Pet Guilt

Today’s Guilt

Today, the cats are guilty of: trying to break and enter my room, getting into my stuff in my room, going up onto the fireplace mantle piece, and hanging out for way longer than necessary on the kitchen table instead of rapidly proceeding into the acceptable location of the window sill.


We have pets

Some animals live at the same residence as myself.  The wild ones which scurry across the roof.  Thanks to dominance, some squirrel and his privileged relations have excellent access to a bird feeder in the back yard.  Others hope for openings, and scramble to pick up what’s fallen from the feeder “catch as catch can”.  Those aren’t pets.  I know you know that, but it was worth pointing out for a reason.

There are these 2 female cats who live where I also have some private and shared spaces.  One is like a 30something and the other is more like a 20something.  They only get along some of the time, which has been a cause of significant stress to both of them.  Aside from their species, what really clues us into their pet situation is that they have the privilege of demanding or requesting food and water or to have their potty cleaned out.  They almost never scurry across the roof and generally can’t get to the bird feeders, and might be punished if they try.

Meanwhile, there is also a flock of sparrows that live in intimate association with the residence, who are not surprisingly, not pets.   Many of them live in a manner that I slowly began to realize was probably a sort of culture.  I think they are a tribe, in all seriousness, a group of 3 to 7 small families with cousins and granduncles and grandmother birds all dealing with have effectively dominated the two or three major trees surrounding the house and maintaining almost exclusive access to the bird feeder in the front lawn.

When it isn’t the squirrels scuttling across the roof, it’s ‘them’, flapping and fluttering, often at least 5 launching into flight at the same time, warning a young one about the resident humans or traffic passing in the street.

There is also a dog, who is a pet.  It’s frightening, when I think about human economics and social status etc.. in terms of how the dog, like the cats and unlike the sparrows and squirrels, has a provider human who will get him special medical care and flea collars, as well as toys obviously made by humans.


Their Guilt

The dog’s guilt is normally rather subtle: he’s really a well behaved short haired dog.  He’s rarely guilty of anything other than begging for table scraps or asking for cheese between meal times.

The cats are really incredibly guilty, but all in the usual feline ways.  They get onto the tables and counter tops.

Relevant aside

One day I had an epiphany during which it became clear that it is definitely true that I don’t like flies putting their feet right where I want to put my lips to drink a beverage.

Back to cat guilt

The cats are also guilty of having spats amongst themselves.  They do occasionally just knock stuff off of counters and are guilty in other ways already seen on Facebook in videos.  So far, the 2 ladies here have not become so upset that they claw the toilet paper.

Due to this the concept and phrase “Pet guilt” has become part of my ordinary waking consciousness.

I have become inconsistent about chastising the cats for getting onto the tables while I am home, and they react inconsistently as well: some of the time, leaping from the table at the sight of me and other times hanging out up there brazenly walking up to me and peering at whatever I’m doing.

I feel the way anyone would who writes to “an agony Aunt”, and am only relieved that these are “minis”.

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