Wow, I just became really unpopular with a lot of you, didn’t I? Please don’t look at me like I just announced that I love to pollute. I am just being honest. I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel the same way I do, but they are just too darn polite to say anything while your dog sniffs their nether regions. I respect your right to have a pet, but I will never be a pet person. My friends with pets realize this, God bless them. They know to keep their pets controlled and at a safe distance from me, and for that they are awesome. And for those friends who never knew this about me…well, read on.
First off, I am not saying that I hate animals or want to harm them in any way. I too tear up whenever I see that commercial with Sarah McLaughlin singing amidst pictures of abused cats and dogs. I’m not a monster, people. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to minimize my time around pets as much as possible.
Let’s start with cats. I am horribly allergic to them, so you can’t really blame me for wanting to stay away from them. And no, even if you clean your house really well, that won’t make any difference. I am allergic to their dander, and that sh*t stays around for a very, very long time. Within fifteen minutes of entering your home I will be sneezing, wheezing and scratching my neck, then making a beeline for the exit. Just take some Benedryl, you say? Sorry, but I prefer to be conscious when I visit you.
Secondly, one of the worst smells in the world is cat piss. Have you ever visited The Alhambra in Spain? Its lush gardens are just crawling with homeless cats, and any aroma from the flowers is overpowered by – you guessed it, cat piss. I was supposed to be enjoying this beautiful estate and instead I ended up worrying about how I was going to dodge the piss-happy cats. Another incident I remember was while babysitting in high school. One of the parents told me, “Oh, and stay away from those two corners in the living room. That’s where the cat peed.” Needless to say, I stayed far away from those corners, much like I stayed away from all the dirty dishes they left for me on the counter that night.
Allergy aside though, cats creep me out. I don’t find them remotely endearing. Kind of like how Karl Lagerfeld doesn’t like Pippa Middleton’s face. I know – crazy, right? Well it’s the same thing with me and cats. Not the least bit cute to me. Plus they seem to have this sixth sense that I hate them, so they purposely come by me and rub against my legs. No, this is not a “sign of affection”. Those cats are totally f*cking with me. They know that I can’t stand them, but they also know that I’m your friend and therefore I won’t turn the water hose on them while you are present.
Next there are dogs. I really don’t mind puppies and cute little dogs that I can fit in my purse. And I totally love my brother and sister-in-law’s dog enough that I’d let her sleep with me any time (yes, she is a little dog.) However once those puppies turn into actual large dogs, their lack of self-control is not so cute any more. By the time they “settle down”, I’ve already got paw prints, drool and dog hair all over me. That dog might have had a full day of licking itself and eating things like discarded dirty diapers, so I don’t want it sniffing me, sticking its wet nose on me or licking me with its canine cologne.
Next we move onto miscellaneous members of the rodent family. While I will pet dogs (even the big ones, if they just leave me alone after that), I refuse to touch anything that sleeps in sawdust and emits small squeaks. And as for you “exotic” pet owners, I won’t be strapping a cobra around my neck, cozying up to your ferret or taking your potbellied pig for a walk (unless your name is George Clooney).
But that’s just me. I’m not a pet person.