So, you have finally
given in to your children’s desperate pleas for a pet, and they’ve persuaded
you to get a human. A great choice for a pet—but there are a few things that
you should know before picking one. First things first: Adopt a stray, don’t
buy; there are several important reasons for this.
Humans are exotics,
which means that they’re not a native species of our world or even, in fact,
our star system. Capturing wild humans on their planet, Aerth, has been banned
for several hundred years. This makes all humans descendants of the ones that
were captured centuries ago, brought to Pandaesia, and domesticated. Pet stores
and human breeders would have you buy purebred humans, and this of course leads
to inbreeding. That’s why humans bought in pet stores are sicklier and live
fewer years than strays. Purebred humans suffer from limited gene pools and
have breed-specific health issues. Diabetes, hernia, bad back, and mental
illness often plague the purebreds.
facilities put profit above the welfare of humans. Babies are housed in
appalling conditions, often becoming very sick and emotionally troubled as a
result. The mothers are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, and
when they’re no longer profitable, they are abandoned or even killed. Most
humans sold to unsuspecting consumers in pet stores come from such facilities.
Each year, millions
of unwanted homeless humans end up at shelters across Pandaesia. Shelters keep
them off the streets, where they’re admittedly a nuisance; males fight each
other all the time, and marauding human packs are really dangerous. Half of
these humans will have to be euthanized, for a simple reason: too many humans
and not enough good homes. And yet the number of euthanized humans would be
dramatically reduced if people adopted pets instead of buying them. We have to
prevent breeders from bringing more humans into a world where there are already
That’s why you should
neuter your human. Don’t listen to the soft-hearted who will tell you it’s cruel.
A neutered human is a happy, carefree human, delivered from its constant
obsession with sex, and if you own more than one you’ll be amazed at how much
better they will get along after being neutered. Neutering will also prevent
several undesirable sexual behaviors such as humping, aggression, and the need
to roam, as well as the messiness of the female cycle. Don’t add new strays to
the world. Humans have a litter of only one every nine months, but they are in
heat constantly, and this makes them really hard to control. Also, mothers are
obsessed with keeping their cubs, and they are so persistent that you might end
up with a whole human family on your hands—and believe me, that’s a bit more
than you bargained for.
Humans are not toys;
they are real live animals. Owning them is both a privilege and a
responsibility. Generally, they live long—several decades—and, as cute and
adorable as the babies are, there’s a tendency to abandon old ones in the
streets. You must understand that a well fed, well cared-for human could live
more than a hundred years. So when you get one, you must understand you get
them for life. They will give you satisfaction and rich rewards, and when your
human passes away you will be understandably sad—but please don’t ditch them when
you’re bored of them.
You should play with
your human for at least fifteen minutes every day, and you should groom it and
keep it clean. Some people like to feed them table scraps, but if you do you
should be careful to absolutely avoid foods that contain arsenic or polonium,
and I should say that mercury is not a good idea either. There are several
kinds of pellets suitable for a healthy and tasty diet, but again you should
avoid the ones containing even traces of arsenic; they are cheaper, but they may
be fatal to your human.
You can train your
human to respond to a whistle when it’s time to feed it. They can even
understand simple commands if you speak slowly, but you should never forget
that, despite their modicum of intelligence, humans are animals and not people.