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Old 11-10-2009, 07:37 PM
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Would humans make good pets?

Say we lived in some bizarro world where some other species kept us as pets/zoo exhibits. How difficult would humans be to take care of compared to, say, conventional animals we've domesticated/kept as pets/keep in zoos?

Let's say we're dealing with humans raised in 'alien' capitivity, i.e. not someone plucked from civilization but born in an alien 'zoo' or raised by a mother who was an alien's pet. I can think of a couple of things that might be an issue-

-Clothing. We wear clothes, but that isn't necessarily an instinct, is it? I imagine being raised in captivity we would wear/not wear whatever the aliens thought was suitable. I'm no nudist, but I don't know how comfortable (temperature-wise)it would be spending 100% of my time completely naked, particularly if the ambient temps were below 70F.

-How instinctively social are we? Some animals will practically die of loneliness unless you have several to keep each other company. Others will practically kill themselves if you put them with the same gender/different gender at the wrong times. If an alien family kept a sole human as a 'pet' would it be able to thrive being more or less devoid of any other human contact?

-What kind of mannerisms do humans have if they have been separated from their mothers at a young age? I imagine that if domesticated, human speech patterns would be greatly diminished.

-How much space do you think we would be given (purely speculative, obviously) as a pet? Would it be like a dog or a cat, where we could roam freely? Or would our opposible thumbs and intellect pose too many problems for our alien owners, and end up keeping us in cages? I suppose we could look at behaviors of prisoners/solitary confinement to see what happens to someone in this environment, but would someone born into it be able to cope better?

-Food: How complex are our dietary needs compared to, say, a dog? We're omnivores, which helps. Would we be given human kibble? Would alien experts discourage owners from feeding us 'scraps' from their own dinner tables?
Old 11-10-2009, 07:53 PM
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Well it depends. On the whole, Humans would probably make poor pets unless the alien technology is of such a ridiculously high level that that there is no concieveable hope of comprehending it.

Humans tend to mimic whatever vocal patterns and social communications they are exposed to at an early age, and if the aliens have a vocal language, they would probably mimic it. On the whole we are pretty smart, so most would be able to understand at least the rudiments of the alien society.

Feeding humans is easy. They eat whatever they are given.

Given the aforementioned "magical tech" humans would probably roam at will. They would probably have to be spayed or neutered; some sort of birth control would be a necessity given our year round receptivity and strang reproductive drive.
Old 11-10-2009, 08:21 PM
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They would probably have to be spayed or neutered; some sort of birth control would be a necessity given our year round receptivity and strang reproductive drive.
This, plus the fact that human females have relatively difficult births. A lot of women died in childbirth. Might not be worth risking losing a female for an offspring they'd have to give away.
Old 11-10-2009, 08:30 PM
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Speaking of females, well... if your pet woman isn't spayed, you'd have a few hygenic issues.
Old 11-10-2009, 09:19 PM
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Oh, come on - we have a solution for that already. Implants that release hormones slowly over time that elminate menstruation.

Also, if wild humans can learn bathroom hygiene presumably domestic ones could be trained to deal with such matters in a way acceptable to their owners.
Old 11-11-2009, 07:12 AM
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I, for one, look forward to crapping in my new alien overlord's shoe.
Old 11-11-2009, 07:34 AM
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Perry Farrell seemed to think so.
Old 11-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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I cant believe this are you serious? Its called SLAVERY read a history book. stupid
Old 11-11-2009, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Incubus View Post

-Clothing. We wear clothes, but that isn't necessarily an instinct, is it? I imagine being raised in captivity we would wear/not wear whatever the aliens thought was suitable. I'm no nudist, but I don't know how comfortable (temperature-wise)it would be spending 100% of my time completely naked, particularly if the ambient temps were below 70F.
I think we'd adapt to this pretty easily, especially after the first generation. Especially if everyone else was naked, too.

Quote:
-How instinctively social are we? Some animals will practically die of loneliness unless you have several to keep each other company. Others will practically kill themselves if you put them with the same gender/different gender at the wrong times. If an alien family kept a sole human as a 'pet' would it be able to thrive being more or less devoid of any other human contact?
I think most people would get really lonely without other human contact - I'm assuming you wouldn't be able to have an intelligent conversation with your alien captors.

Quote:
-What kind of mannerisms do humans have if they have been separated from their mothers at a young age? I imagine that if domesticated, human speech patterns would be greatly diminished.
Well, people who are denied enough physical affection when they're babies don't tend to bond with other people well when they're older. Besides, human babies are relatively difficult to care for, and they take a long time to grow up. From a purely logistical point of view, it'd probably be in the alien's best interest to leave babies with their parents or another human caretaker for quite awhile.

