Happy New Year! Well, 2022 is here … I hope you all had a very merry festive period and that the New Year’s started well so far. For me, it’s been a busy one already and, a week in, those promises I made in good faith on 1st January are already starting to wane … but I’m not giving up just yet! I refuse to be defeated after just one week!
As I’ve been sitting here thinking about making some slight tweaks to my New Year’s resolutions to make them at least vaguely achievable, I’ve been looking at Poppy and Betty, both flat out snoring on the rug, and Ziggy curled up on his favourite cushion, and I started wondering … what would their New Year’s resolutions be?
Well, in all honesty, pets are highly unlikely to buy into this ‘New Year, New Me’ nonsense. Cats especially are very self-assured and have an enviable, carefree ‘take me as I am’ attitude. I very much doubt that they’d ever resolve to change anything about themselves – they’re much more likely to want us humans to change to fit their needs! Dogs are probably a little more eager to please and may promise to alter their behaviour, but whether or not they’d stick to it is another matter (yeah, yeah, I know – I’m a fine one to talk!)
Perhaps their resolutions would, or should, look a little like this:
1. I will try to stop barking at the postman. He comes every day at the same time, I know his smell, and I know he’s not a threat. I promise I will stop barki… WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!! Oops. I’ll try again tomorrow.
2. I will stop eating Kitty’s food when her back is turned. It sometimes gives me tummy ache, especially after I’ve already eaten mine. And she gives me a smack round the nose with those sharp claws when she catches me; it’s really not worth it. Oooo, but it smells soooooo gooooood … Oops. I’ll try that one again tomorrow, too.
3. I will try to stop jumping up. It’s so hard not to express how happy I am when my mum and dad come home, or when guests arrive, or when I see people when I’m out walking. I always get told off for it, especially when I’m out and I’ve got muddy feet (even though it’s fun and it leaves a nice pattern on their trousers) so maybe I’ll just keep four paws on the floor and wag my tail. Oooo, Dad’s home!!! Yay!!! Oops. Another one for tomorrow.
4. I will share my toys. Ok, so this is a tough one, but I’ll only agree to it if everyone else does. I mean, I get told off for not giving my toys back when my humans ask for them … but then I also get in trouble if I have a little chew on my human brother and sister’s toys. Or Dad’s slippers! Hmm, I’m not even sure I want to stick to this one if they’re not prepared to do it. This is coming off the list!
5. I will get more sleep. Ah, finally, a resolution I KNOW I can stick to! I’ve heard my Mum and Dad saying they’re going to try and do this, so I’ll prove to them just how easy it is! Now, if I can just stretch out on this comfy sofa … ahh, this is the life! I’ve finally found the resolution for me. Whaaaat? Now they’re calling me lazy and asking me to move up so they can sit down?!? Honestly, these humans are just never happy!
1. Hmm, New Year’s Resolutions you say? Well, for once I’m in agreement with the Mutt that I share my home with – I will try to get more sleep. Sleep is definitely good for you, so I promise to cat nap as much as possible. And, yes, if I happen to curl up on my human’s favourite new jumper, then what of it? It’s the perfect sleeping spot! I may leave a little fur behind but I think it just enhances the look, if I’m honest.
2. Don’t stay out too late. Ok, I will try to stick to this one. I know my humans like me in at night and, although I don’t wish to have my hunting fun curtailed by curfews, I will try my very best to come in when they call me. Do you know what helps though? When they rattle that tin of cat treats. My ears do tend to prick up when I hear that sound. After all, we all like a little incentive to help us to keep our promises, don’t we!
3. I will stop giving myself a full body wash in front of guests. For some reason, my humans don’t seem to like it when I take centre-stage on the living room rug and start to give myself a very thorough clean when they’ve got visitors round. I’ve no idea why. I personally think they’re jealous that they can’t contort themselves quite like I do, and they have to go into that ridiculous wet shower room to get cleaned. In fact, no, I’m scrapping this one. They’ll just have to get used to it.
4. I will stop bringing gifts of animals, dead or alive. Again, I can’t understand why my humans are so ungrateful about this – but they never seem to appreciate my presents. I’m resolving to stop this not for their benefit, but for mine. All that effort to bring them a nice present of a field mouse or a bird and they’re never happy!
5. I will stop scratching at the furniture. This is a real battle in our house, and it’s one I fear I may be losing. Every time I find a nice new scratching post – like the arm of the brand new sofa, or lovely chair leg – they tell me off! I personally feel that the nice rough texture I create is a design masterpiece … but they appear to disagree. Maybe I will give that scratching post they bought me another try. It’s second best, for sure, but I’ll see how it goes…
Ok, so it’s unlikely that your pets are suddenly going to change their ways and scrap those habits that drive you mad. But, joking aside, maybe there are a few resolutions you could make together that would benefit both you and your pet this year?
If you’re committing to getting fitter in 2022 why spend all your time in the gym? Take your four legged friend on some longer walks, up the pace a bit, attack the hills and enjoy some time in the fresh air together – you’ll both feel the benefit (and it could save you a fortune on gym membership!).
When you come in from work don’t reach straight for your phone, the kettle, the TV remote or the takeaway menu … tempting as they all may be. Instead, dedicate a few minutes to playing with your furry friend. You’ll find it’s a great stress reliever and will really help to improve your mood, as well
as your bond with your pet. Make it a habit and I promise it’ll soon become your favourite part of the day.
If you’re overhauling your diet this New Year, have a think about what you’re feeding your pet, too. Check out the ingredients in their usual pet food and do a bit of research into other brands. Are there other options with fewer additives? Ask other pet owners what their animals like or get advice from your vet – eating the right food can improve your pet’s health in many ways, including weight, digestion, skin, fur, eyes, teeth, and energy levels.
You may have committed to prioritising your health this year. Doing whatever we can to stay fit and healthy is vitally important – so, while you’re thinking about all things health related, take some time to make sure your pet is in tip-top shape, too! Book them in for a health check with us, make sure they’re up to date with their boosters and, while you’re at it, get their worm and flea treatments sorted as well. That way, you can both start the New Year as you mean to go on – fit, healthy and raring to go!
Wishing you and your pets a very happy and healthy New Year from all at SLVC.