One of the greatest sources of joy in my life has been having a pet. As a child my dog, King, was my constant companion. He must be spinning in his grave today watching me love cats! Cats are an acquired taste. Dogs love you unconditionally. Cats require unconditional love.
Because I frequently write about pets, I receive a lot of mail about animals. Hoping this column might be a source of light-hearted summer reading, I offer the following collection:
First, a letter to dogs and cats from their owners:
“Dear Dogs and Cats:
“The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw in the middle of my plate of food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing.
“The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the objective. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.
“I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to assure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
“For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the door to try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also I have been using the bathroom for years – canine or feline attendance is not required.
“Finally, the proper order is to kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough.
Love, Your Owner.”
Second, a notice to all non-pet owners who visit and like to complain about pets:
“1. They live here. You don’t.
“2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That’s why they call it ‘fur’niture).
“3. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.”
Finally, 10 reasons why dogs and cats just might be better than kids:
“1. They eat less.
“2. They don’t ask for money all the time.
“3. Are easier to train.
“4. Normally come when called.
“5. Never ask to drive the car.
“6. Don’t hang out with drug-using friends.
“7. Don’t smoke or drink.
“8. Don’t have to have the latest fashions.
“9. Don’t want to wear your clothes.
10. Don’t need a “gazillion” dollars for college.”