I marvel at the existence of pets. What makes people want them? I ask in earnest, because the answers I’ve heard so far are not satisfactory. Companionship. Unconditional love. But why would you want a companion whose poop you have to clean up? What’s the value of universally available affection?
I’m not contemptuous of pet owners but in awe of them. Many I know are smart and sociable, more so than the general public. Clearly, their devotion to a Dandie Dinmont Terrier or whatever cannot be attributed idiocy or insecurity.
A former roommate exemplifies almost everything that makes me incredulous about pet ownership. She’s a jolly good fellow, only female. She shared a two-bedroom apartment with two people and two pets, both hers. She’s been clinically diagnosed with insomnia, and sometimes her cat, hungry for a midnight snack, would wake her up. She lived in New York City on a job that paid respectably but not fabulously. Last year her dog (adopted from a rescue shelter) needed $1500 in medical treatment, enough to make her cry and consider giving him up. She didn’t. Instead, she continued to walk him through a mercilessly snowy winter.