My cat is my baby. Wherever I go he goes. My husband lets me do and lets me think whatever the heck I want since it's my cat, not his. To me, he has more right in this world that many criminals out there, including abusers, serial killers, heavy drinkers whose only talent is to embarrass their relatives, drug dealers, people who make a living off of others, assaulting and attacking them. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point. SO yes, my cat IS my baby and gets treated LIKE a baby.
I think a lot of lonely people and even some who are "happily" married call their pets their babies, especially if they have no children. Even if there is a spouse and children, pets are family members for a lot of people - me included. Why don't you ask that question in the Cat or Dog forums? I'm not being sarcastic - they can give you some interesting answers.
I agree with PrettyKitty except I don't take my pets everywhere I go - some of them don't like to travel.
I've got a dog. She's a great companion, a comfort in times of need, a motivator to take exercise, and a nuisance when I'm fixing my car and she keeps pushing balls at me to throw for her. She's not my baby, and I'd never for a moment suggest that she has rights equivalent to a human!
On the other hand, she does have one right we don't have - the right to a peaceful and controlled death if/when she becomes too old and infirm, or injured, to have any hope of a quality life. This is a right exercised for my previous dog.
But I'm taking this conversation into unrelated and controversial territory, which we may be better steering clear of...
Drives me up the wall, SeriousSam. Absolutely up the wall.
I think it's great when people take their pets places, treat them royally and even people who pick up little floofy dogs and kissy face all over them. All well and good.
What drives me nuts is people who seriously think they have a parent child relationship with their pets, and the loss of a very old beloved dog is equivalent in emotions to the loss of a parent's child.
That just drives me up the wall, and makes it hard for me to be civil. I know they are hurting, but it's an old dog who died peacefully and what did they think was going to happen when that dog turned 15? Not like a child, where you expect to outlive them.
I am an animal lover, what drives me nuts is dogs who are being pushed around in strollers, dressed up like kids, or put in carriers. It is different if these animals are old or cripled and can't get around on their own but if they are capable of walking then let them walk.
Now I disagree on the comment that you should not grieve if your pet passes away. No it's not the same as the death of your own child but it is still a blow to your heart. I've had many pets that have passed away and it hurts like heck when they do. Even if they are old and you knew it was going to happen. They are your family, they bring happiness and joy, provide comfort and love. When that is gone, it hurts and feels like something is missing. Of course you will feel that pain, if you didn't then you didn't really love your animal.
mami, I think it's probably my post you're responding to. I totally understand grieving the loss of a pet - some of them are truly in your heart. Some you still miss.
But what bothers me is when having an old pet die is compared to losing a child. Theyr'e not comparable in the slightest. In my opinion. One is profound unexpected tragedy, one is sweet wistfulness.
I think I'm just kind of short on patience sometimes. I've known people who have lost children, and it's not the same thing. This really strikes me as offensive - offensive like people who say they were raped because they were overcharged for gas. The equalizing of two very different experiences just seems offensive to me.
But yeah, I still miss my little Hogan dog. *smiles at the memory*
I am twice divorced, with no children. My cats have been with me through thick and thin. They don't care how I look in the morning, or what kind of mood I'm in. The men I've had relationships with have at times treated me like dirt, but my cats are always happy when I come home from work, and love to cuddle with me. They give me unconditional love, something humans have yet to do. I've been through a lot of relationships and health problems, and my cats have always given me comfort, so yes, they are like children to me. I think that especially people who have no children of their own feel this way about their animals. Of course, I agree that seeing an animal in a baby carriage or dressed up in some dumb outfit, is enough to make me gag.
Mags - this is kind of interesting. Why are they like your children, rather than your best friends? They're like your girlfriends, you hang out with them and enjoy their company.
I don't know why the "children" thing bothers me, but it bothers me. They're dear friends. I saw the cover of a dog magazine in the Petsmart checkout line, it was a golden retriever puppy with a pacifier in it's mouth, and I think the feature story was "Bringing Home Baby". That just flew all over me.
But things like "man's best friend" and "some of my best friends are cats" - I get that. I really totally understand their companionship and value. But they're not my offspring.
Well one of my closest friend's aunt was unable to have a child. She had failures with IVF and just came to the realization that it wasn't meant to be. She bought 2 yorkies and consider them the children she couldn't have. She raised them from being tiny pups to adult dogs. She doesn't know what it's like to have children so to her losing them would be like losing her children. But having a child myself, the two are definitely not comparable. But to her the pain is going to be great.
Mami, I understand she is attached to the yorkies - I get that. But I had dogs before I had kids, and I thought I loved my dogs like I love my kids, but boy was I wrong!!
I hope your friend won't suffer as much from losing her yorkies - because that will surely happen. They will live a long full and enjoyable life, and then they'll die. Both of them. Unless your friend is advanced in years herself, she can fully expect to bury her yorkies.
And I don't believe that will have the life altering consequences of burying two teenagers. I just don't think people would sign up for that kind of pain. But yes, she will miss them.
