As a guy in his mid-40s (I know, I know, I look like I am in my 20s…) I often think that I am a strong, competent adult who is in control of his life.
And then I come home and clean up dog poop, scoop up cat litter, constantly open and close doors for pets and clean bird poop off of the television.
I love our family pets dearly, (on most days) and I get more out of the relationship than I put in, but they can be taxing. Speaking of getting out more than I put in for them, how do they make so much poop and how do the cats fill the litter boxes so full? I don’t think I feed them that much.
Feeding the animals is a curious item that is perhaps an excellent example of a reflection on our society today. Or perhaps even more likely, it is an even better example of how I spend too much time thinking about these pets.
We have two cats, one dog and one bird, and here is how the feeding works.
- The cats each have their own bowls and get the same food, but they always want the food the other cat is eating.
- The dog always tries to eat the cat food.
- One of the cats often tries to eat the dog food.
- The bird often wants people food like crackers, but he also often throws them onto the floor.
- The dog eats the crackers the bird throws down.
- The cats would like to eat the bird.
- The dog will ignore his own food, but if you give it to him piece by piece from your hand, he thinks it is a special treat and gets very excited.
- The dog always wants people food.
- One of the cats will eat just about any people food.
- The cats often eat food set outside for the neighbors’ cats.
- The dog occasionally wants to eat the cat poop.
So what meaning can be derived from this, other than that fact that I am not good at training pets?
Well, it’s easy to see that just like animals, we always seem to want what other people have, even if it is what we already have.
In addition, sometimes we ignore the things that are best for us, and the best fit for us in many ways, because we want something that someone else has, even if it is not very good for us.
One of the best lessons to be learned is that if we take things that are ordinary and often ignored by us, and we look more closely at them and appreciate them, we can see that the items we take for granted are just as exciting as a special treat.
We can learn a lot from our pets, and the pets at my house have done a fairly good job with teaching me about when they want fed, when they want outside, when I need to pet them, when I need to get up in the morning so they can have the bed, when I need to clean the litter boxes and when I need to give them more food.
I know I sound like I am complaining, but I really do have a good time with the pets and they add a lot to our house (and our grocery bill). I really am thankful to have the pets and I’m pleased that no matter how important or invisible I may feel at work or in my community, the pets always like me and make me feel important when I feed them.
Even though it may not seem all that important in the grand scheme of things to be cleaning litter boxes or constantly letting the animals go inside our outside, to the pets, it is a pretty big deal. In fact, to the pets I may even appear to be a competent adult who is in control of his life, and that’s a pretty good thing.
Also, no matter the work or expense involved with pets, it’s very nice to be able to sit down in the evening and with my family members to watch television or talk and relax while the pets sit on our laps or sleep on a nearby chair.
Now, if I could just get the bird to stop pooping on the television….