, we got the message (“Hooch hungry, let’s go!”).
I have to admit that I like cats, and while the line is that nothing is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys, spring and this time of year bring a litter of kittens, along with the curiosity that comes with kittens. They seem both scared of anything, and yet willing to stick their head out to find out about it. In this picture I feel for the poor kitten who in exploring has fallen off the edge and simply wants to be up there where the fun is, as a person who is sick and indoors, I understand that feeling.
But I have started to understand and be more open to dogs since I have had the wheelchair. I am near a leash free park and I get to sometimes throw the ball thrower so the dog can chase it, when owners let me. Dogs like to come up and sniff me and there are all types of dogs. Linda likes the little dogs, she loves the little dogs and how they look. Maybe she likes that you can pick them up. For me, I am a BIG dog person, there is just something about a big dog that has always attracted me, even from childhood, I wanted a BIG dog. We got a spaniel instead; actually an inbred spaniel that could run after its tail for about an hour and move at the speed of light. Just perfect for exhausting two kids. Also perfect for knocking us over in order to get at treats. Dog tend to have FOCUS, whether that is loving and greeting you, or getting treats.
There is always the case where the behavior of the pets and the owners start to be somewhat similar, and while this is often pets acting more like the owners, sometimes, the reverse happens, like this girl and dog going to for a wild bound in the water. Or more likely, people gradually finding themselves taking more naps in the sun. I think though if your child starts running back to you with a large stick in its’ mouth, you might need to draw the line.
Schools often has animals as pets, each class sometimes having a different one from turtles to guinea pigs, often in elementary school. Having seen a few hutches in Japan, it seems that rabbits and sometimes chickens feature as ‘school pets’ and mascots – which with US football, it is not uncommon to have a goat or other larger animal as the school mascot. What animals did your school have, and did you ever take care of them. I remember only the very trustworthy got to take care of them over the break – which oddly wasn’t ME. I wish I could remember, I think there was a turtle, something that ate lettuce.
I know growing up that getting a pet was often a sign of ‘responsibility’ – meaning I, the child had to be responsible for walking the dog or taking care of the budgie or taking care of my two hamsters Jezebel and Nimrod. This sometimes is an issue in all houses because children are not always the best at focusing and prioritizing and once distracted can forget things like walking the dog. However, as we learn as adults, “when you gotta go, you GOTTA go!” and that doesn’t change if you are a human or a dog; so what seems so obvious to an adult; “It has to go to the bathroom, take (insert name) out!”, or “Would like to be treated like this.” Or “I can stand your room being a mess, but not the litterbox, you are being cruel to (insert name)!” Of course, the other thing we learn in childhood is that while dogs have to GO every day, and have to be walked, there isn’t always great weather every day. Sometimes nasty weather. Darn, they never told us THAT when we asked for a puppy. Though, it seems that if you have a dog that likes the snow, that can be pretty good. I had a Samoyed when I was young, which is a white dog like a husky that the Russians used, it is loyal and likes to pull, and play. And it LOVES snow. My dream was to do that 1,000 mile sled race and be the first person to win it with an all Samoyed dog team
Smaller indoor animals are often a first person’s pet. I don’t remember whether it was a hamster or a gerbil I had. Ours had the sort of split level house where the gerbil could do the wheel and then if they wanted go up this tubing and have a lie in the ‘loft’. I wanted a really complex maze as I think one of my friends had where there was lots of tubing. I remember now that when I was very small, about three, my brother or our family, since my father USED to be animal obsessed (and we would watch TV with all the animals, the puppies chasing the things on the TV), there was a mouse. And I remember the announcement after much hunting with no comment that just as I was to go to bed, the mouse could not be found. Oh no. MOTHER had to be told and there was much hunting and yet no one could find it. Well, I managed to as I put my legs in my bed and it zipped across my feet and then straight up my pajama leg, with much high pieced screaming. Of course, while I am being traumatized for life my brother is shouting, “Don’t let it go!” DON’T let it GO! It was running up and down my leg under my Pajamas’, I wanted nothing more than to ‘let it go’ and somehow as desperate mice do, it got up the waist band and headed toward my face. Now the high pitched screaming was added to with arm flailing (nowhere near the mouse, have no fear, small children had terrible aim at times). The mouse was caught and returned to the cage and for the next long while, I had my parents CHECK THE BED before I would get into it. Wow, a childhood memory for writing this blog, that was cool. I hope you remember some too.
