Is your city pet-friendly?

Four fawns stood in the street over the creek in our subdivision as I was driving out for a beer yesterday evening. Four.

I’m told it’s unusual to see four fawns together, all skinny stilts and big ears and spots and not yet savvy about things like streets. Fawns and such have been a relief this week from the blaring dreariness of what humans have been up to.

If you have a pet, this should be a cautionary tale. Americans spent $14.2 billion on veterinary care for their pets in 2013—and that doesn’t include proprietary health diets and food supplements. Put another way, pet owners pay about $850 annually in veterinary expenses per dog, and about $575 per cat. Mysteries like these could be solved by more research, but how can we get vets to pay attention to the studies that have been done? It would help if professional bodies took a strong evidence-based stand.

SO IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN I MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY AND FOUND THAT IT WAS HOST TO A LITANY OF FERAL CRITTERS

I’ve started to think that my gut is an asshole for another reason. If he’s so smart, and always right, why the hell is he holding out on me? What does he know that he isn’t telling my brain? Why does he know things that my brain doesn’t? It’s easy to forget our connection to nature, when so little of what we interact with in our daily lives reminds us of the natural world it’s all built upon — the products we use, the buildings we occupy, the streets we travel.

The first thing that comes to mind is their genuine presence. A child’s laugh, or a dog’s tail wagging, or a cat’s purr all feel like money in the bank to me. I receive palpable pleasure when seeing their joy, and it makes me want to create more of it by playing with them or petting them.

I’m told it’s unusual to see four fawns together, all skinny stilts and big ears and spots and not yet savvy about things like streets. Fawns and such have been a relief this week from the blaring dreariness of what humans have been up to.

If you have a pet, this should be a cautionary tale. Americans spent $14.2 billion on veterinary care for their pets in 2013—and that doesn’t include proprietary health diets and food supplements. Put another way, pet owners pay about $850 annually in veterinary expenses per dog, and about $575 per cat. Mysteries like these could be solved by more research, but how can we get vets to pay attention to the studies that have been done? It would help if professional bodies took a strong evidence-based stand.

And in the end, there is no one to blame, because the Universe will take care of it. 

 

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