Sometimes I wonder how people would react if you confronted them at 18 years-old, just out of high school, and said, “by the time you’re forty you’ll be bald, fat, and compulsively collecting animals.”
This comes up because animal hording is the hot new problem that’s sweeping the nation. No longer content to simply label it a quirk of personality, people who own lots of animals are now (finally!!) going to be ostracized by the psychological community. Remember that nice grandmother of yours, and how she fed all the neighborhood strays? Psychopath. Or how your grandpa had 8 dogs on his family’s farm growing up? Mental Illness. And since Dr. Girlfriend and I have recently taken in a couple of abandoned cats– with the intention of fostering them and moving them out– we are on the cusp of hording tendencies.
Naturally, it doesn’t feel like I thought it would to be a psychopath. I’m not making tasteful clothing from the skins of my animals, nor do I answer the census guy’s question of how many live here with “818, if you count my cats and glass clown collection.” That must mean I’m not a horder… yet. We have three cats, which is already kind of a lot. If I don’t want to end up on the Learning Channel being condescended to by clinical psychologists and soothing narrators, I’ve got to act fast.
That’s why I’m going to combine two issues here. I want to be self-employed. People suffering severe psychological trauma transfer their unbelievable heartbreak onto animals, resulting in lives lived in sadness, poverty, indecision, guilt and declining health. Thus, I’m going to start a pet store that caters exclusively to the animal horder.
Here’s why: the animals are living terrible lives. They develop all sorts of issues from the amount of waste around them, like eye infections and gambling problems. And a lot of the horders can’t change; they’ve been hardwired by completely unrelated tragedies to redirect their unrequited love onto cage after cage of hapless mammal. (That’s the other thing: it’s always mammals, which are like the hardest animals to take care of. No one hordes starfish or lizards or eels. Why wouldn’t you pick bugs? Praying mantises are fucking metal. Mammals, on the other hand, need to be nursed and fed and walked and cleaned and hugged and loved and watched and groomed. Let me tell you, we do have the three cats, and I barely want to do all that shit for one of them. I do it for all three anyway, but really, forty of them? People could just keep a bucket full of frogs and dump some dead bees in there for them to eat instead, but noooo. I’m just saying.)
Anyway, a lot of horders can’t change. They end up blubbering into cameras while they clap their hooves in dismay as their shit-soaked puppies and asthmatic cats jump happily into walls of Animal Control cages that don’t smell like a thousand butts climbed inside a colostomy bag. Thus, my business: “Bulk animal retail and evolutionary equilibrators”.
What I do, is this: I sell animals to anyone. You could be Hitler riding a feline abortion doctor and I’d still sell you six litters. That way, horders could get any, any amount of animals they needed. No more checking the newspaper or side of the road for FREE KITTENS! advertisements. No more stealing the neighbor’s mail until they hand over the keys to their rabbit enclosure. But we’d be equilibrators, too. For every mammal you buy, you also have to buy one of the mammal that is its natural enemy. That’s right. Think you can just close your eyes to a writhing mass of animal disaster, or just dump a fifty pound bag of kibble on the kitchen floor every day and be done with it? Yeah right. Try policing a house full of these mortal enemies:
*Cats vs. eagles
*Goats vs. moles
*Golden Retrievers vs. “Crazy Cletus the unretrievable Walking Stick”
* Raccoons vs. possums
* Rabbits vs. Zebras
* Birds vs. Karate
And so on. I promise you not only will you be so sick of animals that you don’t want to horde them anymore, you won’t even have to worry about cleaning up your ill-conceived coping mechanism. Why will this just take care of itself? Well maybe you haven’t been a mammal very long, so let me introduce you to a little friend of mine called “The Food Chain”:
And, obviously, the eagles will fly away afterward. I make money, people let go of their trauma and psychoses, and a few eagles get to eat some dinner.