I was visiting a friend In Chilobwe the other day when I noticed a crowd of people jeering and cheering following a quarrel that had erupted between neighbours. I am a peace loving Malawian but I must confess, I enjoy drama so the temptation to follow the proceedings was just beyond what I could bear, I voluntarily branched from the main road to the compound.
Lo and behold neighbours were having a face which matured to a cat fight because of a simple reason, pets. Apparently, Mayi Nyoni (not real name) had too many dogs and cats that were a big bother to the neighbour Memory Mlera (not real name). Memory, a spinster as she is, tries so hard to attract suitors who may be potential husbands and so she leaves no stone unturned to keep her surrounding cleans, efforts that are being frustrated by Mayi Nyoni’s pack of dogs. I managed to capture some words in between her blows that one of Mayi Nyoni’s untamed dogs managed to bite one of her male visitors and with those words the blows became even stronger and the cheers got louder. Memory bitterly complained of cats that were habitual uninvited guests in her house and invaders of her pots and furniture. One thing that captured my attention though were the Sobo bottles filled with water that were on Mayi Nyoni’s grass which I understand are strategically positioned to avoid dogs from defecating on the kapinga (lawn). She did not want her own dogs to mess her compound, but whose? Of course Mayi Nyoni kept defending herself by frequently mentioning human rights and not sending the dogs and cats to Memory’s house all of which never made sense anyway. Here is a woman, leaving in a semi-detached house and rearing so many pets without considering her neighbour’s welfare. Worse still she decided to discourage her own pets from answering the call of nature where they belong (even though I don’t understand the logic behind the water in Sobo bottles), indirectly and unknowingly directing to her neighbour’s house, how inconvenient is that?
This is but one of the many cases of inconveniences neighbours are subjected to most of the times. Even though it is every citizen’s right to keep pets of their choices, is it not necessary to consider those that surround us? Worse still, such kind of neighbours cannot even afford to feed and house their pets which results in pets wondering at neighbors houses.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that any living organism need shelter, how then does one go ahead to keep live animals without considering their shelter needs? By the way, do you know that City of Blantyre by laws only recommend that a family should not keep more than two dogs? According to spokesperson for Blantyre City Council Anthony Kasunda, it is a violation of laws to keep more than two dogs in residential areas.
“Should any person in any residential area come across a household that keeps more than two dogs, he/she must report to city council and our enforcement team will come to kill them. It is improper to keep too many dogs which mostly pose threats to other residents lives,” Kasunda said
Do not focus on dogs and cats only; think of doves, chickens and other animals that have ticks and litter surroundings with their frequent droppings. Rearing of such animals should not be done in compounds that house many families with different likes.
Let those that can afford to keep so many pets in accordance to the law that is do so, but for the rest of us lacking in capacity, let us keep the love for pets alone and not physically rare pets we cannot take care of. n