Puppies and kittens are adorable aren’t they? It’s not all fluff and cuddles though, there are some things that people never tell you about being a pet owner.
You will step in poop, at least once
I’m convinced that every pet owner has stepped in poop once. Don’t be embarrassed, it happens. Your pet eats something they shouldn’t, leaves deposits around the living room and you step in it all bleary eyed about 5 minutes before you’re supposed to leave the house.
Five seconds later you realise it’s not chocolate mousse and now you have poop on your tights and no other clean tights. You scrub your foot, briefly consider bleaching it, and have to change your outfit. It happens.
You’ll get woken up at 2am
This is more of a cat owner problem than a dog owner problem – unless like us you live on a main road and your dog barks at people walking back from the pub.
Be prepared to wake up terrified that there’s an earthquake only to realise seconds later it’s your cat charging around the house for no reason. (By the way, I’m calling those moments ‘furries’ instead of zoomies. So dogs have zoomies and cats have furries.)
Alternatively, you might be woken up by your cat miaowing in your face. Know this: cats don’t miaow at other cats, so your furball was trying to wake you up on purpose.
I was recently woken up by my cat trying to sleep on my head.
One thing I never thought about was going away for a night, or going on holiday. Where does my cat go?! Surely I can’t take her to the Canary Islands with me?! Even when me and my partner went away for the night I had to find someone to have her over night. I was able to find a local lady who does pet sitting in her spare time. However, this at times can become a nightmare, because she was using a standard paper diary, and with having a busy schedule, this got muddled up and lost – unfortunately this meant I had to cancel one night away a couple of weeks ago. I completely understand that these things happen, but I did some research, and I found a pet sitting software that I recommended to her, which will allow her to keep on top of things!
Presents – dead or alive
Cats love bringing their owners presents – dead or alive they don’t mind. Many a time I’ve been woken up by my cat chasing a mouse around the bedroom.
The next morning I play a game called mouse roulette, where I look around the room in search of mice before getting out of bed. Much like someone who lives in Australia, I check my shoes before putting them on. Not for killers spiders, but for mice. (Australian readers; do you guys actually check your shoes? Or is it one of those things you tell us to scare us off and stop us coming to visit?)
Your laptop fan will get clogged up
Cats love warmth and they love being involved in what you’re doing. One day my laptop fan stopped working so I took it to PC World and they used a blower on the fan and out came about a tonne (only a slight exaggeration) of cat fur.
You won’t call them by their name
You can spend hours deciding what to call your new pet but you won’t call it that for long because you’ll end up giving them a number of ridiculous nicknames.
When I was growing up we had a beautiful German Shepherd called Roxy. She made funny snorting and snaffling sounds so she got called Pig, which led to her being called Piglet and Pigwidgeon.
My cat is called Crunchie but more often than not he gets called Killer, Sergeant Fluffyboots and Captain.
Our dog Bert is the most laid back dog on the planet, so it makes sense that most of the time we call him The Ferocious One or Savage Beast.
Our crazy border collie Dylan is called Dobby because his ears sometimes look like Dobby’s from Harry Potter or Weasel because he can get absolutely anywhere despite being a pretty big dog. We also call him Kreacher, because he’d be a bad house elf and he hates that name. You can call him anything else, but call him Kreacher and he starts barking.
My cat used to steal small rawhide dog bones from the dog who lived over the road from us and bring them home for our dog.
Dylan quite often steals dog toys that have been left on the field when he goes for a walk.
You can leave events you don’t like early
Just like parents get to use their children as an excuse to leave a boring event early, you can say “Oh, I’ve got to get back to loose the dogs out.”
Sure some people might think you’re crazy but they’ll think it’s cute that you treat your dogs like children. There are definitely some similarities; both can be mischievous and shut off their ears whenever the fancy it.
Bonus: They love you unconditionally
I’m not counting this one because everybody already knows it. Yes, occasionally your pets might seem like fur balls from hell but they will love you unconditionally and will cosy up to you when you’re happy, ill, bored or sad. They will always come to you for love and fuss, you can tell them your secrets and they won’t blab, you can have conversations with them regardless of whether they answer or not, and they’ll become part of your family.
I’m sure I’ve missed some things out, so share other things people never tell you about being a pet owner.