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Posts Tagged ‘pet ownership’

Attention: Genghis Cat, Feline Overlord of [address omitted]

Dear Cat,

I am writing to remind you that, according to the pet registry at the local council, I am listed as your owner. Not the other way around.

Admittedly, however, I mustn’t be much of an owner. I mean, I’ve never felt the need to put a picture of you up as my facebook profile pic or get you to wear a Santa Hat on our Christmas cards or have your name tattooed on my arse. Also, I’ve certainly never felt the way cat food manufacturers obviously think I should feel – most of the cats featured on their packaging are giving me their best “Come Hither” eyes and others seem positively post-coital. Is this really how cat owners feel about their pets? If so, I’m sorry. I just don’t see you That Way. For one thing, whenever I try to pat you, you just bite me. Perhaps that’s your way of giving me some lovin’ but I can tell you now, Cat: I’ve no interest in becoming your S&M bitch-slave. It just ain’t my scene.

Anyway, now that I’ve reestablished the fact that I’m your owner, I would like to remind you of a few house rules:

Greetings
Please do not greet me at the door with an accusatory whine, as if continuing a previous argument right at the point where we left off (no doubt about the fact that I “never” feed you). In return, I will cease regarding you warily with a “Helllooooo, Genghis”, like I’m Jerry Seinfeld greeting his nemesis Newman.

Disposal of body parts
I may be wrong here but I think most serial killers attempt to tidy up after themselves a bit. Whilst it can be said that nothing heightens the hanging-out-the-washing experience more than standing barefoot on a mouse head, I’d prefer it if you could either eat your prey in its entireity or use one of the garbage receptacles provided.

Land rights
You have no legal claim over the spot in front of the heater. You therefore do not reserve the right to stalk, pounce upon, scratch or bite anybody standing in that spot, especially if they have just been outside in the cold, cleaning up bird entrails from the trampoline. My husband would also like it to be known that when he sits naked in front of the heater in the mornings (for reasons known only to himself), those things hanging down between his legs are not your sworn enemy.

Meal Times
When I refuse to feed you outside of designated feeding times, please do not sit right in front of me and proceed to elaborately groom your arsehole in protest. And, for the record, other cats the size of small ponies subsist on one cup of dry cat food a day without complaint. You receive the same PLUS two sachets of ‘wet food’, which costs more per gram than most fancy-pants French cheeses, and yet you never quit your bitchin’. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? If I served all your meals to you dressed in a gimp suit made entirely rubber and let you bite the crap out of me, would that make you satisfied? Would it? WOULD IT? Well, it ain’t gonna happen, Cat. It ain’t gonna happen.

Sheesh.

Your loving owner,

The NDM

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Here’s my confession: the joys and benefits of Pet Ownership are somewhat eluding me right now.

Let’s put it this way: if you were to get all the Happy Pet Owners of Australia and gather them together in the Melbourne Cricket Ground, I would not come along to your little pet-lovin’ shindig. So don’t bother inviting me, okay? Look, don’t even talk to me about it. Sheesh. 

And before you judge me too harshly, let’s just say that Genghis Cat (resident pet) represents just another member of this household who:

a) follows me around the house, hassling me to give him food;

b) turns his nose up at whatever food I give him;

c) wants to sleep in my bed;

d) wakes me up by crying loudly when I won’t let him sleep in my bed; and when I do let him sleep in my bed…

e) keeps me awake by biting my toes (admittedly the kids do it by jabbing my kidneys with those pointy toes of theirs)

f) unexpectedly shits, pisses and vomits in equally unexpected places around the house; and 

g) gives me worms. 

To add insult to injury, the cat makes a point of sitting right in front of me and licking his anus for, like, 20 minutes while I’m trying to eat my chocolate brownie and then leaping over and running his tongue across said brownie the minute I leave it unattended. At least the kids don’t do that – if only because it’s physically impossible for them to lick their anuses. 

Experts say: pets make good friends.

I say: even my worst enemies haven’t thrown up on my bed.  

Experts say: pet ownership has many health benefits.

I say: as long as I don’t eat that brownie. 

Experts say: pets are good for stress-relief.

I say: as long as they don’t create more stress than they relieve. But then again, I sure feel much better after shouting “STUPID CAT!” at the cat. And it certainly feels way more comfortable than shouting “STUPID KIDS!” at the kids. Plus I can lock the cat outside when he’s really pissing me off. Or I can even lock him outside when the kids are really pissing me off. I mean, better the cat, right?

Shit, no wonder he’s so unreasonably angry. And I can’t even blame the cat for that one. Which makes me unreasonably angry. 

Stupid cat. 

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I’ve long since thought that Easter Saturday was a bit of a non-event, sitting between Two Giants of the Christian Calendar as it does. Nobody died, nobody rose again – it was just a pause in the parable. My friend, The Amateur Surgeon, pointed out that Easter Saturday might have been just a little bit exciting because Jesus would have been on his tour of hell on that day. But that was all behind-the-scenes stuff as far as the Bible is concerned – or at least it never appears in those Made-For-TV depictions of The Passion.  And whenever I think of “behind the scenes” I can’t help but think of Richard Wilkins doing backstage interviews at something like the Logies Awards. Which I guess is pretty close to hell in my books. 

In any case, with that concept of a “tour of hell” in mind, let me describe to you some our own Easter Saturday antics last weekend. 

It started off innocently enough. The children went outside to play in the sunshine but quickly ran back inside to say that Genghis Cat had a bird in his mouth. The bird – a fledgling Indian Mynah bird – was still alive and my husband bravely rescued it – quite literally – from the Jaws of Death. The bird was in shock but appeared otherwise unharmed, so my husband decided we should let it convalesce with us for a few weeks before releasing it back into the wild – well, the wilds of suburbia, that is. And boy are things wild ’round these parts. 

However, we needed a cage to keep him in (and keep Genghis out).

Now a normal person might have just bought a cheap one, but not my husband. No, he decided he should make one instead, with a view to “future bird-keeping”. 

And so he compulsorily acquired the wardrobe from the kids’ room for his project, leaving its contents on the floor.

Which meant we had to move the shelves from the laundry to the bedroom, thus dislocating the contents of those shelves.

Which led to us reassigning the book shelves in the kids room to the laundry.

Which meant we needed to move the shelves in the loungeroom to the kids’ room to hold the books and… 

Following all this, are you? Well, let’s just put it this way: imagine our house was a big drawer and we turned it upside down and emptied its entire contents onto the floor and then kicked them around a lot. With me now? 

My husband, bless his odd-socks, went onto put in at least five hours of hard labour building an aviary, complete with removable trays.

And, somewhat predictably, “Harry the Mynah Bird” went on and died sometime in the night. 

And so we woke up on Easter Sunday, with a dead bird in our hallway – which, contrary to the spirit of Easter, did not Rise Again – and the house looking like the insides of a snowdome while it’s being shaken and with an Unavoidable Date with Chocolate at hand. Which meant that, as we were trying to tidy up, the kids were just running around high on the Brown Stuff creating twice the mess. 

The moral of the story? I mean, there must be a moral. It was Easter, after all! 

Well, my friend KC said that Indian Mynah birds are considered vermin in most parts of Australia where they pose a real and ongoing threat to native bird species. So she’s now touting Genghis Cat as a Bona Fide Hero, which is a strange turn of events since both her husband and her son are violently allergic to him and his presence in our household has somewhat curtailed our friendship. So I guess, as far as Genghis is concerned, miracles really do happen. And as far as we’re concerned, it’s less miracles and just messes. But that’s really nothing new.

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