One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn was that there are people out there who don’t treat other people like they’re people. Instead, they treat them like pets.
And not the way that a responsible pet owner would.
Instead, they’re more like those people who get a pet thinking it’ll be fun to have something cute live with them. Fun to take pretty pictures of their pet to put up on Instagram.
But the moment that the pet isn’t as cute anymore or does anything to inconvenience them, they have no qualms getting rid of it.
Like people who abandon kittens when they age into cats. Or puppies when they grow into dogs.
We’ve all seen something like that, if we’re paying enough attention. A person who rips out their cat’s claws because they’re worried about the furniture. Especially ones who do it knowing that declawing a cat is more like an amputation of finger joints.
Or who euthanizes an animal because they aren’t properly toilet trained — when maybe it’s the owner’s fault in the first place that the animal never learned. When it’d be a simple matter to get the pet a few classes and correct the issue. And would have been even easier if they’d done it when the animal were younger.
Or because they bark. (Leaving their poor dog chained to a tree even in inclement weather.)
Or they just don’t want a pet anymore.
Who lie to a vet to get it done.
I’ve known people like that, adults whose attitudes towards animals horrified me even as a child.
These days, I live with a stray cat who seems to have been left behind when his owners moved. And I nursed another stray kitten that was left on the side of the road in a cardboard box. So young his teeth weren’t in yet.
I’m Sorry, Pets
There’s no shortage of people who view other people this way, like pets that are primarily there to amuse them like living toys.
If you’ve had the misfortune of loving one, I’m sorry. It can be dizzying, beyond painful, to be discarded by someone like this. Someone you tried so hard to please, who seemed to love you but only ever on their very inflexible, arbitrary terms. Who never treated you as an equal but expected you to drop everything and worship them but felt free to ignore you whenever they pleased.
And who got rid of you the moment you became inconvenient.