Quote:
-Food: How complex are our dietary needs compared to, say, a dog? We're omnivores, which helps. Would we be given human kibble? Would alien experts discourage owners from feeding us 'scraps' from their own dinner tables?
We need more variety than other animals, but we also are willing to eat lots of different things. We might be fed like pigs - scraps of whatever is digestible.
Old 11-11-2009, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Dynastic View Post
I cant believe this are you serious? Its called SLAVERY read a history book. stupid

Charming. Welcome to the boards.

But more accurately, no, it's not like slavery at all. The parallel with slavery would be if humans were brought in as working or food animals - e.g. horses, cattle, chickens.

The OP asked about *pets*. I suspect that very, very few slaves were ever treated as pets.

Now, as numerous threads in other forums have shown, there are quite a few people that are parasites and give little-to-nothing in return for their food and keep, and would probably just do dandy as pets given enough food, toys and the occasional backrub.

Most people, I'd like to believe, would be like monkeys as pets: Too high-functioning and independent, and too likely to use their brains and hands to wreak all sorts of havoc.
Old 11-11-2009, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dynastic View Post
I cant believe this are you serious? Its called SLAVERY read a history book. stupid
<mod>

MODERATOR WARNING

Dynastic
, in this forum, we attack the poster's idea, not the poster.

You were fine until you added the last word.

Don't do it again.

</mod>
Old 11-11-2009, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Incubus View Post
...
-What kind of mannerisms do humans have if they have been separated from their mothers at a young age? I imagine that if domesticated, human speech patterns would be greatly diminished...
There are numerous reports of "feral" children (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child) and such children - though rare and not often reliably documented - tend to never fit in with humans, not learn proper speech, etc. If a pet human were raised as a household member of an alien, one would suspect that person to do better, in that complex communication would occur.

Severely neglected children can display symptoms similar to autism:
http://curevents.com/vb/showthread.php?t=99784 - so a human kept in a cage, like a guinea pig, and not interacted-with sufficiently, would likely not do too well.
Old 11-11-2009, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
Most people, I'd like to believe, would be like monkeys as pets: Too high-functioning and independent, and too likely to use their brains and hands to wreak all sorts of havoc.
The thing I like most about having a dog is that she's extremely loyal and does not hold a grudge. I don't think humans can manage this. Maybe a lobotomized human but not one with a fully-functioning adult brain.
Old 11-11-2009, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Oh, come on - we have a solution for that already. Implants that release hormones slowly over time that elminate menstruation.

Also, if wild humans can learn bathroom hygiene presumably domestic ones could be trained to deal with such matters in a way acceptable to their owners.
Would we use alien bathrooms? Do aliens even need bathrooms? After all, human asses get messy. If your human knows how to clean it up that's fine but we're not like dogs. Big ass cheeks are fun to look at but they conceal an unpleasant surprise deep inside often.
Old 11-11-2009, 11:44 AM
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wasn't there a Family Guy episode that did this? dogs walking people IIRC.

I don't know, if I were allowed by my family to have books, I would totally love to live the way one of my dogs do! (except for the whole pooping outdoors thing, I think that would suck)
Old 11-11-2009, 12:19 PM
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This:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
Most people, I'd like to believe, would be like monkeys as pets: Too high-functioning and independent, and too likely to use their brains and hands to wreak all sorts of havoc.
Plus this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Would we use alien bathrooms? Do aliens even need bathrooms? After all, human asses get messy. If your human knows how to clean it up that's fine but we're not like dogs. Big ass cheeks are fun to look at but they conceal an unpleasant surprise deep inside often.
Equals:

POO FLING!!!!
Old 11-11-2009, 12:30 PM
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Aim for their eyes!
Old 11-11-2009, 12:33 PM
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You were fine until you added the last word.
Well, there were punctuation errors as well.
Old 11-11-2009, 01:48 PM
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Look at the prison system, mental institution, or as stated above slavery. There was news about a woman who was held in a basement for 20 some years, and had birthed several children (yes it is difficult and painful, but doesn't usually end in death of the mother, so that shouldn't be a issue).

Humans adapt, but really are very far from their potential in that form of captivity.
Old 11-11-2009, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
Look at the prison system, mental institution, or as stated above slavery.
Those are analogous to keeping animals in zoos or as draft animals, not as pets.

Dogs and cats make charming pets because they'll imprint on a human as a substitute for their own kind--for a pack leader in the case of dogs; for a mother in the case of cats.