May I point out that I have no real problem with mice, it is Linda who doesn’t like them: spiders on the other hand, I get the hysterics and of course they go into a box and can’t be found and then I can’t go near that room or area for the next month. So when I scream, Linda comes and deals, and when Linda screams, I come and deal with it. A lot of people also like mice as pets, as they are often, if the variety is good, a nice color, they are very tame and can be taken with you. I can see the attraction in that, except for the part where Linda screams and claws and my face every time I play with my mouse.
For bees, I am not so loving it, which I got from my mother. A boy at school in my class KEPT bees as pets, and only had a few stings, he now makes bridges for a living so I guess order or hives interested him – probably had an ant colony, the problem with that is they break and the ants um….GO! Well, once we were driving and my mother had a bee in her hair, and SHE was driving. Since she always screams and flails, I asked her to pull over in my ‘calm voice’ which of course always terrifies everyone because people want to know why you are acting so calm. I trapped the bee, let it out and THEN told her; since the chance of us going off a cliff could have been high if I told her before. As for ants, you don’t need to MAKE them as pets, just eat in bed. In California or in the UK, it was an annual battle in the summer to avoid noticing an ant, then looking at the carpet, then really LOOKING at the carpet and suddenly noticing that there are about 1,000+ moving things on it (that REALLY freaks me out!). So no, not loving the ants. Once my parents made me feed the cat of a woman down the street when I was 8 or 9 and when I went in, the ants had TAKEN OVER, there were lines on the floor, not one but five or 6 every room, lines on the walls, on the ceiling, everywhere. IT was a horror film. I threw down the cat food in the dish and ran out, then dreaded having to go back each time. But that is California, ants can take over your place in like a DAY.
Rabbits are popular household pets. I had several friends with them. Because they are cute, and they hop, and they let you pet them and they are SOFT. Beyond that they seem to chew and shit. I am sorry, maybe some rabbit owners can enlighten me on what else they do but I spent summers around them and they were always there, they sort of sat there and ate, you could pick them up (possible shit alert!), and pet them, and then put them down and they would hop a bit. I presume they had sex at some point but since they never seemed that active, I can’t really imagine it. Now, I can see the rabbits I want up at the university where a few are now literally in the dozens if not hundreds. And they hop and hop and will eat out of your hand and they have all different colored ones including velveteen rabbit looking ones and white ones. The hospital used to have some in the grass, lots, which my grandfather liked to watch when he was there but of course, they were labeled a ‘health hazard’ and then kille…..I mean, all taken away to a nice place where they could eat all day.
Then there is the pony or we can include all 4H animals like cows (often boys will raise calves or pigs for show at the 4H – I have no idea what 4H stands for). Of course there are two types of girls growing up: those who draw horses in class in their notebook and read Black Velvet and other books like that and those who don’t. I actually read the 20 odd books of the author who did Black Stallion which usually involved a Stallion who couldn’t be tamed (except by LOVE and patience), and a deserted island. Oddly, the ones who tamed most of the stallions were boys but the books were read by girls. For those boys who wanted to ‘love a horse more than a woman’ there was always the 200+ books of Louis L’Amour, which also included lots of GUNS. I did not however draw horses heads in my notebook or ask for a pony (I live in LA!). I did however once we moved to Wales, go immediately to the horse club and found out that the membership was HIGH (like 100 pounds a year), which then I found out included NO riding, but EACH ride cost MORE. Ouch! I didn’t have money like that. And besides they all wanted to do ‘The Hunt’ and lots of jumping. While where I came from, North America, horses were ridden or raced. Indeed my aunt was a very good trap racer (your horse pulls you in a very lightweight trap around the racing circle), and had and may still have horses. However, since she liked light and fast breeds, and I was tall, riding a horse where you feet drag on the ground takes out the romance! It looks like these two girls or one of them is going to practice the Japanese archery Jyudo on the horse as the sport was originally created for (which is why they thought the wheelchair and I would be GREAT for the sport). So even in Japan there are horse loving girls. (are there horse loving guys?)
