July 24, 2013 by talkaboutyork
I know this blog post will incur the wrath of animal lovers the world over. If you love animals, please click away now and go support the RSCPA or a cat shelter somewhere. This is a blog post for those parents who don’t love animals and who have absolutely no desire to have a pet, but whose children nag and nag for one.
Take my advice: DO NOT GIVE IN!!! Even if your child turns big teary eyes on you, with a little sniff and shoulder shake saying, ‘But I just want a real pet to stroke, not like the fish. I just want something to love.’
I repeat: DO NOT GIVE IN. Kids are almost as cunning as cats. And that’s not a good thing.
That moment when they choose their little kitten and the look of joy on their face is so not worth it. Trust me. The moment lasts about five minutes.You could get the same look from buying them a jumbo size bag of haribo. The pet lasts a lifetime, long after the child has left home pet free, while you are left looking after a crabby, spitting moulting bag of fur.
Here are my top ten reasons why you should not get a pet (in this case a cat) for your child unless you REALLY want one yourself. (If you are an animal lover then that is perfectly fine, crack on and enjoy.)
- The child will stroke the pet once and then return to their games console. They will not play with the cat, stroke the cat, groom the cat, feed the cat or empty the cat’s litter tray. Ever. This will not be a learning experience or teach them responsibility. Trust me. It will simply give you one more thing to nag about.
- The cat will bring in a lot of dead animals that you have to deal with. Normally with the head chewed off. Often the remaining body parts will be left in your trainers or under the dining room table. You will be the one to deal with it as your children will scream, standing on their chair, yelling ‘ooh gross!’ even though that is exactly what you want to do yourself.
- Despite the fact that you hate the cat and have told the cat in as many words, it will sit on your lap, no-one else’s, digging its claws into you every time you get a chance to sit down. It will also lie across your keyboard while you are trying to work just to be near you. It will also spend an inordinate amount of time presenting its tea towel holder backside up close to your face. I have no idea why. They just bloody do.
- You will spend a fortune on cat food that it may or may not eat and which you will spend a long time cleaning out as his majesty the cat will probably only lick the sauce from the food and leave the ‘meat’ behind. It stinks. It is also made of superglue that does not come off bowls without a pot scourer and neat acid.
- You will spend a fortune on vet bills because the stupid cat gets into fights on a weekly basis and gets bites that get infected. You will be the one to take it to the vet and have to hold it, getting clawed, while a vet sticks an injection in it or drains the abscess of pus. Yay. That sounds like fun, right?
- You will have to arrange for it to go somewhere when you go on holiday. You won’t think about this until two days before you’re due to go. Everywhere will be fully booked. If by some small miracle you find a cattery that has a space, you will be the one to fight with the cat who will refuse to get in the cat carrier and who then has to transport a shrieking banshee cat in the car as it shits all over the inside of the carrier, which you will later have to wash out.
- You will never again be able to make your morning cup of coffee without a cat wrapping itself around your legs like some kind of feline string art, thus causing you to trip and almost break your neck, because you’re still half asleep. It also means you have to face foul-smelling cat food before you’ve taken a single sip of coffee. If you attempt to drink your coffee first, you will be presented with the cat’s arse in your face. Again.
- Your children, and yourself, will get covered in flea bites, so much so that you think everyone has come down with chicken pox. Again. This, despite the fact that you played wrestle mania to get a flea collar on the thing AND had to chase the cat around the garden trying to get the spot-on flea stuff onto its skin between its shoulder blades because apparently cats would rather be eaten alive by fleas than have three drops of anti-flea stuff put on its skin.
- You will have to strip all the bedding, wash it, strip the covers off the sofas and make a trip to a laundromat to wash those, battle to get them back on, hoover tirelessly and spray everything in sight, and there will still be fleas. This is about six to eight hours of work that your cat has given you. Probably for several weeks. Thank you cat. Even if all the fleas are gone, you will still feel itchy. Like if someone says the word ‘nits’. You will feel tiny black creatures hopping all over you for months.
- And then there’s the hair. You see, even short haired cats shed hair. No-one tells you just how much hair they shed. But apparently it’s rather a lot. You can tell where the cat has been by the little piles of ginger hair lying there. Obviously the children won’t groom the cat, so you will have to sit with your favourite friend trying to brush out the extra hair which simply floats up around your face, making you sneeze before resettling on the cat. And just in case you miss any hair, the cat will get a hair ball and make delightful retching noises as it tries to expel it. If he is successful, you will be the lucky recipient of a vomited up hairball to clear up. Yippee!
So there you have it. If you feel that your child will benefit from having a creature to care for and love, I can offer you a cat to have a trial run with. If they take to it, he is yours. If they don’t (which they probably won’t after the initial five minutes of interest, 24 hours at most), you can thank me for saving you about 18 years worth of cat loving joy. I am open to thank you gifts of cat food (Whiskas only, no seafood), deflea sprays and treatments and cat grooming brushes.