Ask Mr. Motzko: Pets

Dear Mr. Motzko.
I am lonely and allergic to almost everything. I really want a pet but it can’t have fur, scales, or feathers. My parent’s said I could get one if I found one that met these guidelines, but so far I’ve had no success. Do you have any ideas for a really non-traditional domestic pet? I’m really open to anything.
Pet-less in Pasadena, Texas

Dear Pet-Less,
While I do understand the nagging malaise that accompanies the knowledge that we are ultimately alone on this fragile rock, hurtling through space with no destination, I fail to see how you can offset said emotional freight with a hamster. Watching him toil on his wheel like a miniature Sissyphus, one would think that you’d be crushed on the anvil of irony. To suggest the pointlessness of pet ownership is heresy to the domesticators and enslavers of nature’s denizens. Frankly, the line of picketers around Chez Motzko is already ten-deep. To ameliorate the masses, if I must recommend an insensate companion, make sure that said pet is A) unique B) able to defend your property C) able to outlive you and D) edible.
As to the first point, avoid the tried and true pets as they ultimately disappoint. I’m no fan of dogs, certainly since I assumed the title of Lord of Baskerville Manor. But what of the soulful eyes of the basset hound, you say? I get the same effect from the googly eyes glued to my pet rock, still going strong since 1972. Cats may have a cool independence about them but they stink like the bathrooms at the Atkins Institute. Cat urine may indeed glow under blacklight but so does my Jim Morrison poster. Let me counsel you against considering anything from the superfamily Muroidea (rodents, for the Latin-challenged). One minute you’ve got a mouse for a friend, next minute you’re strangling Curley’s wife.
To the second point, consider that behind defense, we spend almost as much money in this nation on pets. Somehow I doubt that old Rex is going to keep the Viking hordes off my doorstep (again). Third, make sure your pet has the ability to outlive you. How many tear stained shirts do I have to burn, courtesy of “Where the Red Fern Grows”? Avoid the childhood trauma of burying a pet (or worse, burying a pet alive) through the careful selection of a long-lived companion (e.g. Joshua Tree).
To the last point, a simple gravy can be made with flour, salt and any former best friend.

December 13, 2009

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