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October 29, 2004

Comments

I'll never understand the cat person/dog person dichotomy. Both can be wonderful pets, with their own unique rewards. And medical conditions aside, I've got no love for a person who feels antipathy toward either species.

Why does the media always ignore the ultimate in pets? I'm talking, of course, about domestic rats. Cute, friendly, personable, and intelligent, you just can't beat rats as pets. Is there some kind of anti-rat bias in the media and the blogosphere?

Oh, our household also has two cats, three frogs, seven newts, and three stick insects.

This is silly. Everybody knows an octopus is smarter an more loyal than a cat OR a dog.

Everybody knows an octopus is smarter an more loyal than a cat OR a dog.

Chewier, too.

I love cats and dogs. Turtles are fun too, but they may live longer than you.

"I love cats and dogs. Turtles are fun too, but they may live longer than you."

Just pro-cat here. Also, I don't get the problem of having a pet you may not watch die.

"Turtles are fun too, but they may live longer than you."

Tortoises too. For example, Harriet, one of the Galapagos Island tortoises that Darwin brought back from his famous trip on the HMS Beagle is still hanging around.

Then again, if you want a really long lived pet, then get a sea urchin, they're pretty much immortal, unless you get bored with them and eat them. Parts of them are delicious if eaten raw.

The, um, gonads. And no, I'm not kidding.

I'm a cat person. And I know precisely what that means.

"octopus" would be a great pet, too. But that's not what Ian Fleming meant.

By the way, did you know that the male octopus mates by detaching one of his legs, which then seeks out the female to deliver the sperm?

While he stays home and watches the game, I guess. This is multitasking.

I read that on the Internet. It must be true, but if it's not, then the world is less funny than I want it to be.

It has always been my understanding that while a male octopus does use one of his legs to deliver sperm to the female, the leg typically remains attached.

The, um, gonads. And no, I'm not kidding.

Someone else either patronizes sushi bars or watches Iron Chef. Or both.

Allllllllllllllllllllllllez cuisine!

I'm with Gromit. (Just call me Wallace.) also I like snakes, which are admittedly not too loyal but are some of the least intelligent animals available as pets. And beautiful! A snake is more of an aesthetic experience than a relationship. I got scared of octopodes by Katje's experience in Gravity's Rainbow.

Gromit: It has always been my understanding that while a male octopus does use one of his legs to deliver sperm to the female, the leg typically remains attached.

Gromit is correct. The leg doesn't come off. And the male octopus can't just use any leg, it has a special one, a "sex tentacle", if you will. Next time you see an octopus, look for a tentacle that ends in a skinny curly bit. That's the <blush> naughty bit.

Anarch: Someone else either patronizes sushi bars or watches Iron Chef. Or both.

Or kayaks on the west coast of Canada, and doesn't mind chopping sea urchins in half.

Oh and BTW, when I say "I'm with Gromit" I'm referring to his original post, "I've got no love for a person who feels antipathy toward either species."

I find it's more an issue of practicality than preference. I grew up with dogs on a farm, which is where dogs shine. Now I live in a very urban residential area, and I find the hoops that our friends have to jump through to give their dogs a reasonable life just ridiculous. As if a nightly walk around the block with plastic bag in hand can compare with chasing ducks over an open field. Our 2 cats are very happy. The Chinese Water Dragon is a very attractive lizard, and I'll probably be getting one shortly. Guinea Pigs pee too much.

Well, reality just isn't good enough then.

...a "sex tentacle", if you will.

Sorry to nit-pick, but a tentacle is technically a different sort of appendage from a leg, and octopuses don't have them. Squid have both, though (typically two of the former, eight of the latter).

And guinea pigs are more livestock than pets, or at least mine are. They're like furry chickens, but without the benefit of eggs.

Sorry to nit-pick, but a tentacle is technically a different sort of appendage from a leg, and octopuses don't have them.

But it's funnier to say "sex tentacle", because that's what my wife, um, calls, ermm, nevermind.

Also, I'm sick of the phrase 'real Americans'. Even in the ha-ha ironic contexts that I'm normally all for. It's gone beyond ironic. Now it just irritates me.

