Pets And Cultural Differences

Image by huoadg5888 from Pixabay

We have all witnessed this on videos or in real life that Americans talk with their pets. I mean they really treat their pets as chatty friends. They would stare into their eyes, touch their pet “shoulders” (sometimes even asking for permission first as if their pets would file harassment suit otherwise), hold their paws, mimic their pets’ voice etc.

I watched a video in which a blondie placed a can of cat food on a little plate, on top of which she sprinkled bits of cat snack, bits of catnip, a little cream. Then she inserted a candle, which means this was a birthday dinner for the little feline.

And a birthday is not a birthday without some display of conspicuous affection. After the dinner, to induce the cat to demonstrate his cat affection, the woman said, “I love you. I love you. Say meow if you love me.” She said it several times and emphasized the word “meow”, each time with a longer drawl. Finally, after many verbal cues, her cat meowed. “I know you love me. You love me.” The blondie happily declared.

And I have to say this pet-human interaction would play out differently in an Asian household. First of all, canned cat food is fine, but a pet lover of Asian descent has to cook something for the birthday of his or her beloved animal. It can be as easy as scrambled eggs or as difficult as dumpling. If the human is not so diligent as to cook a separate cat meal, he or she will let the cat eat a portion of his or her meat dish.

After the dinner, he or she would also like to invoke some affection from the pet. Let’s just say it is a she, who’s doing all this birthday thing for the cat. And she will start to talk with the cat, but she will not expect the cat to reply. And the topic is not “I love you or you love me,” but rather she will start to complain about her life while the cat licks its paws.

“Gosh, you know my life is boring. Every day seems to be a repetition. My job is non-exciting; my relationship is unsatisfying; my friends don’t understand me; my parents treat me as a disappointment. I read books and watch shows, but most of them don’t talk about my problems, and give me very little information. Worse, many books give me misleading information, and let me form ideas that have little to do with my own reality. It is all a waste of time. I think you understand me, don’t you?”

The cat stares at the human, quite indifferent towards the hopelessness and meaninglessness of human existence. When the human tries to pet the cat, the cat cries “meow” loudly and escapes.

The human feels rejected. “Wait, where are you going? That’s very impolite. I just served you a very good dinner. And that’s all the thanks I get. Also I’ve been trying to teach you to say this and that, do one or two tricks for several years, but the only thing you retain is ‘meow’? Is that all?”

24 thoughts on “Pets And Cultural Differences

    1. I am glad you like it. Yes, you are soooo right. Americans can be carried away in their emotional bonding with their animals. And I can be carried away by complaining to a cat. I once did that and ranting for half an hour to a cat, who enjoyed my turkey slices from Wegmans’

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a fun and insightful article about the different ways that pets are treated and talked to around the world, and how cultural differences can play a role in these interactions. It’s heartwarming to see the love and care that people show to their pets, no matter how they communicate with them.

    ~ Vika


    1. Haha, so true, people who grew up with animals have a special love for animals. I really like to have a pet but I know I am too lazy for that. One really has to enjoy cleaning up in order to have a pet. I always clean up grudgingly. LOL.

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        1. Yes, I try to minimize all the noise in life. Yes, pet is a great responsibility and it is a commitment too. I’ve seen people throw away pets and that’s really awful.

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        2. I always live close to a university and often I see cats being abandoned. Edison is the only town, in which I haven’t seen any abandoned cats yet. Yes, cruelty to pets really should be illegal. Sometimes I watch video about pets in South Korea, which only recently enacted animal protection law. And some people are just very cruel to animals. That is unacceptable.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. That is so sad. Yes, there needs to be more strict laws towards protecting animals. Some people are very cruel and shouldn’t be allowed to have pets.


    1. Oh, so true. So true. Actually this is a regularly recurring theme in many Asian dramas that people feed good food to their pets but refuse to give food to a beggar at their door, or people refuse to give $10 to a poor relative, but throw away $100 at gambling.

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        1. It is terrible that people would do that, but this is the world. Equality has always been a distant dream and inequality is so prevalent. It is really depressing. Except for rich or the upper middle class, everybody else is insecure and tries to compete for the little morsels of opportunities. The movie “Parasite” is right to the point that poor people fight each other to death for the opportunity of being servants to a rich family.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Oh, I know. I’ve never seen the film but it seems like everyone wants to be a shy millionaire/billionaire with the idea of power, but it doesn’t make a single amount of sense for them to pursue that.

          And I’m in the middle class and I still am trying to fight for ok options and opportunities in the US. This world isn’t built for people who aren’t in the >10%. It’s ridiculous. Literally some people don’t even think about how ridiculous they look trying to vote for people because they think politics work like handouts if they are nice to people that work off their backs. Doesn’t make any sense.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. What a funny post! Hm, maybe I should try the cat treats-tinned food-cream with candle version for my cat’s 18th birthday next week 😂. Or he will just get some tuna or chicken. But since he is being spoiled on a daily basis anyway, I guess he will forgive me for not giving a big catday party. 😁

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