- DAD: Look kids! I got you a dog!
- KIDS: Yay! Dad’s the greatest!
(Mom walks the dog, feeds the dog, gets up at 5am to potty train the dog, takes the dog to the vet, cleans up after the dog and replaces or fixes everything the dog chews up. Mom organises to have the backyard dog-proofed and pays to have someone install a dog door. Mom makes dinner for a second time when the dog gets up on the table and steals the food off the kids’ plates. Mom wakes up every morning smelling like the dog because Dad thinks the dog would really like sleeping in her bed. Mom washes everything the dog sheds all over and keeps the dog from terrorizing the children. Mom chases the dog down the street in her pyjamas when the kids let the dog out – again. Mom hates the dog. Mom wonders what diabolical mind would impose a dog on a cat person.)
- MOM: Will somebody come get this damn dog out of the trash? There’s crap all over the kitchen floor!
- KIDS: Geez, Mom, why are you so grumpy?
- MOM: Because I don’t get the point of this dog! I can understand dogs that run into burning buildings or guide blind people or let you know when you’re about to go into an epileptic fit. I’ve got no problem with police dogs and dogs that sniff out drugs and dogs that herd cattle. But this destructive food whore? I don’t get it.
- DAD: Oh, but she’s cute!
- MOM: Wanna see cute? This is our youngest son. Nothing and no one can out cute this kid.
- DAD: But the dog loves you!
- MOM: My children love me! AND they can tell me they love me without wiping spit or snot all over me. Every ounce of that dog’s love comes out her nose or off her tongue. It’s gross.
- DAD: But look at how loyal she is to you!
- MOM: She should be – I feed her for no good reason. And I have YOU to be loyal to me, husband dear.
- DAD: But look at how happy she is to see you when you come home!
- MOM: Really? Whose ego is that big? The one time in my life I was so happy to see a person that I had to jump up and down and pee myself, I was standing in front of Aerosmith. Do I look like Steven Tyler to you? I may, on occasion, be totally amazing but I’ll never be THAT amazing. Like, ever.
See? Do you SEE what I’m talking about? Dogs. Pointless.
Now cats make sense to me. A cat wanders into my life, I get it desexed and vaccinated, I put out food and a scratching post and I show it where to go to the toilet. From then on, I lead my life and the cat leads its own, NOT co-dependent life.
My daily schedule has nothing to do with the cat’s digestive system, and when I’m sitting still and ready for companionship, the cat will (probably) come and sit on my lap. Or not. Whatever. And when the cat is ready to explore new horizons, it moves on. I spend three days waiting to see if the cat comes back. If it doesn’t, I move on, too. See? Easy.
Somehow I’m the villain because I haven’t been converted, but the joke is actually on my husband and kids. I bought my stupid dog a bag of pork ears last week, and I am now her deity. She loves me so much she brought me a dead bird. I found it in the middle of my kitchen floor which was fine because the floor was dirty anyway. I’m not entirely sure if she killed it herself or just brought it to me, but the point is that, even though I’m still a cat person at heart, I’m her favourite.
So suck it, family.