Have you ever gone to a person’s house and they had a dog and they said, “Don’t leave the door open, the dog will get out.” They are afraid the dog will get out and wander off. Now, dogs have a legendary sense of direction. They have been known to find their way home over thousands of miles. It is almost supernatural. Therefore, unless you have an especially disadvantaged dog, it would seem to me you aren’t so worried about it wandering off as you are afraid it will get away. You know, escape. It sounds to me like you don’t have a pet so much as a prisoner. Let us analyze the parallels. There are walls, gates, and locks separating this animal from the outside world. You make it wear a chain or rope when it leaves the compound. You choose what it eats and when. It is constantly trying to burrow under the wall or jump over the gate. As punishment, it is put into a smaller, better secured space, by itself. If one of the many escape attempts succeeds, posters are put up all around town featuring a description, and in extreme cases, a reward.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I have a cat. At night, I open the door, and the cat goes out. Four or five hours later it jumps down from my roof, onto my air conditioner, and meows to be let in. I let it in. Simple as that. This cat wants live in my house. It does not spend every waking moment attempting to flee. My cat lives on the honor system. Same with food. If the cat is hungry, it bothers the heck out of me and I put food in the dish. When it is not hungry, it stops eating. If it gets hungry again, it comes back and eats the rest. No strict dietary restrictions here. A cat is essentially a deadbeat roommate who forgot his keys. You pay his rent, you buy the food, and you always have to let him in, but he’s a cool guy, so you let him stick around. In exchange, he does little odd jobs, but usually he just makes things worse. Like when he tried to cure your rodent problem, but he got bored and left a dead mouse in your shoe. You do have to admit, though, sometimes he can be a pain, like when he pukes at least once on practically everything you own, or when he pees on the couch so no one else will take it. What a knuckle head.

Now let us make a direct comparison. You have a cat and a dog in the same house. This is roughly like sharing your house with a deadbeat and a convict. The convict will take every opportunity to kill the deadbeat, at least at first. Maybe the deadbeat will launch a preemptive strike every now and again, but for the most part he will be on the defensive. On the plus side, if someone breaks in, you can be reasonably certain the intruder is in more danger than you are, because a couple years of hostility, territoriality, and captivity are about to come out in the form of blood and severed limbs. Meanwhile, deadbeat is hiding behind the bed, peeing on the carpet. On the other hand, you leave anything valuable around that is small enough to grab a hold of, it belongs to the convict now. The deadbeat may steal a chicken nugget off your plate, but the con is making off with the thirty pound turkey. And don’t ask me what he wants with the garage door opener, but it is gone and something tells me the deadbeat isn’t motivated enough to steal that particular item.

I’m not sure if the animals are like people or the people are like animals, but two things are for sure, if animals were people, they aren’t the kind of people you’d really want to be around, and if people were animals, you’d be a lot more willing to put up with their crap, literally and figuratively.

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About Decoychunk

Editor, Writer, and general Knower-Of-Words, if there is text to be read on BrainLazy, Joseph Lallo probably has his fingerprints on it. As the final third of the ownership and foundation of BrainLazy, Joseph “Jo” Lallo made a name for himself when he lost the “e” from his nickname in an arm wrestling match with a witch doctor. Residing in the arid lowlands of the American Southwest, Joseph Lallo is a small, herbivorous, rabbit-like creature with the horns of an antelope. He sleeps belly up, and his milk can be used for medicinal purposes. Joseph Lallo is also author of several books, including The Book of Deacon Series, book 1 of which is available for free here.