Pet Owners and Their Skewed Perception of Cleanliness
This may be my cutest and most controversial post to date.
I believe that in general, or, to put it another way, in large part, pet owners have learned to live at a level of cleanliness that is below the majority of non-pet owners. They have allowed animals to walk on their carpets, sleep in their beds, and shed hair like Sampson with a crush. For today’s discussion I am focusing on the two main types of pets, cats and dogs. So if you have fish or a turtle, you can just sit back without a care in your clean chair.
Here is a real-life story that should serve to illustrate my point. I won’t mention any names.
I knew someone who had a dog. This dog was beloved and treated as a member of the family. I cared for this dog, even though he seemed to want to kill me every time I saw him. He had heart, and I believe we had an understanding. Anyway, this dog was allowed to rest on one of the couches in the living room.
The lady of the house believed in cleanliness. She hired a maid to come by the house once a week to vacuum, dust, and generally keep the place sparkling. I will say that the house has always been kept in good order. But they had a dog. And this dog had hair.
One day the lady of the house noticed that I was not sitting on the couch. She asked me about it. I responded that I noticed the couch was loaded with dog hair, and I didn’t want it to get all over my clothes. She appeared shocked and troubled by this. How could a house devoted to cleanliness have a piece of furniture too dirty to sit on comfortably? The answer is a skewed perception of cleanliness.
If someone lives on or near a farm with cows, chances are they will eventually develop a greater tolerance to the smell of manure. A passerby will get punched in the nose by the odor, but those subjected to the smells on a daily basis will grow increasingly numb to it. It’s incredible what human beings can adapt to.
When you take a furry animal into your home, you are accepting a decreased level of cleanliness. Fur (or hair, or any thin strands of animal) will cling to everything. You might fight the good fight with dusters and vacuums, but in the end you will lose. Hair will continue to poke into the fibers, and dander will float around until it enters your nostrils. Eventually, constant exposure and love for your pet will blind you from the unclean reality. Your tolerance for filth will increase out of necessity.
Your perception becomes skewed.
And people won’t want to sit on your couches.