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Whoa whoa whoa, as a likely future crazy cat lady (and currently on the yuppie fast-track), I found your comment incredibly disturbing.
While I admittedly adopted my cat (from the cat shelter where i volunteered – those big kitten eyes totally overwhelmed the tiny shred of self-control I possessed at the time) graduating from high school and moving to NYC from TN, I completely understand why single people hope that the addition of an animal will ease the painful silence and sense of loneliness that is felt by returning home to an empty space.
Your observation of this hope was very insightful abd felt spot-on for me; however, as a lifelong animal lover (likely due to my parents’ negligence and my childhood coping method of perceiving my pets as my surrogate source of companionship, comfort, and social stimulation), I believe you’re belittling the potential therapeutic value of pets and the mutually beneficial relationship.
Obviously, animals are happiest if they’re able to bond with others of their species; however, social anxiety, demanding work schedules, and other issues prevent many single yuppies from doing so and can have their needs at least partially fulfilled by bonding with pets.
Our poor pets are even more socially limited as we usually separate them from their families and role models at a very young age, initially adore them (despite their confusion and uncertainty created by being removed from all other social beings they’ve ever interacted with) and gradually begin to decrease the attention they receive as their novelty wears off or the human’s unreasonable expectations aren’t met.
No wonder most cats turn into assholes, apathetic and distant, or unstable personalities (let’s cuddle…. Sudden overstimulation freak out mode! Run and hide or attack!).
Therapy and patience offer hope for even the most poorly socialized pets or people; unfortunately, limited time and funds can prevent or end rehabilitation for some