Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Like a Caged Animal

Many of us seem to have an unusual compunction to take care of our animals in extraordinary ways. Now I am not suggesting that this is aberrant behavior, or one should be condemned for focusing on pet care over more pressing issues. No actually I think if you want to 'Pamper up' your pet monkey and sleep with it in a crib, then that’s your business. But recently I saw a Snuggie for dogs at the drugstore and it took me back to my own indulgent pet care proclivities.

Come on though – what’s with the Snuggie for dogs? I am all for pet warmth and comfort, but wasn’t the original design purpose of the human version of this product, to allow your ARMS to access things like hot cocoa or the TV remote? I mean I have seen pictures of dogs playing poker but never while wearing a ‘4-holed’ pink blankie?

I have had mostly cats on and off in my life so those are the creatures that I have catered to most often. The recent cat did not ‘prefer’ to drink water from a bowl. So we had to invest in this motorized thing that continually circulated and aerated water for the cat to drink from to stay hydrated. Can you imagine doing this for your spouse? “I can’t possibly drink a thing unless you ladle in Perrier into my craw”! Oh, yeah I can tell you right now – that is a formula for a long and happy marriage.

The cat before that grew up along side my daughter and therefore my kid was responsible for its care. One summer, my daughter showed up with elaborate drawings of a “cat condo” of sorts which consisted of a multi-level living area, a scratching post, and a toy hanging from the balcony for play. The giant abode as designed, was nearly 6 feet tall and all my daughter’s idea (although I think my frequent doorframe stops were the inspiration for that scratching idea). We ended up building the project together for about a week and there was no doubt, even Liberace’s cat would have been ‘catty’ with jealousy.

At one point our family was also graced with a pet chicken. The chicken was already a teenager by the time we got her, so this was not some downy Easter chick that grew up unwanted. No a friend just thought that this chicken would fit well with our odd family. They were right. Soon the chicken became not only a buddy to my kid, but to my wife as well. That chicken would follow my wife while weeding or anywhere and was kind of like a dog, but better. The chicken would lay eggs! (Try that with your dog without carrying a plastic bag) Eventually with the fear of nighttime predators I constructed a cage. I built a giant pen that sat atop a large base to hold supplies. The chicken had water, a feed tray, a paper and straw nesting area and a “dirt” spa to kick up her spurs in. In chicken socioeconomic society – that hen was the ‘top dog’.

I made real shingled roof houses for dogs too but they never seemed to be quite to the elaborate scale of the projects for the more diminutive pets. Dogs don’t care if they have a roof over their head anyway - they just want to be with YOU at any cost. I guess that’s why it makes sense to go ahead and break out that puppy Snuggie and bundle up to watch TV with your BEST friend ever. But let’s get one thing straight on whose the alpha mutt around here. You keep your doggie paws out of the Cheese Doodles – those and the ‘Beggin strips’ are ALL MINE!

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