As humans, if we were under aliens who could communicate with us well enough to substitute for other humans in our life, we'd do fine. I'm imagining a family of aliens, much smarter than myself, but with the ability to talk down to my level (as we do with dogs) and make me feel like I was shooting the breeze with friends or family. Bonus points if one of them could simulate a parent or boss, and I'd fall naturally into a subordinate role. Yeah, I think I could be pretty darn "cute"!
Old 11-11-2009, 03:01 PM
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Humans would make lousy pets. We're as independent minded as cats, plus we have the ability to reason and opposable thumbs. We...er, at least some of us, including me...will find ways to kill whatever it is that is keeping us as pets.
Old 11-11-2009, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
We...er, at least some of us, including me...will find ways to kill whatever it is that is keeping us as pets.
Somebody needs a tummy rub.
Old 11-11-2009, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Freddy the Pig View Post
Somebody needs a tummy rub.
<cat imitation>
mmm, belly rubs *purrr...purrrr* ohmygodhandmustdie [slashes with claws and runs away]
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:59 PM
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Humans wouldn't put up with being kept as pets, we're way too intelligent. We could be kept as slaves, but that's a completely different kind of relationship. And we do seem to have a knack for eventually overthrowing our masters.
Old 11-11-2009, 09:23 PM
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The Romans used to keep children as pets. They thought it was charming to feed them from the table, and dress them up like living dolls. Then, when they became older, they were sold off without a trace of sentimentality (cite: A History of Private Life, Vol I). We can see this as typical Roman inhumanity, but consider that in contemporary society we stop adding our own children's photos to family albums after they hit puberty and often find their company unbearable in general.

According to an old story, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II had a baby taken from its mother and raised by nurses who kept entierly silent, as an experiment to see if the child would use Hebrew, Latin or Greek, to prove which is man's "natural" language. The baby died, supposedly from emotional neglect; but even if the story is true, it took place in a time of high infant mortality.

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:28 PM
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Nope. They'd make GREAT pets!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hpkmt...x=0&playnext=1
Old 11-11-2009, 09:37 PM
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When I met my (now) husband, my car sported a bumper sticker saying: "All men are animals, but some make good pets." He didn't notice it right away, and wondered why, when he drove, he got lots of honks and waves.

Last edited by picunurse; 11-11-2009 at 09:38 PM.
Old 11-11-2009, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Would we use alien bathrooms? Do aliens even need bathrooms? After all, human asses get messy. If your human knows how to clean it up that's fine but we're not like dogs. Big ass cheeks are fun to look at but they conceal an unpleasant surprise deep inside often.
The simplest thing here would be to use the alien's equivalent to carpet flooring; basically any available absorbent floor surface, and simply drag one's ass along it until sufficiently clean/relieved of ass discomfort.

Then use our superior Human Climbing Abilities to flee to a high place unreachable by angry alien owners when they discover their flooring zigzagged by shitsmears

I could only imagine their version of 'Its me or the dog' called 'Its me or the Human' involving lonely spinster aliens spoiling their ill-behaved human pets:

"He won't stop masturbating!"

"I feed them plenty to make them healthy, but it just seems to make them round and lethargic"

"We got two males wanting them to fight. But all they do is hump each other!"

"Our female keeps hitting its cub. I thought they were supposed to care for their young?"

"He still won't stop masturbating!"

"We bought our male an exercise wheel; somehow it ended up collecting dust in our basement, meanwhile our alcoholic beverages keep going missing and our male just sits and stares at the holo-vid all day instead of running in his wheel"

"We like to give our human alcohol because it seemed to mellow her out. But now all she wants to drink is alchol and she's become irritable and cries a lot!"

"Its so cute how they try to bite us with their stubby little jaws. Unfortunately I think we teased our human too much and now he's gotten kind of good at biting *shows alien riddled with human bite marks*

"We bought him a female companion, but he kept masturbating. We gave him a piece of fruit to distract him, but all he did was poke a hole inside it and hump it."
Old 11-11-2009, 09:55 PM
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Hmm...lying around all day doing nothing but eating, drinking, pooping and occasionally licking something; sounds like most guys on a Sunday afternoon. My bet is that men would be better pets; hell, even now if you throw a ball, most men run after it and throw it back.
Women, on the other hand, would be a bit high-strung and needy, but probably easier to keep clean and housebreak. Plus women pets would probably let you dress them up in silly outfits when you take them for a walk whereas men pets would rather just go out naked and sniff butts.
Old 11-11-2009, 10:27 PM
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We don't normally keep wild animals as pets, so I doubt aliens would, either: We turned wolves into dogs and wild cats into housecats, so aliens would have to turn humans into some human-like domestic animal we've never observed.
Old 11-11-2009, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Humans would make lousy pets. We're as independent minded as cats, plus we have the ability to reason and opposable thumbs. We...er, at least some of us, including me...will find ways to kill whatever it is that is keeping us as pets.
Opposable thumbs? How quaint. Our opposable thumbs might allow us to make quite a mess now and then, but since humans don't have the ability to Zrrrrkslslskskkkkk we'd be pretty much at their mercy.
Old 11-11-2009, 10:40 PM
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Well, I think I have enough trouble keeping the dog off the couch, I don't think a pet human would respect the strategically placed baby gate like the dog does.