I don't think people ever know the lose of a child until they have a child. I couldn't even imagine how it must feel. I would go CRAZY if anything happened to my son. There is no way to recover from that. So yes, I agree, losing a pet is nothing in comparison to losing a child.
I have had many pets come and go in my life and I understand why people say they are "my baby" rather than "my best friend".
You feed your pet, bath them, play with them, care for them when they are sick, pick up their poo, take them to the doctor, and support them financially. These are all things we do for our babies, I know I don't bath my friends or pick up their poo.
While I did grieve for quite some when I had to have my 14 year old schnauzer named Gizmo put down due to cancer, I don't think it is the equivalent to loosing a child.
Also, I don't think it is OK to carry them everywhere, they can walk.
The clothing thing I can understand for one reason. During Gizmo's last winter she was VERY skinny and would shiver uncontrollably so when we took her out to go potty we put a doggy coat on her to keep her warm. I live in Wisconsin so it gets pretty damn cold for a tiny dog suffering from cancer. Other than that I don't think pets need clothing.
Unfortunately or fortunately for some, lots of pets are also considered fashion accessories. Have you ever been to fashion shows where the models are carrying or walking with dogs? I do not agree with that either unless the winter gets really heavy. But this "calling your pet a baby" issue is so insignificant. I have no children yet, so I don't know what it is like to be a mother. I call my cat My Baby because he is the closest thing I've had to babies in terms of caring, bathing, companionship, joy, sadness when he gets sick etc.
What I don't understand is why people get bothered so much by this? Gosh what about tax increase, economy decline, politics, gas and food prices? Shouldn't that be a strong candidate to bother us all? Compare "calling your pet a baby" with war or work load, the illness of a close relative. Is it worth really getting bothered by this? Life is too short, and people live it however they want to wether we like it or not...it's choice.
Pets, especially for elders and people with no kids, like me, mean the world. Whatever you do with your pet, dress it, walk it, carry it in strollers is your own choice and, at least I...could care less.
My daughter dresses our small dogs up - one in particular. He loves it. We have a dog stroller for them which they seldom use but it comes in handy for taking them on the bus. Personally, I wouldn't dress the dogs but if my daughter and her colleagues and clients at work (she works as a vet tech) enjoy seeing a male dog dressed up as Snow White - who does it hurt? This dog also works as a "therapy" dog and visits people in nursing homes or those who can't get out. The dog's personality, along with his "girly" clothes make them laugh and takes their minds off their illnesses for awhile. The people who are selling these clothes are making a fortune but who cares. A male dog in a dress doesn't hurt anyone. Our big dogs remain nekkid except for their ID.
I was really wanting to get the perspective from the people whose partners have the dog eat at the table, dress them and all the other insane behaviors up to and including giving the DOMESTICATED predators priority over the partners. LOL
I am sorry but we even had an independent auditor show up at work one time with amexican hairless rat dog in a pink tutu and nail polish!!
If you had any idea of the atmosphere this was in you would be boggled that she even still had a job!!
i think some behavior is irrational between owner and pet. i still don't get letting them eat off the table, lick faces, or sleeping in the bed by the infant. yuck. i had a cat named Mittens for 14 years and she was my best friend. i let her sleep in my bed sometimes, i admit. we loved each other unconditionally and i always thought of her as one of the family. if someone had asked me to list family members, i'd include her without a thought. i'd had her since i was 11 years old up until over a year ago when some dogs chased her away from home one evening and we never found her again. i still cry when i think of her being gone to this day, though my husband tells me to hush and stop acting silly. to get over it.
A pink tuto and nail polish, that's too funny! Can you imagine how the other dogs must make fun of him/her?
I have a friend that treats her dogs like children. When we talk on the phone, she's always telling me of their latest accomplishments or ooh-ing and ahh-ing to the dog while talking to me at the same time. I find it annoying but there are worse things in life. At least she has something to love since the rest of her life is a little hard at the moment.
I think as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, it's ok.
I love animals, they make me happy.
The parent child relationship comes from the fact that their is unconditional love, and you are caring for this pet just like you care for your child. All 3 of my dogs and my cat ARE my children, and i also have 2 children. I don't love my 2 children anyless then I love my pets, but my pets are my babies!!!! And I do dress my dogs, but I don't push them around in strollers. They have legs and need excersize. But I bathe them, feed them, get them medical care, jsut like w/ my 2 kids. You do develope that relationship, Parent Child. My husband agrees. He is daddy adn I am mommy. And yes I take one of them w/ me every time i go somewhere and we always stop and get treats for the others. My daughter has even made a MySpace page for them. My mom takes her dog to doggy day care, which I think is great considering she works 12 hour shifts. That poor puppy shouldn't be left alone for that long. Sorry I'm going on and on, but I feel very strong about this. What drives me nuts is people who get pets and throw them in the yard and throw food at them from time to time. What's the point of getting this poor animal if you are going to ignore it? They have the right to a quality life just like my kids do.
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