Survival of the cutest

I wanted to write a deeply meaningful blog today. I really did. Then I discovered the TV show, Too Cute, on Netflix. Binge-watching episodes of kittens and puppies eating, playing, sleeping, purring, meowing, barking, and wagging tails for hours on end? Sign me up. I’ve already mentally signed myself up for 4 golden retriever puppies and 3 orange tabby kittens one day, and I’m only two episodes in.

I’ve been a sucker for kittens and puppies since I was a kid. I mostly had cats growing up. I had a dog once, the runt of the litter black Labrador retriever, named Angel. She wasn’t very bright, and she preferred to dig giant holes to the neighbor’s house, so we ended up not being able to keep her. We gave her back to her mom’s owner and she grew up happily on a ranch.

I wholeheartedly believe the world would be a better place if we all talked in our puppy or kitty voice (the voice we use when we see cute animals). I think I just found the significant component necessary for world peace. That is, of course, after the human genome project is completed, and the twisted gene in Michael Vick and people like him who engage in animal cruelty can be destroyed/vaccinated against.

The benefits of having pets have been proven time and time again. Lowered blood pressure, prolonged exposure at early ages can reduce allergies, reduced anxiety in Alzheimer’s patients and those diagnosed with depression. If you have to walk a dog, you end up walking more than someone who doesn’t.

I have my most important cell phone alerts – text messages and emails – set to a customized ringtone. For text messages, I hear, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” from Agnes in Despicable Me. For emails, I hear Agnes shake her unicorn and utter a guttural “It’s so fluffyyyyy!” I want to yell those at the screen of adorable kittens and puppies, in between my squeals of unbearable cuteness. For about the fortieth time.

This article poses an interesting finding, “Perhaps one reason we have so much pent-up aggression over cute pictures is that seeing something cute, like a baby, drives us to want to take care of it. But we can’t reach through a photograph to cuddle it, so we get frustrated — and then aggressive.” Like the crazy cat lady remix on youtube, where she’s sobbing, she just can’t hug all the cats.

One of the funniest movies I love to pop on every now and then is a Christopher Guest film, Best in Show. Jane Lynch portrays a wholly believable lesbian dog breeder character (shocking, I know), and the curious and competitive world of dog shows is opened up in all the glory that only Christopher Guest can illicit. However, I can’t say I remember a single dog from that movie – I’m more concerned with the amazing cast of characters who can display a full spectrum of crazy without blinking an eye.

I had a cat before I moved to Australia, who was truly my own, and I was her human. I picked her special from the SPCA – I’ll never forget the day I met Toby. She was in a cage at the pet store with two other kittens of a different, longer-haired breed, a brother and a sister. Toby already had the brother cowering in fear, hiding in the litterbox, while she battled it out with his sister. She was ferocious. I knew in an instant I loved her. Turns out, I got her home, and she was a blatant, unapologetic, sweet little love muffin. I wanted a merciless feral feline, and I got a nonstop kiss/cuddle/purr machine. Due to the quarantine laws in Australia, it would have been a huge hardship to bring her with me only to have her sit in a cage for 6 months after arriving, especially when I was only going to be there for 2 years originally. I found her a home with two wonderful loving daddies I met through work, who love her and spoil her to this day. They couldn’t bear to part with her, as I had difficulty doing, when I returned, so I agreed to let her stay with them. Sometimes loving someone, even a pet, means letting go and ensuring their complete happiness, even if you’re not the one to give it to them. *tear*

I’d love to get a pet now, now that I’m back stateside. However, I have an inner conflict to resolve. I don’t want to commit to another pet, as much as I would love them, as I don’t think I can bear to have to part with it again in an untimely early fashion. I want a lifelong pet. Toby was meant to be. Sometimes life throws you curveballs though. If you had told me when I chose her from the SPCA that she wouldn’t be mine til death do us part, I wouldn’t have believed you.

It really comes down to a feeling, an itch, a love of travel, and a failure to put down roots. I came to San Francisco to potentially use it as a landing zone and springboard to the next place, wherever that may be. In a year, or two or three, I could be living in a boat off the coast of Europe. I could be working on my first novel in Nicaragua at a hostel for people who hate hostels.

I love animals, and I want them in my life and in my home, without a doubt. Patience though, until I can 1) properly take care of her, 2) ensure I don’t need to part with her too soon, and 3) offer her unconditional stability to give her a happy, unforgettable life.

That doesn’t stop me from wanting all the puppies and kittens in the meantime though. I might just die of cuteness overload.

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