Is Your Pet a Reincarnated Doctor?

1.  Most doctors don’t do anything. Most pets are equally unproductive.

2.  Most doctors can’t diagnose anything. Most pets know when you’re hurting and can smell diseases from across the room.

3.  Most doctoring relies on the placebo effect. And it’s not just the pills–the white coat, the diplomas, the waiting room, they’re all placebos too. But this is as it should be, given that the 30 to 50 percent baseline of success via the placebo effect exceeds the beneficial bump above the placebo effect that constitutes successful medicine. It would be malpractice not to harness the placebo effect in standard medicine. Its only fraud if you rely on it too much.

And since anything can be a placebo, why not your dog? One could argue that the healthiest attitude is one which views the entire universe as a placebo, but lets be realistic here and stick with reincarnated doctor-dogs.

4.  If there is a morality-based system of reincarnation, karmic logic would demand that useless, over-applauded egotists would come back as humble servants with unrecognized genuine healing power.

5.  Cats have nine lives so you can always steal a few. You paid for them. And dogs in their prime are indestructible compared to people, so by laying next to them you can sometimes get your malfunctioning system to “quorum sense” with a much more resilient one. The success rate equals the placebo effect +19%! That’s damn good medicine by any modern standard.

6. For truly incurable diseases, treatment is by definition palliative, and what’s more palliative than a pet?

7.  There has to be a place between Heaven and Hell for people who try to do good and heal people but who somehow end up as callous, BMW-driving ego-pricks.

And there is:  that place is your living room floor. So crawl your ass down there and get some placebo+19.

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The Gospel of Your Pet

I think my cat is gorging and vomiting up food for the neighbors and the strays so as to “win friends and influence [peers].”

Nobody can eat FIVE cans of Fancy Feast ® a day, plus some assorted low-grade cat food for good measure. That’s $100 a month or more!

And what am I getting for it?  Cuteness?!

I stopped leaving food outside for him at night a long time ago, although I can tell that he wants me to keep doing that.  But why should I feed the ‘possums and the strays or even his own ill-conceived so-called “families”?

So what if he might have sired kittens with some “lynxy-looking” pussy?  ‘Not my problem! Those ill-conceived kittens are on their own, Buddy boy! I can barely afford you!

Even if he doesn’t have any offspring that he’s secretly trying to feed, he shouldn’t be distributing my largess to Un-Worthies—i.e., cats I don’t want to adopt, which is all of them except him. The problem really is a distributional one—the stupid cat doesn’t know how to share!

Perhaps it was the booze, but tonight I let him have a bowl of wet food outside and said: “Ok Buddy, tonight you’re the ‘rich guy’—tonight you’re the one who hosts the party and shows off and everyone ‘loves’. Enjoy it.”

Because you know damn well I ain’t doin’ this every night! Forget that!

And then I suddenly realized that this is exactly how God could feel about me or any of us if he wanted to be a hard-ass about it.

And maybe that’s why He is such a hard-ass sometimes.

Oops–I mean, “amen”–those are sort of opposites, and yet synonymous too in a strange way.