Come protest, you animal activists! Shake your heads in disgust, hipsters. And roll your eyes, past me. My wife and I have done something, which a lot of people call demeaning, pointless and crass: We dressed up our cat for Christmas. More specifically, we dressed him up as a reindeer astronaut, took a picture and put it on a Christmas card. Cats don’t need dignity anyway.
I myself have never expressed any interest to dress my animals. I can’t say that I’ve ever really judged people who do, but I did once see a neighbor pushing his little Shih Tzu down our street in a baby carriage. Some sort of line had been crossed that day.
This year, my wife and I adopted a cute little kitten named Freddy, and, even though he was only six months old at that point, he suffered more tragedy than most humans do in a life time. He and his siblings were found clinging to the inside lid of a trashcan filled with water. If any of their little paws had slipped, they would have surely drowned. So, we brought him into our home where our way of making his traumatic experience less traumatic was to give him a new one: clothes.
And, you know what? I’m fine with it. I say let’s make him wear socks, flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt, or the perfect storm of an outfit which my wife will not let me wear. People, who disapprove of this practice, have no leg to stand on. They are all hypocrites.
The argument is usually that animals don’t want to wear clothes, but, you know who else doesn’t want to wear clothes? Any baby or toddler ever. Children aren’t born with an innate desire to drape their bodies with cloth. Parents force it upon them. In fact, I’m 100% sure that babies hate clothes. Cats and dogs may try to scratch, wiggle and claw their way out of the sweaters and dickies we put on them, but you know what they don’t do? They don’t purposely pee, poop or throw up on the clothes. They don’t go out of their way to so openly deface the $20 shirt you bought just for them- the $20 shirt that will only fit for five hours before the kid grows out of it. How cruel. How effective. I mean, sure they can’t communicate the words “Mommy, I hate this!” to you just yet, but, wow, they sure can express them in the most disgusting way possible.
So, I don’t feel bad about dressing up our cat. I feel like I’m really grateful he isn’t a human child. He’s a reindeer astronaut.