“You kiss your cat – yuk!” I hear this sentence more and more often, especially here in Latin America.
I am astonished by people’s lack of understanding regarding animal love. Even though here in Latin America dogs have a higher status (emphasis on “higher”), cats are not seen as living beings. “Ugh, all the hair” and “But the animal is dirty!” or “Have you ever thought about the toxoplasmosis?”. I am often confronted with these comments, which I cannot understand at all.
Apart from the fact that the toxoplasmosis would only be contagious if my cats were free-range (we live on the 11th floor), if they were really infected with toxoplasmosis (e.g. by the eating an infected rat) and then, in order for infection to be remotely plausible, I would have to put my cat’s excrement into my mouth, then and only then I would run the risk to be infected with toxoplasmosis! In addition, it is important to consider that cats usually pass toxoplasmosis only once in a lifetime, then excrete the eggs of the pathogen once and subsequently develop immunity. Since I have rescued my cats from the street for more than 2 years, this initial phase is likely over.
Here in Latin America it is also often believed that not only the toxoplasmosis can be transmitted by the animal fur, but the animal fur is also responsible for asthma and cysts in the body!
But now back to the topic “Yuk”.
I asked pet owners in Panama whether they kiss their pets (i.e. on the head, the forehead and so on) and the majority of them do. Some even kiss their animals on the mouth!
What is the reason for this gross imbalance, that animals are abused and mutilated on the one hand, and on the other hand pampered to the utmost?
So I asked the animal kingdom what they think. Here is their point of view:
The animals are aware that they are not considered equivalent to human beings in most parts of the world. They do not count as legitimate creatures. It is often underestimated that animals also have a soul, just like us humans. Similarly, each animal has an individual personality, with very special and unique characteristics. We are not talking about the hunting instincts of a dog, but rather a detailed description of the characteristics which give the animal a personality, like being in a sulk after getting told off or empathetically consoling their human when he/she is sad. Consequently, animals too have feelings and interpret and process them in a manner similar to humans.
As described in my first post, for many people their animal is like his/her child.
Therefore, it is quite normal to feel love/affection for this little being, and to have the need to cuddle and smooch it.
Could there be parents of animals who do not recognize that feeling? The feeling you get when your little ball of fur is looking at you with unconditional love – so much so that you could “just eat him up”, simply by being so cute?
Or not just wanting to simply hug the partner to relax after a stressful day, but also to feel the animal’s shiny fur on one’s hand while stroking it and notice how this velvety feeling is giving ease and peace?
Don’t you feel a warmth spreading around your heart when you watch your sweet little thing for several minutes while it is sleeping, as its little belly lifts and lowers slowly, as it is so innocently rolled up, and twitches from time to time because he/she is probably dreaming of a huge treat?
Aren’t these all signs that we see animals equivalent to humans?
In contrast to humans, an animal loves you unconditionally, just the way you are, whether you are sweaty from the gym or having a bad day. He/she will never blaspheme about you or appear to you as a “snake in the grass”. He/she will not deceive you and will never lie to you (well, sometimes he/she is fibbing a little bit, but this is harmless and does not count). An animal never bears malice towards you and never wants to hurt you on purpose.
So why do many people nowadays see animals as lower life forms? When in fact the soul of an animal is much purer than humans…