I was recently at my friend’s house when I innocently asked my godson: “Where’s the guinea pig?” My godson, who is two and a half, replied equally as harmlessly: “In the hole that daddy made.”
Some people should have pets and some people shouldn’t. I think I am in the latter. I do have a cat called Trixie McMoo Moo who some of you may have even met when she actually lived with me. These days she is domiciled with my mother and step-father in semi-rural, outer Brisbane and has a life of such sheer indulgence that she no longer even acknowledges my presence when I pop around to visit. No more waiting at the front door with eager feline anticipation for me. Nope, Trixie McMoo Moo just generally ignores me these days and probably even pisses on my car tyres in some type of pussy pay-back for her ridiculous name when I’m inside having a cuppa.
But I didn’t give her up because I couldn’t care for her – even though the days she did big poos just outside the cat litter box (I’m sure on purpose) were both highly annoying and stinky at the same time. I transferred ownership to my mum and step-father because being stuck inside an apartment all day is not much fun for anyone let alone a cat who I’m sure in a previous life was actually a pharaoh in Egypt who had geckos for servants as well as for dinner.
I saw Trixie yesterday, and apart from an unfortunate period when she lost half her fur and literally looked like a bald pussy, her life is much better than it was with me – even though I do miss her especially in winter when she like an alive, hot-water bottle under the covers. But even though I miss her, I have no desire to replace her – except perhaps with a boyfriend who is a little better toilet-trained.
Now I’m not saying that my friend mentioned above, let’s call her Julie, and her family should not know the unselfish, forever love that comes with pet ownership either, but generally speaking the menagerie of animals that they have semi-reared over the years have all ended up in a hole in the ground.
In “researching” this blog, I asked Jules how many critters were now lying a few feet under the surface of what appeared to be a normal suburban backyard. Well, she said, there’s the two guinea pigs, two chickens, a blue-tongued lizard (which wasn’t really a pet but used to just hang out being all chilled and, you know, reptile-like by the pool), and a cat which they inherited from the old bloke next door. What about the cat Lulu, I asked. No, she just ran away and never came back she said. Hmm, methinks there is something more literal in that statement.
But before anyone goes all RSPCA on me, the vast majority of these animals have died because they were old. And to Julie, and her parents, a pet is a pet but it’s also just an animal. So what this means is that they have always fed and watered them and even played with them too. What they have never done is indulged them. No trips to doggy day-spas for any of their creatures, nor any sojourns to pussy pampering pet motels where they can get their nails clipped or whiskers plucked and preened. Nope, the most they can hope for is a bowl of Whiskas, maybe some left other fish, and probably a pat on the head.
They do take them to the vet if they’re sick. They even worried about one of their cats being embarrassed in public because its name was actually Ball Bag, so they gave him a false, much more inoffensive name, like Tinkerbelle, whenever it was time to get his shots done. Ball Bag is dead now too but he was also very old when he finally went to the great cattery in the sky.
So while I might make fun of the fact they have various animal carcasses and skeletal remains littered a few feet under their well-tended garden, at least they have always known that pets are for life and not just for Christmas. Their pets just better not expect any type of toy or pressie when the Yuletide season next rolls around.