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Somehow licking, unless it involves certain specimens of our own species, doesn’t warm the cockles of my heart. I’m one of those who felt sympathy for the guy who got muffed because of the girl who preferred a dog over an arranged marriage. I’m also quite chuffed that he asked her to marry the animal instead.

Of course I have issues. And they require immediate addressing. I’m tired of all the people who crowd up city sidewalks walking their dogs in the morning. The only form of physical exercise I’ve seen them do is pulling at the collars of their dogs to mediate a barking competition with other dog walkers’ dogs. And since India’s social etiquette system isn’t yet evolved enough, they aren’t even expected to pick up the poop their bitches leave behind.

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I used to like cats – there was one that visited our balcony in Bombay on hungover Sunday afternoons – until my flatmate got herself a cat as a pet six months ago, and proceeded to train it like a dog. Now the cat fetches a ball for her. I’m going to throw a party (complete with Bira on the house yo) the day the cat walks out on her. And it will. Because cats are a different species, they tend to get bored of excessive adulation. In fact the one we have at home is probably starting to come of age and worry about some kind of weight control measures.

A previous flatmate had once been gifted a tiny aquarium by his then girlfriend (a lousy idea to begin with; he’d have liked a water gun more). Two goldfish pouted at him cutely for two whole days until on the third day they disappeared. Since they couldn’t possibly have escaped, or even started hating their new habitat so quick (I considered the possibility of their owner draining them away but nah, he was worried sick about his girl’s outburst), I can only suspect it was the Sunday hangover cat that had a Saturday night feast in the neighbouring room and spared my flatmate the daily 10 minutes he had to feed the fish when he had a 7:46 am Churchgate Fast to catch.

Another friend refers to her dog as her ‘baby’. Seeing my disgusted look she explains that the love and protection the cocker spaniel inspires in her is the same that she inspires in her mother. To which I tell her, very honestly, that I don’t like human babies either. So count me out of your baby shower and allow me to repeat, I don’t have the time, inclination or money required for either. I plan to tweet Kejriwal with a complaint against the expectations of people in public spaces like the Metro from everyone to pet (to pet! See?) a baby on board.

Peevish pets be damned, I refuse to smile at a baby that doesn’t smile back. And here’s an official request from yours grudgingly – kindly stop forcing your phone screens with doggie gifs down non-pet lovers’ throats. If you feel so strongly about Nature’s marvellous creations that are animals, go out there and play Mowgli!

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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