If you ever find yourself under pressure to buy a pet for a child who you know won’t look after it, here are some good tips preparing for same:
A Budgie: Buy a smoke alarm and let the battery in it run down. It will make an unbearable chirping/beeping sound every two or three minutes. Put it into a cage and hang it far away enough that you won’t be able to get to it. Then buy some sandpaper and a pair of fake nails. Stand outside your child’s bedroom all night and scratch the nails up and down on the paper to imitate the nice sound of the budgie being playful. If this does not put your child off, remind him or her that on top of this there will also be a lot of gooey poo to clean and that eventually there will be an extremely traumatic day when they will find the dead budgie on the bottom of the cage. If they still want the budgie, buy one.
For a dog: Buy a bowl and pour some dog food into it. Then shake it so that bits of the food are all over the floor. Demand that your child clean it up, because ‘after all, it’s your dog!’ Eat their shoes. Then get balls of dog hair and randomly put them around the house. Put a big ball of dog hair in your child’s lunchbox and add two or three balls of dog hair to the wash so that it spreads out evenly among the clothes. Jump onto the child and paw them when they are feeling their most sensitive and tired. Leave big lumps of poo around the house and tell your child to clean it, because ‘after all, it’s your dog!’ If they still want the dog, buy one, but leave home yourself.
Preparing for a cat is easier. You just have to insist that every window in the house be left open in the middle of winter, in case the cat needs to get in. In the middle of the night you will wake up to find about three or four stray cats wandering around the house. Get your child out of bed and ask them to help you shoo the cats out of the house. You then realize that your own cat is not home yet. Get the kids back up again and start crying hysterically ‘the cat is missing’. Drive around and look for a dead cat.
If you do not plan a pet, but are planning a child, do all of the above except keep every window shut instead of open, walk around with a piece of vomit on your shoulder and then give away all of your money and get into debt. You are now ready for parenthood.