May 1, 2007

The Cat Is Most Definitely Out of the Bag.

I have NO desire to be a pet owner.


First off, let me say that I love animals. I think animals are pretty much the shiz. I was the little girl who wrote sappy poems about majestic eagles and our responsibility to all the endangered species. I wrote school papers on the rain forest and treated every animal like they were sensitive, emotional beings. I've been raised around domestic animals all my life.

I'm pretty sure that most of you who read this blog are pet owners and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

At all.

I just personally find it... um... weird. Shortly after Chris and I got married, we had a conversation about pets. He and I talked about how, if you take a step back and look at our culture as if you were just a visiting alien from outer space, it would seem incredibly strange to see humans walking around with animals on ropes or animals cooped up in tiny apartments. (Chris also wrote about that conversation here.)

Animals are wild creatures. I know it's hard to think of golden retrievers or lap cats or shaky bug-eyed chiuauas as WILD ANIMALS because they've been so domesticated and over-bred for hundreds and hundreds of years, but these animals were never intended to live indoors. And most breeds aren't very healthy anymore from all the control we've exercised over their genes... their very DNA.

Even more shocking and disturbing to me are those whose animals are not much more than fashion statements. You know the ones I'm talking about... The dressed up dogs and the super expensive bejeweled dog purses that they get carted around town in. Yuck. It takes all that I have to not bust out laughing when I see one of these women walk by me on the street. I just don't get it.

I know that there are some really amazing and responsible pet owners out there that take great care of their animals. And those animals are so very lucky, because, they never asked to come into this world... And it's to the point now where if they don't wind up in a good home, they will be forced to live miserable lives and then probably end up in shelters where they don't stand much of a chance anyway. How sad. It's kind of an out-of-control situation now... with so many animals and so very few homes for them to live where they can run in big backyards and chase birds and dig holes and bark their faces off and maybe have a friend or two to keep them company. Because THAT'S WHAT DOGS DO. They bark and pee and run and chase and wag and eat and slobber and poop. And we humans get them in our care and immediately try to train them not to do all of these things and, again, I just don't get it.

our neighborhood cat- she comes and goes
and eats birds. The life! The life!

I'm just not one of those people who has the energy to pour into caring for an animal in the way they deserve to be cared for. It's hard enough for me to remember to feed Ezra and myself 3 times a day. There's a dog in the yard next to mine that just sits back there all day long and it makes me sad. He is so sweet and gentle, but he seems terribly restless and you should see the excitement he goes through when he hears a car pull into their driveway- but no one comes back to talk to him or walk him. He just continues to SIT.

I know that animals are great for teaching kids responsibility and love and respect for other living things. I don't believe, however, that the ONLY way to teach kids these values is by owning an animal yourself. I know the day will come when Ezra will look deep into my eyes and BEG BEG BEG BEG me to get him a dog or a cat or a fish or a bird or a komodo dragon. I will tackle that issue when we get there. If we are then at a place in our lives where an animal would do nothing but FLOURISH and get everything it needed and also have the freedom to actually be an animal while in our care, then I might consider it. Until that day, it's completely and totally OUT OF THE QUESTION.

My family has always had a passion for helping animals.

And that is the reason why I currently don't own any.

Your thoughts?

our household pets.


Scott and Lorie said...

As an owner of a small dog, and someone who swore up and down they would never "give in" and buy purses to carry it in and bedazzled collars with coordinating outfits, it is sad how often I find myself wandering down the "trendy puppy" aisle at Target. Seriously, it's ridiculous. I agree. Society is weird. And sadly, I am one of the weird ones.

R-becca said...

You've obviously never met Peeve.

Misguided Mommy said...

first thought, when i saw the title of this post i thought some very exciting news was coming. second, i have a cat, i love my cat, my cat is free to a good home right now because pets have started driving me nuts. for some reason now, every time i see a dog i think eww gross dirty, germs, hair dander ahhhh run away. i'm starting to feel that way about cats too. ewww, no pets, just kids, nice yummy kids

Andrea June said...

I totally understand what you mean. I gew up on an acre and we ALWAYS had pets. There was a time when we were super-involved with our dogs, horses, and sheep (the cats just kinda hung out in the barn and caught mice and gophers and whatnot). But since all of us kids have graduated, nobody does anything with the horse or the puppies. They just kinda hang out in their pens. It makes me sad:( But that's why I'm gonna have a FARM someday. That's right, a FARM :) With lots of room for animals to run about and be happy, and I'll run about and be happy with them, too!

Cheatwoods said...

Just so long as you know you most likely well own one becuase your son well BEG you for something! Your time well come! I cant wait to get J a retrieving kind of dog. That is all he well be doing ALL DAY LONG! I cant waite! Both well sleep well at night.

However Jerami and I dont want any indore animals. IF we have a place were the dog is always outside, then we well have one!

Flo Oakes said...

Over Christmas, my cat was lost
I seriously, seriously, seriously felt like someone in my family died. We had adopted him from a shelter. I don't think I can go through that trauma again, so probably no additional pets.
We still have his "brother" because he showed up on our doorstep hungry and skinny. I feel like he found us, and we took him I don't feel weird about that. And every time I go to the animal shelter, I want to take home ALL the cats.
BUT..I HATE petshops. I don't understand. There are SO many animals in shelters...why don't people adopt from shelters, instead of buy them from petshops??!! THAT makes me mad.

L.A. Daddy said...

I always wanted a dog growing up, but my mom had a fear of animals. I'm still a huge dog fan, but ended up with cats somehow.

I can't wait to get LA Toddler a dog. But, we've got a skittish, retarded cat and we kind of have to wait for him to die. Otherwise, he'll freak out and kill us in our sleep.

piper of love said...

well, I don't blame you one bit. I am the same way, with the current disdain and all. Aside from already having enough mouths to feed, there's the allergies, the hair, the fleas, the poop, the know what I mean. Young children are vivacious pets in their own way...
there's no shame in your game!

Cam said...

Wow, I agree with so much of what you said.
I feel like a freak sometimes because I don't get the sale of pets. The breeding. We adopted our dog (a mutt) from the animal shelter, and he's been a joy in our lives, and I hope we've made life a joy for him.

I don't get keeping pets inside, either. We bring the dog inside whenever it's very cold, but otherwise, he's an outside dog and he loves it that way.

Around here it's common for people to have a dog and to tie it up outside next to a doghouse. The owners come out to feed it, and that's all. There was a dog next door who was tied up 24/7, 365...NEVER got taken off the tie-out. It barked and whined day & night. Its coat was filthy & matted. All the owners did was feed & give it water. For four years we witnessed this (no telling how long it had been that way before we moved here), until it died last year.

Anyway, I think your feelings are unusual, but they're very in line with how I feel & think. We live in a strange society.

I won't even go into the fashion "dogs"...UGH.

Anonymous said...

The domestication of animals is one of history's major mistakes, a devestating error not only in terms of ecology, but in terms of psychological and philosophical consequences that are still being suffered. I don't hate dogs, or even dog owners; its the idea of pethood that turns me off, the taming of wild things, the use of animals as surrogate children.