Home Life Laurie Nigro It’s a dog’s life…and a cat’s life…and more at our house

It’s a dog’s life…and a cat’s life…and more at our house

Illustration: Currier and Ives, 1874/Fotolia

Is this your life? You have a million things to get done but only time to do three of them and instead of doing any one of them, you just look at all of the dog memes on every one of your too-many social media accounts? Or is this just me?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the psychology behind this not-at-all helpful tactic. Obviously, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of responsibility and have therefore pulled into my little turtle-shell of avoidance, and then reached out a desperate little turtle-hand (or is it a paw? Claw? Wtf do turtles have on the end of their arms? Wait, they are arms, right?) and dragged my phone in, too. Because it’s kind of dark in there.

But I am also a realist and the saying, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” has never been one I can get behind. Knowing there are things waiting for me on the other side of my procrastination gives me a twitch and/or a full blown anxiety attack, which sucks every bit of the joy out of my willful ignorance.

And yet, at least once a week, I am embarrassed by the amount of time I have dedicated to dog (or cat, or panda) memes, pictures, videos, gifs, etc. You name an adorable, and also useless animal page, and I can almost assure you I am a subscriber and/or follower. Also, I will probably repost at least one to seven of these media and insist that I “need to have an (insert animal here)!”

Really? Because I have at least five furry animals already. And unless I am petting them with my foot or letting them in or out of the house whilst perusing my social media feeds, I am actually ignoring all of them.

So what is it about my current life that lends me to believe that I need additional responsibility for more life forms? Is it the vast collection of lint rollers that I have stashed in every conceivable place in both house and car? Or perhaps it’s getting up at 3:47, when the alarm is set for 4, because a dog has just assaulted me with a cold, wet nose to the face? Or possibly it’s the unhinged cat who randomly shouts down the hallway at all hours of the night, towards my room (but won’t come in), even though the door is wide open? No, it must be the auto deductions I take from my bank account each month into the “just in case a dog eats a nerf gun or the cat gets stuck in the air conditioning vent” fund.

I mean, I’ve read study after study (they’re often in the link beneath the cuteness-overload photos) about the positive effects of sharing your life with a furball or two. I’ve found scant resources about five furballs, but more MUST mean, better, right? Anyway, according to Mental Floss, owning a dog will help your overall heart health, make you more resistant to allergies, keep you more active, make you happier, and possibly detect cancerous growths before you know you have one (yes, I am serious). And yet, when my ten-year-old dog becomes Elmer Fudd to his Bugs Bunny mail carrier and I find myself frantically waving oversized dog biscuits in his general direction whilst desperately trying to get his attention before he jumps over the fence and attempts USPS genocide, I wonder how it is positively affecting my blood pressure.

Also, owning all of these animals does not make for a shorter chore list. While I’m giddily scrolling past raccoons that sort of remind me of my kids when they were toddlers, I am often interrupted by Siri, reminding me that I better lock up the chickens or one of those super-cute trash pandas is going to behead them all. And then there’s the poop that needs to be cleaned up. Litter boxes, lawns, and — if it’s a bad day bedroom rugs, the poop is everywhere and like laundry, no matter how often you pick it up, there will always be more.

And yet, I’ve actually felt the mad endorphin rush when I watch the video where the pit bull puppy snuggles up to his baby-master and they both fall asleep. Because really, that’s just 100 percent joy (and if you disagree, I’m not sure we can be friends).

So I will just have to persevere. I will re-commit to ignoring all the things (including my actual real-life animals) and count on social media to take me away to a world where bears swim in backyard pools and panda bears don’t like to be woken up. That’s a way better place, anyway.

If poop on the rug is ruining your perfect world, try a homemade carpet stain remover. American Home Shield has a few options .

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Laurie Nigro
Laurie is the mother of two biological children and one husband and the caretaker of a menagerie of animals. Laurie is passionate about frugal, natural living. She was recognized by the L.I. Press Club with a “best humor column” award in 2016 and 2017. Email Laurie