I'm sure I could think of numerous other issues there would be in having an opposably thumbed semi? intelligent pet.

Last edited by Like Fry; 11-11-2009 at 10:41 PM. Reason: oops, missed the post that went right before mine, my appologies for the duplication
Old 11-11-2009, 10:56 PM
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Many people have mentioned opposable thumbs as something we humans would use to cause problems with. How do we know that the AKC (Alien Kennel Club) doesn't allow thumb docking as part of the standard?
Old 11-11-2009, 11:05 PM
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I've associated with several dogs that thought I made a fine pet; they trained me to cater to their desires, feed them when they demanded feeding, provide them with medical care, housing, etc., etc.
Old 11-11-2009, 11:12 PM
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No, no, no, you don't want pet humans. I tried raising a couple from birth and it seemed like years before I could get them to stop pooping and peeing at inappropriate times. And if you try to leave them alone while you go to work they will scream so much that the neighbors will call the cops.

After a few years of that, when they finally can move around on their own and feed themselves somewhat you still have to watch them like a hawk. They will break things, fight with each other, short circuit electrical appliances, etc. How any of them ever reach maturity without killing themselves is a wonder.

They will learn to talk to you, and you might think, 'ah, communication will solve everything!'. But you would be wrong about that. In fact you will learn that you are wrong about most everything and you will remain wrong for about 20 years.

Don't even get me started on the costs of the endless accessories.

Fish are nice, get an aquarium.
Old 11-12-2009, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Opposable thumbs? How quaint. Our opposable thumbs might allow us to make quite a mess now and then, but since humans don't have the ability to Zrrrrkslslskskkkkk we'd be pretty much at their mercy.
Oh yeah?

Gimmee a piece of that there fruit and I'll show you how well a human Zrrrrkslslskskkkkks.
Old 11-12-2009, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by maniondl View Post
Oh yeah?

Gimmee a piece of that there fruit and I'll show you how well a human Zrrrrkslslskskkkkks.
Aw, how cute, he thinks you can Zrrrrkslslskskkkkk a fruit.
Old 11-12-2009, 01:30 PM
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To the OP... lousy pets.

We already have an example: chimpanzees. They're not as smart as humans, they're stronger than us, but on balance, they're roughly analogous. And they make TERRIBLE pets.

We are social animals. We can live without human contact for a time, especially if we're prepared to do so, but it's the rarest of individuals who can do so for any length of time without going bonkers.

Physically, we're helpless in the first years of life. A pet is one thing; a pet *baby* is a pain in the ass. Perhaps the aliens outsource the first few years to robots, or leave the young with their pet parents until they're yanked away.

That said, the ultimate reason we wouldn't make great pets is that we've evolved to the point that we know better than that. Dogs and cats are smart, but they don't *mind* being pets. Humans would likely recoil from such things; even when raised in an entirely alien culture, we're still *human*.

Last edited by davekhps; 11-12-2009 at 01:31 PM.
Old 11-12-2009, 01:56 PM
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In comparison with chimps, humans would make much better pets. Humans are much less aggressive, not as strong, and are much more easily housebroken.

It's true that a human pet would require an immense amount of care and social interaction, the owner would essentially have to commit to the same level of care that a human parent provides a human child.

Of course, as with raising a chimp, the hard part comes when the human reaches sexual maturity. Then you get all sorts of issues that any human parent of human teenagers will recognize.

The problem is that we have no idea what sort of resources these aliens have at their disposal, or what sort of role the humans are going to fill in the alien household. Are the humans going to have some sort of job--akin to guard dogs, herding dogs, and other working dogs? Or pure companionship? And are the humans going to be exclusively socialized with aliens, or with other humans too?

