I Prefer the Term Pet Enthusiast.

I haven’t written in awhile. My job doesn’t really leave me as much down time as the old one, plus I’ve been a combination of lazy and dispassionate about a lot of things. Sorry about that. 

In fact, the only reason I’m writing today is because I have been annoyed by a very specific thing which has affected my life and i wish to rant about it. I’m here today to talk about pets.

I’m a huge animal person, and by huge I mean that I currently have residing in my home four cats and three dogs. My cats range in amount of fur from bald to I-dust-your-floor-by-walking. My dogs range in size from furry bowling ball to legitimately requires it’s own couch to sleep on. I love my pets. I never come home to an empty house. I never watch TV alone or sleep without someone to cuddle. They each have their own personalities that come with positives and negatives just like little human beings who just REALLY wished they had thumbs so they could open that damn bag of food. 

Lately, I’ve noticed something about myself and it’s quite alarming. Whenever someone asks me about pets, how many do i have, or if i need to speak about them….I start my sentence with “I have too many animals, but” 

And then I quickly spit out the number feeling this weird level of shame and embarrassment despite that fact that, wait for it…

I…..I….don’t actually think I have too many animals. If I did then I would’ve stopped getting them. I wouldn’t have gone out and adopted that third dog I mentioned, today. She’s a boxer by the way. I’ve also only told one person I’ve adopted her for the exact same reason I avoid telling people how many animals I have. 

And here’s the thing…not only do I not feel I have too many, because I am not overwhelmed by them, but my house is clean. There isn’t animal feces or urine everywhere, or anywhere really. The litter boxes even have their own specific room away from our living spaces, and the fur gets vacuumed up every other day. I mop and dust and tidy up every week. My house is probably tidier than most houses with human children living inside. The animals themselves are happy and well taken care of. They have shots and flee treatments and toys and….in all honesty, probably a wee bit too much food ( furry bowling ball).

I almost wrote this post in a way that would explain the intricate reasoning behind my pets, but then I realized that fuck all of the everyone who makes me feel like I need to do that. As a close friend said, (A close friend who, despite this phrase, thinks she has a right to comment on my animals)

I am a grown ass woman.

I pay my bills.

I clean my house.

I take care of those motherfuckingly adorable animals that seem to irk you so badly despite the fact that you don’t pay for them, feed them, clean up after them, or deal with them in your daily life. 

Do I have more animals than is the accepted norm? YUP. I’m also bipolar, bisexual, and sleep WELL past noon unless I have a legitimate unavoidable reason for getting out of bed. 

My bed, by the way, (Because I KNOW you need to know) is covered in fur because those critters sleep with me damn near every night. When I wake up thrashing and screaming, I have multiple globular little eyeballs staring at me in genuine concern. My guest room? Yeah, there’s a brown sweat stain from my sphynx Yoda. He sleeps in there because he gets cold at night, but makes too much noise to sleep in my room. Mishka sleeps on top of my corner book shelf, Ruby sleeps INSIDE that guest bed’s box springs, and Nibbler sleeps where ever the fuck he feels like it because that’s just how he rolls. 

There’s also a sweat stain on the tile, which  I clean up each week, in front of the air vent in our bathroom throughout all of the winter months and paw prints on my kitchen ceiling where he keeps chasing the squirrels he can hear running up there. 

There’s fur on my couches and chairs and in the little corners where vacuums don’t reach. 

Our hall closet is the litter box room. 

Our third bedroom is the dog room. 

And our livingroom coffee table is constantly covered in trash, ashes, and moldy dishes because….oh wait. A human does that one so that’s probably more acceptable to society. 

Here, let me get this out of the way, just cut to the chase for when you inevitably realize there’s another living creature inside my home, which you think you get to judge me on because it wasn’t birthed from my body.

“Did you really need another one?” 

Nope, I sure didn’t. In fact, I didn’t really need any of them. There was a time when I didn’t have them. I view that time as exhaustively lonely and boring as shit. You view it as the time when I wasn’t dangerously close to hoarder status. To each their own. 

“Why?”

Because…I ….felt like it? Why’d you get that new tattoo? Drink every night this week? Quit your job, cut your hair?

Why did you have a kid when you can barely afford it? Hell, why’d you have ANOTHER kid? Oh wait…I’m not allowed to ask that. It’s rude

“Don’t you think you have enough?”

Yep. I also don’t think I have too many. I’m not really getting these animals to fulfill or destroy some imaginary quota inside my head. I got Yoda because…dude..bald cat. I’ve always wanted one. Mishka and Nibbler were because I just wanted another cat, but me and my husband liked two different ones. Ruby got rescued and John refused to let me give her away. Lucy was given to me because her family couldn’t handle her. I kept her because it turns out she’s awesome. Buddy was because John wanted a manly dog and HOLY SHIT HE’S LIKE SUPER AWESOME TOO. This one was because something about her got my attention. She was sweet and scared, and a night doesn’t go by where my pets don’t make me laugh, cheer me up, or make me feel safe. And also everything about her reminds me of this silly dog named Buster that I grew up playing with. But you don’t know about that because you’re not inside my head and you haven’t lived my life. 

“You have too many animals”

You have too many opinions on things which are none of your business and which affect your life exactly not at all. 

Here’s the thing, the way i live isn’t for everyone. Pets are hard work and you will NEVER have a perfectly shiny clean home when you own them. It’s the reality of owning pets. And I know I have quite a few and if that’s not your thing  then that’s fine. It’s even fine that you have your own personal opinions on my pet count. You know what isn’t though? Pushing your opinions on me. Making me feel bad or weird because I don’t walk to the beat of your animal-hating drum (see, what I did there? I made a joke about how just cuz you don’t have 7 animals you must hate animals to kinda highlight how just because I DO have 7 animals doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder who needs your overly concerned questions which are just absolutely DRENCHED in patronizingly good intentions).

It is upsetting when I come home and one or more of them have eaten to the point of possible explosion and therefore puked on what is probably the ONE thing I really wanted to be puke free? Hell yeah. In fact, Lucy has this thing about puking directly on me. It’s disconcerting and makes me smell like uncomfortably warm dog food. She also will viciously attack your ankles if you shove, yell, or otherwise physically threaten me in any way. Nibbler the cat will attack your face. It’s kind of like the face-hugger from aliens only you’re asphyxiating on cat fur instead of  getting impregnanted through your throat hole. 

Would I have more money if I didn’t own them? Yeah…but I’d have even more money if I didn’t buy so many cute t-shirts, purchase alcohol, go out to eat, or buy one-too-many $1.99 songs on itunes. 

And my house would be cleaner…only not really because I’m married to a 20-something dude who just RADIATES dirty dishes. I swear, it’s like they leak out of his pores while he walks through the house. 

Lots of things would be different if I didn’t have them. But to ME, most of those differences would totally suck. So stop being assholes. I’d really like to feel less rage towards you since I kinda like you as a friend/family member and all that mushy stuff. 

Sincerely, your becoming less friendly, pet enthusiast friend. 

 

 

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