Hello Monday, old friend, we meet again. Here’s yesterday’s column. With some visual aids for added funny and ‘aw cute’ factor.
A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick RENT-A-PET
They say one should always ignore everything that ‘they say’, so ignoring that, ‘they’ really do say that pets are supposed to lower your blood pressure. Although I’m tempted to believe that the ‘they’ who came up with this one clearly don’t have pets of their own.
Pets are cute and all, but with all the pooping in your shoes, needing to be let out at the most insensitive and inappropriate of times, vomiting up regurgitated grass on your pillow, and dragging beheaded entrails-laden gifts into your bedroom in the middle of the night to show you they care, I think that blood pressure thing can go either way.
So the Taiwanese have finally come up with a great solution (who else would?) for people like me, who like spending time with animals, but can do without the fur couch, the dog breath in your face, the vet bills, and the cat claws in the chest at 5am.
It’s a pet rental service, in the form of a Cat Café. The first ever Cat Café opened its doors in Taiwan in 1998. Yeah, all the crazy-good stuff is made in Taiwan. And since then they’ve become so popular that a string of them have opened across Japan. There are already more than thirty nine in Tokyo alone. I imagine it’s like a bunch of kitty Vida E’s popping up all over the show.
You pay an hourly cover charge to get in, kind of like an internet café, and then off you go. You’ll find at least a dozen cats hanging out there for you to play with. You can dangle a ball of string, scratch a tummy, get cat hair all over your sweater, and be eyed out calculatingly to your heart’s content, all accompanied with a cup of tea and a croissant, if you’re feeling peckish.
I think it sounds a little like being an aunt. You get to hold the baby, play with the baby, cuddle the baby, and buy cute things for the baby, but then when it gets too dirty, over-tired, smelly, snotty or cryey, you just hand it back to the parents to deal with, while you go have a cappuccino.
They even have more specialised Cat Café’s now, for the more snobbish wannabe pet owner. These are cafés that only feature specific brands of cat. For example, there’s one that only has black cats, one that only has fat cats (the actual cats, not the patrons), one for rare breeds of cat, there’s even one specifically for ex-stray cats, for those humanitarian tree huggers who like their cat to be of the ‘pavement special’ variety. I didn’t know that cat petters were that picky, but there you go.
I think it’s a great idea, what with all the urban living we do these days to match our busy busy lives. Lots of apartment blocks don’t allow pets, so this is a clever way for people to get their furry fix. Almost everyone wins, the cat petters, the shop owners, even the cats themselves, after all, everyone knows how much cats like to be worshipped. The only person who may not feel like he wins is the guy hired to clear out the kitty litter boxes. Not sure that’s the answer he gave when he was five and someone asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up.
Cat heaven. We have to wonder who is the master of whom here?
So now I’m thinking, how about a puppy rental servic
e next? All guys know that walking a really cute puppy in a public place is a great way to pick up chicks. You really don’t need a wingman if you’ve got a wing puppy.
Or how about a husband rental service? Surely there’s a huge gap in the market for this kind of thing? You pay an hourly rate, pick your husband out of some kind of catalogue. Then he can come over, change a couple of light bulbs, clean the pool, carry something heavy for you, take you to a work function or school reunion, or reach for something on the top shelf, to save you having to get out the step ladder. You could even have sex if you’re in the mood, or you could choose to withhold the sex, just to make it a more realistic husband-wife experience. And after all that he can head on back to wherever he came from, so you can get some sleep without having to share the duvet, make a meal, pick up a wet towel, or wash jocks.
And the best part is, he doesn’t come with a Rent-a-Mother-in-Law, unless of course you want one, in which case we’ll just call Taiwan quickly, I’m sure they’ll be able to arrange something.