And sexual maturity is going to be a bigger problem for human pets than for most animals, since human mating patterns are so different than most mammals. No breeding season, hidden estrous, pair bonding, and so on. But still, if I were an alien I'd choose humans over chimps or gorillas or orangutans in a second.
Old 11-12-2009, 07:32 PM
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The problem is that we have no idea what sort of resources these aliens have at their disposal, or what sort of role the humans are going to fill in the alien household. Are the humans going to have some sort of job--akin to guard dogs, herding dogs, and other working dogs? Or pure companionship? And are the humans going to be exclusively socialized with aliens, or with other humans too?
I think humans would make poor guard animals. Our hearing, night vision, and sense of smell isn't nearly as acute as many of our terrestrial counterparts. We can walk far, but don't think we'd make practical draft animals; however if we were pets in some sort of nomadic alien culture (who for whatever reason were constantly on the move) I think our bodies would be well adapted to walking long distances to keep up with our alien owners. This might give us some appeal if much of their indigenous life didn't have the endurance to do the same and were too bulky to be carried along.

If we think of it from a human point of view, we could theoretically end up as their equivalent of 'purse dogs' where we'd be mostly interacting with aliens, occasionally coming in contact with other humans-

"Are we going to the park? I think we're going to the park! YES! I'm so excited! Hey, hey Xyzzzik! hey HEY! there's another human in that other hovership! Hey Other Human! FUCK YOU! "
Old 11-12-2009, 07:44 PM
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And sexual maturity is going to be a bigger problem for human pets than for most animals.
Not if there's an active spay/neuter organization on the planet Zog.

One worry would be if AETH (Aliens for the Ethical Treatment of Humans) was taken seriously, and all domesticated humans were released into the wild to fend for themselves.
Old 11-12-2009, 07:48 PM
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"Are we going to the park? I think we're going to the park! YES! I'm so excited! Hey, hey Xyzzzik! hey HEY! there's another human in that other hovership! Hey Other Human! FUCK YOU! "
Hmmm...we seem to be polar opposites. My inclination would be more along the lines of "Hey Other Human, help me kill these sumbitches."
Old 11-12-2009, 08:13 PM
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Are the other species a race of cat people? If so, I'm in, I owe them some.

I am totally going to: eat food off of their plates when they aren't looking, just barely miss pooping in the provided receptacle, vomit frequently and for no discernible reason, run across their testicles at full speed in the middle of the night, try to lay down on top of their faces when they are sleeping, stare at a blank spot on the wall and scream for long periods of time, act like I want affection and then act snooty and offended when it is offered, shred their decorative plants, shove any small unsecured items under the refrigerator, attempt to trip them when they are walking, try even harder to trip them when they are walking with a heavy but delicate object, knock their knickknacks over, hope for male pattern baldness so I can leave hair everywhere, escape only to triumphantly return and gift them with part of a small dead animal, attack their feet when they are under a blanket, and just generally be a neurotic pain in the ass at every turn. All this while leaving no doubt in their mind that, were I capable of doing so, I would eat them after a long bout of terrifying torture.

So yeah, a lousy pet. But they will love me anyway either because I'm cute or because there is a parasite in their brain that makes them love me, either of those works for me.
Old 11-13-2009, 10:00 AM
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Are the other species a race of cat people? If so, I'm in, I owe them some.
The problem is that they'd be these cat people. Run across their testicles and they'd be feasting on yours for breakfast.
Old 11-13-2009, 11:18 AM
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Hmmm...we seem to be polar opposites. My inclination would be more along the lines of "Hey Other Human, help me kill these sumbitches."
Yes, but that's because you're a wild human, not a tame human. The likes of you would have to be kept in a zoo, and the keepers would be very careful to never put their tentacles inside the bars.
Old 11-13-2009, 11:44 AM
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I believe I would be a very good "pampered pet". I am ready to start any time.

I would be a very poor 'working animal."
Old 11-13-2009, 11:45 AM
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Hmmm...we seem to be polar opposites. My inclination would be more along the lines of "Hey Other Human, help me kill these sumbitches."
......."but before we do, fancy a quickie"?
Old 11-13-2009, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ghardester View Post
No, no, no, you don't want pet humans. I tried raising a couple from birth and it seemed like years before I could get them to stop pooping and peeing at inappropriate times. And if you try to leave them alone while you go to work they will scream so much that the neighbors will call the cops.
Well done, sir.
Old 11-13-2009, 05:27 PM
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Keeping a human as a pet?

My wife says it isn't hard after the first year.

Regards,
Shodan
Old 11-13-2009, 07:19 PM
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Location: Surefall Glade, Antonica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Yes, but that's because you're a wild human, not a tame human. The likes of you would have to be kept in a zoo, and the keepers would be very careful to never put their tentacles inside the bars.
With your permission, my new sig....
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"Yes, but that's because you're a wild human, not a tame human. The likes of you would have to be kept in a zoo, and the keepers would be very careful to never put their tentacles inside the bars"--Lemur866 describing Oak, 11/13/09
Molon labe--Leonidas I
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