First off, I'd like to thank you for your thoughts and opinions on pets vs kids.
Secondly, I finally got "anonymous-ed". I've been wondering when it would happen. I find it annoying that someone who had a valid point would choose not to attach their name to the comment. I'm not angry or annoyed by their comment, only that they chose to be anonymous.
I do want to reiterate that I don't see pets as children substitutes. I see them as "members of the family", as in I care about them and don't want any harm to come to them. In all honesty, how can you keep something around the house for 15 years and not love it like a member of the family? My thoughts were that pets are like children in a lot of ways. Not that they are children. Because, lets face it, that's one step away from the nice men in white coats. I had a friend comment on Facebook, that there's another difference: apartments don't charge kid deposits nor kid rent. However, they feel free to charge out the wazoo for pet deposits and pet rent. Really? Pets are the only ones who can damage an apartment? The adults and kids are damage-fee zones? Ridiculous.
So, let me go through your comments and I shall respond in kind.
Juniper said:HAHA - let us not start the debate on those who want children versus those who don't. However, like you, I can understand and appreciate the parent-child relationship. Animals shouldn't be subjected to living their lives as the kids someone couldn't or chose not to have. Love it, cherish it, but don't take it to Target and shop for back to school clothes. Pets are wonderful to have around the house. For me, it's nice to come home, knowing it's not devoid of any kind of life. There's a cat waiting for me sit down so she has a lap to purr on. I love my cat, but I don't love my cat. LOL
Here is the thing--yes pets are like children, we groom them,take them to the vet etc... plus they give us comfort. However, pets do not need attention all the time, lock the front door and go to work. You do not plan the pets college education. You do not have to change the cats diaper, bathe them nightly. Meet with the pets educators or counselors. As a mother, you must continue to keep an eye on their basic needs of food, clothes, shelter, education, attention and safety. This is our priority ALL DAY AND NIGHT 365 DAYS A YEAR.We can not even have a conversation with anyone without thinking about the kids. We can not go to the grocery store without the kids or making sure they are safe with a sitter. We can not even have relations with our spouses without making sure the kids are asleep. There is more to raising a child than a cat or dog. Children learn and grow, cats grow and sit on a chair. Dogs chase balls, throw some food in a bowl good to go. Their is absolutely no way a pet is a child. Only a mother can answer this and understand the importance of raising a child vs raising a cat.
First off, I want to say that you make a good point. Valid. But I wonder why you choose to be anonymous. Curiosity. You state at the end of your comment that "only a mother can answer this and understand the importance of raising a child." Begs the question: Could a man (father) answer this? Being that the child did not grow inside him, can he truly know? Anyway, debate for another day. I never said that a pet is a child. Only that they are like kids in several ways. In the ways that I described in my previous post. I understand that I won't be able to fully understand what a parent goes through until I finally become one myself. However, please don't assume that those who don't have them can't understand or imagine or actually know (i.e. nanny) what a parent goes through. There are those who simply won't understand simply because they don't want to. I fully "understand the importance of raising a child vs raising a cat", as you are raising your children to be good human beings that will become productive members of society. My cat is currently licking her ass. That is how she spends her days. All I care about for her is that she doesn't ruin my furniture and that she's healthy, and that she loves laps. You are right about pets having some amount of independence. However, let's remember that they spend a fair amount of time around humans and learn to love our company and if you just "toss some food in a bowl and go", they do learn to miss you and the love you give them. (thus separation anxiety sets in). Obviously kids need more supervision. Duh. And if there is anyone who has money set aside for Fido to go to college one day, someone needs to them a favor and call the nice men in white coats. Same goes for those that leave gobs of money behind to Fluffy because she was a good cat. What's the cat going to do with a million dollars? Piss on it, that's what. Oh, and if you've never had the pleasure of having to raise lambs in the house for FFA/4-H . . . then you've never had the pleasure of changing their diapers - cutting the tail hole and all on a 50lb, 4-legged critter. You've seriously missed out on some awesome times.
Jewel's said: I don't have any children of my own...nor do I have pets of my own anymore. When growing up we always had dogs, hampsters, rabbits, lizzards, birds, fish...you name it we had it. By far the dogs were more a part of our family than any of the others. I loved my childhood dog SO much! Here's the thing though...when I think of the passing of one of the kids I nanny for (God forbid) or my niece and then the passing of my parents dog...yeah...NOT the same. When I think of a child and a dog/cat in the street and a car coming...I'm going for the kid! When I think of money being tight and only being able to feed a kid or a pet...I'm picking a kid. Pets are pets. Sure we love them and care for them...but they are not human substitutes. I have a friend who has a cat and EVERY freaking phone call she takes a break from talking to me to talk to her cat...then tell me in detail what it's doing...I don't give a flying F**k! It's an animal! Now, I'm an animal person...but come on...there is a line! Sorry if this is a bit harsh...but it's something that makes me nuts. Sure they are a big part of your life and you bond with them...but they are not kids, humans, or of equal status in my mind.
I completely agree! I've had all sorts of animals, and I've loved and cared for them all. But if I have to choose between saving the kid or the pet, I'm sorry, the kid wins out. As sad as it for a pet to get hit by a car, they are replaceable. The loss of a child is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. Parents should never have to bury their child. And I, too, have known people who talk about their pets like you described - full on annoying. I'm happy to tell the story of some of the nightmares my cat has woken up from, because it's hilarious, but I don't talk about her all the time! If I start doing that Jewels, you have my permission the call the nice men in white coats, okay? LOL You're view is not harsh at all. You have a firm grasp of the line that people shouldn't cross. The people of which I speak are those that sit in Petco trying on raincoats and sweaters on their dogs so they won't get so cold when they go outside to potty. Um, really? People seriously spend hours doing this and it's enough to drive a store employee nuts because they have to straighten up the disaster later. First-hand experience. It's sad to lose a pet. My mom recently lost a cat suddenly - a cat that she poured her heart and soul into to rescue it and save it. We cried because it is sad. However, to lose a person (family, friend, etc) it's not the same. You're right.
Canadian Blogger Girl said: Totally agree that pets are like kids! Before my daughter we had cats and a dog. Let me tell you I miss them all so very much (the cats died and the dog was given to a loving older couple because she bit my daughter unprovoked).
Oh, when pets bite kids - that's a definite no-no. I see a lot dogs like that at the rescue I volunteer for. It's sad when owners have to give up their pets for various reasons, but sometimes it's necessary. When I was "petless" I missed having them around, too. It's nice to come home to a dog who has been waiting on pins and needles all day just to jump on you and lick you to death so that maybe you'll toss a ball for them.