Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Using Your Pets for Your Own Amusement

Owning pets has its rewards. They are instant family members, loyal to the end. They love you unconditionally, largely because their brains aren't hefty enough to process the concept of "conditions." Nor can they distinguish a laser pointer point from an actual, capture-able thing, and that's the sort of thing I'm writing about today.

Pets are great diversions. It's a riot watching little feline junkies pine for a fix of catnip, and then roll around in ecstasy with little regard for the fact that their fur is getting coated in their drug of choice. My cats (Banjo especially, back when he was around) are also absolutely transfixed by plastic bags. They perch themselves halfway into the bag, licking its inner surface incessantly. I can't imagine it's the flavor they're after. It must be the crinkly sound and the feel of the plastic on their tongues. Or maybe it's a natural offshoot of licking lead paint earlier in life. I'm not sure, but it's bizarre and hilarious.

Banjo also used to flip out for laser pointers. He'd run himself ragged; in circles, up walls, up and down from furniture trying to catch and kill that little red dot. It didn't matter that he'd never even managed to touch it before, let alone capture it. He wasn't about to let seeming invulnerability stop him from hunting his prey. And he reacted that way at fourteen years old. I only wish I'd had laser pointers when he was younger. I think his head would have literally exploded.

Fetch is a favorite game with our canine friends, a game that would never work with another human. It would be like dropping your pencil repeatedly and expecting your friend to pick it up for you every time and enjoy the privilege. But dogs freaking love it. Any opportunity to run anywhere is a good one. And that's why using your pets for your own amusement is so great. Not only are you enjoying yourself, but they are, too. When your dog rolls over, plays dead, or shakes hands, he's getting the satisfaction of a job well done. With Banjo and his laser pointer, the hunt is more important than the capture. So, unless you like to painfully torture small mammals for your own amusement, generally it's a two-way street of fun.

The fun doesn't really start until about halfway through the video.

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