Pets really are one of the greatest blessings in the whole wide world.
One of the best things about pets is that they don’t understand what you are saying when you speak, and they couldn’t reply to you even if they wanted to. They are happy to listen to you and spend time in your company despite the fact that they don’t speak your language. I think they understand that words are just the noises human beings make, and don’t mind the fact that you really do just babble away with a lot of gibberish. Animals are also well aware that you don’t understand their bark/meow/neigh/whatever either. They are just relaxed in the knowledge that everyone gets along fine regardless, because non-verbal forms of communication are just as effective.
Pets are also precious because they’re not even aware of all the bullshit human beings drown themselves in. My pet doesn’t understand a thing about what is happening in my life. She doesn’t care if I’m a stellar professional success or if I’m a desperate unemployed bum. As far as she is concerned, I still feed her and love her, and that is all that she requires. This is of course the most fantastic form of love available: pure unconditional love.
For me having a pet is like having a personal mascot. The Australian Oxford Dictionary defines a mascot as, “a person, animal or thing that is supposed to bring good luck.” My pet brings me good luck just because she exists. She made my life better as soon as she came into it. She supports me throughout my life because she loves me unconditionally, and she doesn’t care one iota if I’ve spectacularly and irreversibly f*%#ed up at work today.
In cost benefit terms, my pet costs me a pittance but gives me incredible benefits. Or to put it another way, I get enormous reward for very little input. Back when I was thinking about taking on the responsibility of a pet I agonised over the decision for days, worrying about the cost of vets and how I would have to find someone to look after her if I went away on holidays. This is because I agonise over taking on responsibility of any kind. I find it of course hilarious now to think that I really did fret and deliberate over the decision as if I was actually deciding to have a human baby. I honestly shouldn’t have worried so much. When I look back now I’m just so glad I did decide to take on my pet, because I have received immeasurable amounts of joy from her company. The occasional inconvenience of having to get someone to look after her when I go away is really neither here nor there.
My pet happens to be a cat. I didn’t plan it that way, I just ended up transporting a couple of kittens that needed a home and this particular creature somehow latched her little claws firmly onto my heart. Dogs and many other animals also make beautiful pets. However one thing I do love about cats in particular is that they have this peculiar habit of looking at you as if you are the most mentally deranged human being that ever walked the earth. My cat can look at me intently in this way for ages, and I absolutely love it.
My cat also knows that she has me twisted around her little finger. Whenever she decides that it might be a good time to immediately regurgitate all of her meal (like when I’m running late for work), she knows that I will dutifully clean up the mess after her. My de facto is always happy to inform me that the cat has spewed when he notices it before me, because as the cat is my pet, it’s my job to do the cleaning up. He also loves my cat, but the mundane owner responsibilities fall to me. I do so love it when my cat vomits while I’m away for the weekend, as I find it immensely satisfying to know that he’ll be doing the cleaning up for a change.
My cat not only knows that she has me twisted around her little finger, she is also happy to make the most of me as a human slave who is happy to run around after her. I keep a cat litter tray filled with dirt in our laundry so that if she ends up being locked in the house for the night, she will always have somewhere to go. Lately however she has decided that the soft dirt tray is a much better option than the dirt outside in the garden. I will let her inside to have a snack in the middle of the day and she will go straight to the tray to do her business, even before attending to whatever food might be available or finding a good place for a sleep. I think she delights in the fact that now I have to clean the tray out far more regularly.
She can however be very secure in the knowledge that I will keep doing whatever needs to be done, whatever that may be, because she is such a beautiful privilege to have in my life. Thank God there are more animal species on this planet than Homo sapiens.
All amazing photos used in this article (apart from the top photo) are from the awesome website pixabay.com.
© Annemaree Jensen 2017