Linda didn’t have a pony or horse, but her sister did. I am not sure about Cheryl, since she is from RANCHING, I am sure she knows how to ride. My brother took a course in it, and learned all about cinching up saddles and such at college – that was his PE class, horse riding. That seemed SO UNFAIR – I had to do tennis in the sun and he did horse riding and got CREDITS! Another relative does the formal horse training, Dressage, and I always said, that while Epee is expensive ($5,000-$6000 to compete nationally, $20,000+ internationally a year), that is nothing compared to Dressage or the Olympic Horse sports, as while I can throw another blade in my gear bag, “just in case” can you imagine shipping TWO or THREE horses to each event? So for a not really that horse-type person, I sure seem to be around horses.
I did, like most children have an aquariam and goldfish and angel fish and the ones that have a strip that glow in the dark, and then some algae eaters to clean the tank. I did not sadly have my own mermaid, if so I would have become FAR more interested in the undersea world. My interest in the undersea world pretty much died at 14 or so when I did snorkling in the bahama’s and found out that I have extreme underwater agoraphobia. So since then any time a show descends the deep on TV, I start to freak. So having fish seemed a sort of lie to them: dishonest.
Lets go back to the two most common of pets: cats and dogs. First off cats (and to a large part dogs) the joy of owning one is that they have attitude all their own, whether you want that or not! Can a cat be trained to do anything other than teach those stupid bipeds how to open food cans and get them treats when ordered? Usually no. I like cats, and I always have because they are complex creatures and simple ones at the same time. Anything that vomits to say, “Hey, I’m a little anxious” is an animal I can relate to; I just wish I’d figured out how to do it in my father’s shoes.
Now cats, they do what they want when they want. And let’s face it, if we could make that particular stretch, wouldn’t we?
Do cat and dog owners choose the personality of their pet or vice versa? Where did you get your pet, from one of those boxes or someone who needed a litter of dogs given away? I always had feral cats. The cats have always had to be enticed over a period of time with food then eventually let in to ‘discover’ the house and then it would come and go as if the house was part of it’s territory. But at night or other times, the cat would simply TAKE OFF, because it was a feral cat and it needed to go places and see things. And I knew I wasn't the only one feeding that cat, but that was part of loving it. It was feral and it like to explore and was gone, sometimes for days at a time. And maybe I got my travel bug from my cats, or maybe I just ended up with cats a bit like me, having lived in a lot of countries and a lot of places, I got things to see!
Before we go on, I think we need a break, which is basically, a little breather for me, something where I can combine by two enjoyments in life....um, trying to find the right bikini (a new passion!), well sort of, and then add KITTENS, almost everything is better with kittens (NO, no! No blender jokes!)
I like kittens (who doesn’t) but you have to keep you eye on them. As a kitten can sometimes be a bit like a two year old boy: how exactly do they make the mess they do so quickly? Kittens like to explore, they like to pounce, so if you HAPPEN to leave your manuscript of important papers or your poetry bound by a STRING lying around well then the cat is going to attack the string isn’t it? And it will keep attacking it until it has won! Woo hoo! String 0, Kitten 1 – and all those paper things flew away too, how fantastic! That is how kittens think. Oddly, the person whose papers were bound sees it different.
