Be mindful of the furry friends sharing your space
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
As a host, I try to be as accommodating as possible. I like having people over, whether it be for board games, dinner, drinks, or if you need a late-night crash pad because you’re downtown and you’ve missed the last bus. However, there is one thing that you can do that won’t get you an invite back: Leaving out your chicken bones.
I know, I know—this sounds like it may be a very limited or specific issue. It isn’t, though, and I find that people grossly underestimate how dangerous this is. The problem is that chicken bones are just the right size for getting stuck in a cat or dog’s throat. They’re also hollow, which makes them prone to splintering and breaking.
I am a cat person and I have been for most of my life. Growing up, I had seven cats; currently I have two. It should come as no shock that people become very attached to their pets. Right now, I have more photos of my cats on my phone than I do of my long-term boyfriend. I will admit, I am obsessed—and I like my furry friends more than I like most people. Ask many people who have animals and they will probably tell you the same thing. So, one of the greatest taboos you can commit in the eyes of a pet owner is to somehow endanger their much-loved and spoiled fur child.
To people who haven’t grown up with animals, or who might not have had them for several years, you might not really be aware of the kinds of things you leave lying around. Clean laundry must be put away, lest it become covered in fur from being used as some sort of animal nest. Never leave your plate or glass of water unattended, because as those delightful cartoon bears taught us, sharing is caring—and my animals love it when you share. Chicken bones, or just bones and garbage in general, are to be promptly put in the garbage, recycling, or compost. Otherwise, their ingestion by my pets could result in sharp edges causing internal injury or suffocation.
That may sound extreme, but it’s a very real concern—and it can happen very quickly. Take it from a pet owner who has fished bones out of their cat’s throat after they’ve started choking: You do not want to feel the guilt at having caused that situation, plus you also don’t want to be the victim of a crime of passion when said pet owner murders you.
As a general rule, if you’re visiting anyone with animals, take the time to ask what to do with your food waste. It’s as much the pets’ home as it is their owners’, and most pets are perfect—you’re the one who needs training.