So your cat has a human name and you see your dog as more of your baby than a pet.
Yes, there are many of us out there who regard our cats and dogs as more than just pets for companionship or to guard our homes. They are indeed our very own furkids who we have come to regard as precious members of our family.
If you’re wondering where you stand in all this, here are seven signs that your cat or dog is more of a family member than just a pet.
It’s dark outside. You’re sleepy. And your bed’s warm and comfy. Yet your dog’s doing somersaults trying to wake you to take him for a walk. You could simply ignore him… cover your face with a pillow… or throw said pillow at him. Yet you drag yourself out of bed, slip on your shoes and head out the door with him happily in tow. As you rub the sleep out of your eyes, you look down at his smiling face and your heart melts. Who needs more sleep when you can spend a lovely morning out walking with this dashing fellow?
Willing to engage in repetitious games
You’re trying to watch your favourite TV drama when your cat jumps onto your lap wanting to play. So you reluctantly participate by throwing her toy across the room. She takes off, then darts back with the toy in her mouth and drops it in your lap, ready for the next throw. You throw it again for her. She returns yet again. By the time you’re done playing with her, the drama’s over. So much for watching TV.
If you’re the kind who loves nothing better than sharing your bed with a warm, furry body (and I’m not referring to your husband!), then you most definitely see your dog or cat as a family member. In a survey conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association involving over 1,000 people, more than half of cat and dog owners said they slept with their pets.
Willing to share your food
Yes, it is a bad habit but people who feed their dogs or cats treats from the dinner table usually are too soft hearted to withstand their big, sad melting eyes as they watch intently as you eat. If you find yourself more than willing to give up a delicious morsel of meat to your furkid, then he’s more than a pet to you.
Willing to give up holidays
You cannot bear the idea of leaving her all week long in a cat hotel where she will be bored out of her tiny feline skull, in a strange environment surrounded by other lurking felines who look decidedly depressed. So you shelve your vacation plans and before you know it, five years have passed!
Willing to care for them
Your cat poops pretty often and you need to pick-up after your dog. Pee… poop… puke… weekly baths and the occasional visit to the vet – you do all this and more with a smile on your face, knowing full well that it is but a small, small price to pay for the priceless experience of having them as your buddies.
Willing to part with money
He ate the kitchen towel that is now lodged uncomfortably in his gut and requires surgery to remove. The vet tells you it could cost hundreds to put him right. You say, “Do what you have to do, Doc.” In your mind, no amount of money is too much to get your darling back on his feet again. The final bill comes in at RM700 inclusive of a two-day stay at the vet plus medication. No sweat. All that matters is that he’s now grinning from ear to ear, eager to leave the vets and happy to be back in action once again, free of the offending towel.
According to a Dr. Clayton Mackay of the American Animal Hospital Association, animals have this ability to place themselves in the family because of their co-dependence. He says, “The fact that really strengthens the pet-human bond is the animal never moves beyond their dependence – and they are never critical of us for anything we do.”
What truly over-rides all theories is that our cats and dogs give us unconditional love, something one human cannot give another no matter how hard we may try.