My wife calls my "sex tentacle" a "real American".

I thought I'd just run that one up the old flag pole.

Do dogs make good assassins?

And my wife calls my real american an old flag po...oh, never mind.

Our wives are very patriotic and I appreciate it.

Whoever was upholding the "OBL lives" side of the recent argument - guess I was horibbly wrong. Oh well.

I'm also allergic to cats

A californian firm is genmanipulating cats and expects to market the first allergy-free cat in 2007. In the US they will be sold for (estimate) 3.500, in Japan (estimate) 10.000 dollar... My sister was allergic and just went for a very shorthaired type. Cornwallian Rex or something similar??? A lot cheaper.

I like cats *and* dogs, but since spouse only loves the latter we have to make do with our Flatcoated Retriever.

I believe that most people who are allergic to cats are not allergic to Siamese or Persians (which is where the gene-engineering is coming from).

I love them both. However, I'm still sort of recovering from owning two truly vicious dogs (adopted at one and a half years old, seemed OK but they were really only too terrified at the pound to show their true colors, had previously been both abused and completely unsocialized, and to top it all off were half coyote, half Shiba Inu, which means half wild and untamable, half standoffish aggressive working dog in need of serious training which they had not, see above, received any of). I loved them to pieces, but they broke my heart. Thus, I am now content with my two cats.

For the record, if anyone here is thinking of owning primates, don't. Explanations on request.

Explanations on request.

Monkey poop? Monkey chow? Monkey vomit? Vandalism? Bites? What? I'm requesting, our family is considering buying a silverback gorilla.

Silly d+u: Ha ha. You can't buy a silverback gorilla, thanks to CITES. However:

People tend to buy primates when they're cute and cuddly babies (much too young to leave their mothers), but oddly enough they grow up, and when they hit sexual maturity, tend to engage in dominance struggles with people in their troop, e.g. you, your spouse, your kids. And they can seriously bite. Plus, they get into everything: I can't count the times I've given thanks that my cats don't have opposable thumbs. Primates do. And they're agile, and smart. Plus, they love making messes with things like, oh, your financial records or the contents of your pantry. Plus, unlike cats and dogs, they have not had thousands of years to figure out how to get along with us. Plus, they are very hard to toilet train, tending instead to go on the fly (works fine when you're in a tree. Less so in a suburban tract home.)

Thus, once they hit sexual maturity, if not before, they tend to end up in cages. Not a good thing for an extremely intelligent, complicated, and social animal. And they live for a long, long time: chimpanzees, for instance, can live for 60 years in captivity. That's a long time to be essentially in jail. Also, they tend to escape and wreak havoc.

Plus, they do bite. Hard. And they share a lot more diseases with us than, say, cats and dogs. And if you should happen to contract one of the diseases normally found only in non-human primates, your doctors may not know how to diagnose it, which can be a drag since some of them are quite serious. Since they can bite not just you, but also anyone they encounter if they escape, they pose a public health threat.

Plus, if you decide that you don't want to be a primate owner any more, it's usually very hard on the primate. They bond with us.

Plus, buying them supports the evil primate dealers who make their living taking infants away from their mothers and selling them to people with more money than sense, and (usually) no idea what they're getting into. It's bad enough when half the nation sees a movie and buys Dalmations (who were bred to run alongside coaches and are not very good pets if you don't happen to either have a coach or run five miles a day); but primates are a lot smarter and emotionally complicated, and as a result capable of being much more seriously harmed.

If, after the election, anyone wants to undertake a little non-partisan civic project, I recommend trying to push a ban on ownership of primates by private individuals through your state government. (State laws on exotic pet ownership here.) Grandfather in primates that are currently owned, since the places that take pet rpimates that no one wants anymore are few and way oversubscribed.

-- There was a reason I didn't write all this the first time...

Thanks for the post, H. Those are all excellent reasons. Should mention that I've never seen or heard of anyone owning a monkey, so there may already be a ban on this practice in Canada. I know there are strict limits on what exotic pets can be owned, except under license.

hermit crabs.

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