Cats and dogs are not your children, so please grow up
PUBLISHED: 08:43 18 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56 26 July 2020
Copyright 2019 Ruth Black. All rights reserved
Eaton Park, Norwich, a sunny summer’s day.
Two friends who live in the heart of the Golden Triangle spot each other walking by the boating lake as they promenade with their dogs.
“Oh, Hi Tilly! How are you?”
Tilly bends down to stroke her dog, and replies: “We’re fine, aren’t we Mulberry? Ask Bunty how she is.” Mulberry remains stoically silent.
Bunty picks up her dog, which is wearing a diamante gilet, and says: “We’re great too, aren’t we Aloysius?”
Bunty and Tilly proceed to have a conversation without once taking their eyes off their pooches - talking about what the four-legged children like to eat, watch on TV, and how (if you listen carefully) they sound as though they are talking.
Bunty’s husband is referred to as Aloysius’s “daddy”, while Tilly’s partner is Mulberry’s “papa”.
It is a common phenomenon in the streets and open spaces of Norwich and any other place: people having conversations via the medium of dog, and treating their pets like a member of the family.
Newsflash - dogs are not human. Cats are also not human.
Some humans are barely human, but that’s another column.
I do wish people would get some perspective and grow up, rather than persist in behaving as though their cats and dogs are their children.
I’ve had birthday cards from (names changed to protect friendships) Amelia, Nigel, Thomas, Bella and Smokey. The final flourish is a paw print from Smokey.
I’ve even had a Christmas present from my mate’s dog. Or should I should say my soon-to-be-ex-mate’s dog?
Things have deteriorated in lockdown because of working from home.
Where once I could talk to my colleagues in person, now it’s done over Microsoft Teams, meaning we have a window into each other’s homes.
It also means I get to see their cursed cats creeping about, looming onto the screen, tiptoeing on the desk and being fussed over. A big black furry face is thrust towards the screen, accompanied by: “Say hello to Steve, Simba.”
If Simba could speak, I suspect he’d be as pleased to see me as I am to see him. For I loathe and despise cats, which are good for nothing.
They poo on my garden, sneak into my house if the door is open, shed hair, lick their own unmentionables, claw things, and do it all while looking disdainful.
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How could anyone want a cat to be their baby? How could anyone want a cat?
I’m more nonplussed by dogs. Some are ok, but I have no idea how anyone could own one, as it involves picking up their poo.
If they do have a dog, that’s fine - as long as the boundaries are in place between human and pet.
Do not send presents from your dogs, or give them gifts to unwrap on Christmas Day. Do not dress them in human clothes, or converse through them.
Also - and this is the most plaintive plea - do NOT let your dog kiss and lick your face.
I almost threw up once, when I saw a lady at a table in a cafe, who was letting her bulldog slobber all over her face. She was virtually snogging the thing, and it was nauseating.
Everybody knows where dogs put their tongues. Everybody should also want to avoid transferring that to their lips.
I have children, but I’ve never taken them for a walk on a lead, served their food in a bowl on the floor, or thrown them a stick to collect with their teeth.
And I’d never give a dog a piggy-back, or take it to watch Frozen II at the cinema. Nor would I sit down for hours at a table with a cat, trying to help it to master top-heavy fractions.
There are lines, so don’t cross them.
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