I am not particularly twee about my pets. I don’t see them as furry people or as anything but what they are: (mostly) mammals who would probably eat me if I died and left my corpse lying around. They’re not capable of human-type conversation or interaction. They’re simple creatures who function largely as warmth-generating objects that frequently get in my way and sometimes barf. I think of it like loving them as they are, rather than personifying them. Besides, they are utterly loveable even without peopleness. I don’t need them to be human to be awesome.
We are a rescue house. Most of the animals we currently share residence with were literally picked up off the street (two by us, even). They’re waywards; they’re the weird leftovers no one else wanted. In essence, they’re my favorite kind of being—slightly damaged survivors.
We picked up two of our cats at a rescue event. They had to be adopted together because they were found together on the streets by the university. I loved them because they were black, and although it turned out only one of them was particularly friendly, we brought them home and named them Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Gil is a lapcat who demands constant attention—will meow for a pet. Rose is happiest laying around on the kitchen counter not being bothered. He is not fond of people or other animals or basically anything. Leave him alone, and he’ll gladly lick food out of dirty dishes.
Our third cat appeared in our backyard one day. The vet suggested he was probably part of a litter that was dumped, and we have indeed seen similar cats roaming the neighborhood. We brought Puck inside and made him our weird cat who never learned how to cat properly.
Instead of curling up in a lap, Puck will stand on you and drool happily if you pet him. Weirdo.
Our dog was a foster dog. We found out later that he had apparently been fostered by every family in the city. When we take him to the dog park, someone always recognizes him and calls him by name, Sampson. I cannot figure out why no one wanted to keep him, given that he is the friendliest, sweetest, lowest energy dog ever. I heard someone had him for a year and then returned him, and I don’t get it.
Sampson is a lazy dog who never barks and loves to go on slow walks through the neighborhood. Because of his history, he is the least loyal dog I’ve ever had. He does not care who he’s with as long as they pet him and feed him. However, he is a dog’s dog. He is happiest hanging in a big group of other dogs. I feel bad that we can’t get him a playmate, but we literally have no room for another dog so he has to make due with playdates. Also, I’m half convinced he’s immortal. He’s managed to get into chocolate on two different occasions, scaring the crap out of me. The only consequence to his health has been heinous farts. He’s sturdy, I’ll give him that.
And then there’s this asshole.
My husband picked Birb up literally off the street. He was walking. Down the street. What the actual fuck? Because we are bleeding hearts, we kept him instead of sending him back out to meet his fate with the coyotes and aforementioned neighborhood cats.
He bites hands. He peeps at odd hours. He likes to sit on us but does not appear to really like us at all. I have no idea how old he is, and the only reason I assume he’s male is because female cockatiels usually lay eggs, and this one does not. He flies and screeches if he’s mad about something. He doesn’t play with toys like all the websites said he would. He grooms. He eats. He poops. That’s about it. Except, every night when we put him to bed, he sings and clicks his beak at us. I assume he’s glad he’s not on the streets anymore, but who can say?
Right at this moment, my dog is butting my arm to let me know he would like attention. They’re not human; they’re all messy, and they’re all oddballs. I wouldn’t want them any other way.