Friday, June 24, 2005

Pet culture clash

After observing the H Family Pets and the P Family Pet living in the same space, it's become really obviously that they all need to take some cultural diversity sensitivity training. For instance...

H Family Pets (HFP) recognize food as anything going in anyone's mouth, no matter who's consuming it or what it is. For some members of HFP, food can also be substances coming out of various other places or found random in the yard or the garbage. Food is something that HFP always desire and will employ various innovative tactics to obtain. Persistence is expected, though not often rewarded.

P Family Pets (PFP) recognize food as some of what is in the appropriate PFP food container, though often this changes, and is found no longer acceptable. Food also includes prosciutto, select Canadian bacon, moist smoked salmon and specific "cat treats," i.e. thinly veiled fish food. Food is desired only some of the time, and persistence is unnecessary.

HFP want to be where humans are, and when possible, on top of them. Reassurance and physical closeness is always a goal. HFP often like to be near other HFP, but not necessarily PFP. HFP greet each other by one-sided butt sniffing and occasional nose-licking.

PFP some times like to be with people, but often are just as interested as being in a closet, on a chair, or in an inactive washing machine. PFP are nervous about HFP and don't seek them out.

It is acceptable and encouraged to frequently demand things. Whining, talking, "yelling," licking, barking and chewing are all appropriate ways to demand attention, food, change in scenery at any time of the day. It is also to appropriate to engage in these activities if you are just bored. HTP generally want what others have, not just food-wise, but also space-wise. Some HTP will go to great lengths to get exclusive use of other's things, perch on the porch, or paper in use.

PFP will ask for things at certain times of the day. For example, PFP will request food when humans are awake and beginning to start their daily activities. PFP has no interest in HFP food, activities or whereabouts. PFP are proficient at seeking help when none is necessary...walking past HFP, getting down off the roof, etc.

One of HFP primary sports is to go inside and outside. No matter the length of stay on one side of the door or the other, it's desirable to be on the other side of the door nearly every time it opens. It is also optimal to make humans get up and open the door as frequently as possible.

Favorite toys are heavily damaged and smelly stuffed animals.

PFP go outside about once a day, for several hours. PFP's favorite toys include hands and other areas of exposed skin.


dunsany said...


HFP believe in marking territory by the liberal discharge of chemicals on anything and every owned by others. Also practiced is mastication of paper products left on flat surfaces.

PFP believe in marking territory by the strategic defacement by claw of the most valuable furniture item in a particular room. Leather preferred.

Gypsy said...

You two have no idea how thankful you have reminded me to be that I have only one pet, and she doesn't do anything destructive.

I do, however, have two semi-tame children running amok. I'm just grateful they're litterbox trained...