I have one thing in common with one of my neighbours: we both don’t like pets and so, we don’t have them in our homes.
When she recently told me about a strange cat that was frequenting her home where it found comfort in their lounge or bedrooms, I sympathised with her. I identified with her pain because I can’t stand the presence of a cat or a dog in my home; hence, my decision to raise none of these pets.
I thought I had an idea of the nuisance she was putting up with until the cat decided to change course and started visiting my house a few days ago.
No amount of chasing or shouting has helped us get rid of the small creature, which seems to be spending more time in our house than the owner’s, who I don’t know.
While it is easy for me to keep a dog away by simply closing the doors, this cat sneaks into the house through windows, making way to the kitchen or other rooms of its choice, to my displeasure.
Imagine you are taking a nap one afternoon only to be woken up my some strange cat meowing beside you. It is just maddening.
But this is not the only nuisance that some people suffer at the hands of pets they don’t own. There are some irresponsible dog owners who care less about where their dog eats, plays or defecates, such that some households have to put up with the forced presence of hungry dogs that come in search of food before turning their lawns into toilets.
Some of the ‘homeless’ dogs—which are a threat to people’s lives as they more likely never get necessary vaccines—enjoy sleeping on neighbours’ door mats where they sometimes drop their hair and ticks while the wounds on their ears invite flies to the wrong doorsteps.
Pets can be fun and a reliable source of security and, of course, good company for other people, but if you ask me, not everyone should own a pet because some people just don’t know how to responsibly look after these animals.
Take, for instance, a household in some high density township that chooses to own a group of dogs when they don’t even have a fence or mere chains to limit their movements. It is such dogs, who are usually poorly fed, that end up stealing food from neighbours’ kitchens.
If you don’t own a dog, the last thing you want to find on your lawn or yard is dog shit. Why should someone else decide to own a pet and leave you the duty to clean after them? There is more to owning pets that just acquiring them.
Considering the absence of reasoning capabilities in pets, owners have a responsibility to take interest in how their animals move about in the neighbourhood.