I love our pets. Dogmatix is my husband's Wire-haired Jack Russell and Massey is my African Wildcat crossed with who knows who. They are not spoiled; they just have strong characters and know what they want and how to get it. They fill an important place in my family and my home and I am grateful to them for allowing me to live with them in my own house.
I know people who do not like pets and they have all my sympathy - do they know what they are missing out on? I have grown up with pets and my children and husband went through the whole spectrum of pets: fish, mice, birds, ducks, chickens (we had a bantam chicken that would sit on the window ledge in the evenings, watching TV with us) and rabbits. Jo-Anne's Christmas Beetle does not count as a pet as it only lasted one night and any of fantacy about snakes were quickly grounded.
Recently I read a letter in a pet magazine that was so relevant to my life with our pets, I just had to share it with the pet lovers who visit my blog.
Dear Dogs and Cats,
When I tell you to move, it means to go someplace else, not to switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in the way.
The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically in the slightest.
The stairway is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will sleep on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats are actually supposed to curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out he other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.
The proper order is kiss me, then go and smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!
To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:
Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Like to Complain About Our Pets:
1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture (That's why it is called "fur"niture.)
3. I lie my pets a lot better than most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, they are adopted children who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and do not speak clearly. Dogs and cats are better than kids... they eat less, don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't worry about having to buy the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, and don't need a gazillion Rands for university - and if they get pregnant, you can sell the children!!
I am sure I could add a couple of paragraphs from personal experience but I won't - "they" might get offended and kick me out.
PS: In this picture Massey was about 4 months old and now, at 1 year, he is in fact bigger than Dogmatix but they are still devoted to one another with the occassional sibling rivalry that is only to be expected from teenagers.