I’ve never really been a pet person. When I was little, I never had a pet and the only pet I knew of was Tinker, the old, derpy dog my nan used to look after. Tinker was cute and fluffy but I was little and he seemed huge and scary and I didn’t always see much of him. I actually didn’t really get a pet until I was an adult, and even then, they were someone else’s pets. I just happened to share a house with them. That being said, we’ve actually had a couple of blog posts here on the Daily SPUF talking about the pets I’ve owned, one about the dog Colin, who now lives with my mum and is so happy to have a balcony he can safely run around on; and one about Ringo, an abandoned cat who got, well, unabandoned.
But frankly, as cute as those animals are, I’d honestly never really ever wanted a pet. At all. I’d much rather be on my own and do my own thing than have a small, furry companion roaming around. And even if I was forced to have a pet, there’s no way I’d have something like a lizard, a fish or a bird, or even anything vaguely exotic, because I couldn’t bring myself to keep an animal in a confined space like that. Sure, it’s not so bad for a cat or a dog, even if you only really let them around inside the house (you know, excluding walks and the like), they have a whole house to explore rather than, well, a cage that rarely ever changes.
The reason why I never wanted pets though isn’t because I have to look after and care for a pet until it dies. Sure, that’s one of the issues of having pets, after all, a dog’s life can vary wildly based on size and breed and lifestyle. The average lifespan of a cat can be almost anything between 5 and 20 years, perhaps even longer if you look after your cat and it’s insanely lucky not to have any internal issues. The longest living cat lived to be 38 years old, which is old enough for a human to become a grandparent (assuming young pregnancies at 19). No matter how you look at it, you will be spending a long, long time looking after a pet.
And said pet will have to put up with you. Unlike human beings, a pet can’t always tell you if its hungry or in pain or bored or even lonely. All a pet can do is bark or meow at you until you can approximate what the issue is. It’s why illnesses for pets are so devastating, because a cat can’t walk up to you and say that it feels sick and wants to see a doctor and a dog can’t complain that its stomach hurts. We only realize a pet is ill because we can visibly or audibly recognize a pet’s symptoms.
Sometimes there is nothing we can do. Your pet will die eventually. It will most likely die before you.
That is why I don’t like pets. Because these adorable bundles of joy will die and, frankly, my heart can’t take the pain. Is that selfish of me? To not want a pet because I can’t stand the heartbreak when it’s no longer with me? Maybe. But if I am to look after another being, then I have to be able to look after myself, both now and in the future.
Yet here I am, with a pet. Okay, technically Ringo is my brother’s pet cat, but I look after him and feed him and empty his litter tray and give him tickles and make sure he is warm as well. If brother has to go away, if he moves out and can’t take Ringo with him, then I’ll continue to look after Ringo. I never wanted a pet but here I am, protecting Ringo and treating him well.
And frankly, Ringo is adorable. He’s an asshole, like all cats are, but he’s adorable.
I am dreading the day that Ringo leaves this plane of existence. But until then, I’ll give him all the food, tickles and pets that he wants.