This can sometimes lead to extra work for the owner of the more curious and aggressive of kittens (stories?).
Cats, like humans, don’t like being excluded, and sometimes after talking doesn’t work, and scolding doesn’t work, there has to be the ultimate punishment. Yes, I am talking about, putting them outside or outside that area and shutting the door, and no matter how much they scratch to get in, try to ignore it. When I moved into the alternate bedroom at my parents, well that bed was where the cat liked to use as a jump pad to see out the window. I was woken by scratching. Then as it saw me move, it stopped. I looked at it. She looked at me. I lay my head down. MORE and MORE scratching. I moved my head and looked at her again. She was sure I was going to open the door. I came over. She was ready to enter. I lowered the blinds on the glass part of the door and watching her, slowly closed them. There was another few minutes of scratching but she got the message and never scratched another morning – woo hoo, opposable thumbs win again! (pretty much our ONLY victory over cats! They can think faster, run fast, squeeze tighter, have more sass and attitude and not only that, have better psychology in training us to do whatever they want. Plus they have the 'cute' factor!)
This is why instead of being in rapture at the thought of cat girls, guys should be terrified. I mean, after several thousand years and best-selling books guys still don’t get women a majority of the time. Women, like cats are mysterious and can make men want them more just by leaving with sass and a “later” – now combine that psychology and cat psychology and that’s it, this is going to be Cat-Girl owned planet. And all the guys are like, “Yeah…..whatever, as long as we can see them at the beach….look that one caught a dolphin….” (drool). See, this is what I am talking about, the cat-girl revolution will be a quick and bloodless one where men are involved.
The advantage of cats is that when depressed or down, being comforted by a cat isn’t comforted by someone who often gives unconditional love like a dog (I am sure I will be corrected here!), but rather an non-speaking individual purring against your chest. Comfort of a warm body there. Of course the problem is that sometimes they won’t, and they ignore, but still, they care enough about you to vomit on your carpet if you are away too long.
Dogs will attack if given the opportunity and as this picture shows, it can be sudden and disorienting. And, please do NOT try this at home, they have a knack for ‘showing their unconditional love’ at times when you kind of don’t need it, like the cat opening and closing claws on your breast, when you are getting dressed, and half undressed, jeans heading down toward ankles…..this is when they jump up to ‘love you.’ This happens too often to be an accident, I think that these are planned acts of humor and dogs later compare the situations they got their owners in; “Yeah she was all over the floor writhing from tickling trying to order me to stop, hee hee.”
There seem to be dog people, and they love their dogs just as much as the cat people love their cats. They will carry them everywhere if they can. And if I had not moved, maybe I would be a dog person too, but that early separation, and then finding a feral cat, a cat that had been waiting to be found, waiting for ME, maybe that made me a cat person. A dog, particularly a large dog can be a major friend and companion while growing up (or while grown up – particularly when it jumps into bed while you are sleeping). I will warn you though once you decide to go to college and take your dog, or as an adult, I have it from many sources….Dog are voyeurs when it comes to YOU having sex. Try to train them to stay off the bed.
Now when it comes to sex, cat are likely to sulk and disappear – yes, they are the envious and scorned lover and they withdraw affection. You have sex with someone, that means they are more important and they go away and then you have ‘make up’ cuddling with the cat.
Cats like to go where they go, and then they expect you to rescue them, like up a tree or down a dock or to ‘escape your apartment’ for the 100th time. When they decide they want to come back, they meow and order to ‘please be returned to my abode’. Looking at the behavoir (except for the leg stretch and lick thing) I actually think I am becoming a cat.
For cats, many are shy, and while they will purr, it is the open displays of affection, the licking of the cheek which is the way of a cat giving you a gift, because that is what they are waiting for, like the rest of us, someone to love.
It is shown that people who own pets live longer, no one knows why for certain, but certainly the joy that pets bring must be part of it.
6 hours ago