Pet Costumes Fail To Conceal Horrific Humiliation

Dear Otus,

We’ve loved your weekly column for over 30 years — ever since we moved to Arkansas from Edwardsville, Illinois — and greatly appreciate your input. We await your advice before continuing.

Warning: Fayetteville-born Otus the Head Cat’s award-winning 👉 comedy-making 👈 column appears every Saturday.

We love to dress up our pets for Halloween. Our cat, Miss Snuggles O’Whiskers III, looks great in a Dolly Parton wig and rhinestone sunglasses. And our dachshund, Baron Barkum von Wienerhund, is really cute as a caterpillar with movable antennae.

We’ve had them wear the same suits for the past five years. This year, if we dressed them up as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, would that be too much?

–Minnie Cooper,

Fort Smith

Dear Minnie,

It was a pleasure to hear from you, but I will take this opportunity (for the 18th Halloween in a row) to admonish and exhort you and others of your ilk in the strongest possible terms. , without any ambiguity or equivocation, to seek contrition and, if you must, professional help.

Let me say it plainly: what the hell are you thinking? I will blame it on ignorance, which can be remedied with group enlightenment and support.

For 12-step therapy in Fort Smith, contact Anthropomorphic Addicts Anonymous (AAA). They meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday nights (except holidays) at the Beckman Senior Activity Center on North 31st Street. In good weather, they find themselves in the yard with their pets.

Pet costumes? There is a special bolgia reserved in the Eighth Circle of Hell for those who have strayed from the accepted social norm into the excesses of anthropomorphism.

The stone ditch is just beyond the bolgia reserved for pimps and seducers, and just before that for barrators immersed in a lake of boiling pitch.

All of the doomed anthropomorphites are disguised as garden gnomes and push giant litter boxes up a hill. Once they crash together, the whole process begins again.

It’s a terrible way to spend eternity.

I suppose that’s better than those who must forever tread the cold mud of the Stygian swamp for the pride of treating their animals like surrogate children.

Your pets are animals, Minnie. Four-legged, furry, licking animals. They are not children to dress up for Halloween.

Your pets are family companions. They serve a symbiotic purpose in your life and theirs. They provide a valuable psychological and emotional service for the relatively low cost of daily food and water and occasional visits to the vet.

It is the vilest of species superiorities to subject another sentient living creature to the humiliation of wearing any outfit, let alone a Halloween costume, for your amusement.

I will only tell you once. Your dog, being a dog, can appear like to wear a suit, but that’s definitely not the case.

Like the wolf whose breed evolved eons ago, your domesticated dachshund is still a pack animal and you are the alpha dog of his pack. He would do almost anything you ask of him to curry favor with you and maintain his place in the household hierarchy.

He would lower himself and humble himself. He was drooling slavishly and wagging his tail. He would roll over on his back and perform rudimentary tricks if you asked him to.

That’s how dogs are. They cannot help themselves.

But you’re very lucky because every time you tried to dress your cat, you didn’t pull out a bloody knot. If Miss Snuggles hasn’t already shown some sort of painful displeasure at being dressed like Dolly, it’s only a matter of time.

I well remember one Christmas when the owner tried to tie a stupid little reindeer antler thing on my head. He bears the small scar to this day. I really like Owner, but I have my limits.

Cats have long memories. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow or next week, but one of these days a horrible cat-like smite will descend upon you with the wrath of harpies carrying the wicked to the Erinyes.

And it will be when you least expect it.

My advice to you is this: bow down and ask your pet for forgiveness. Seek absolution through prayer, meditation, and the comfort of special fish treats for Miss Snuggles and a rawhide bone for Baron Barkum.

Burn blatant and offensive animal costumes and say no more forever.

Until next time, Kalaka reminds you that it’s always OK to you dress up as a dog.

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HomeStyle on 10/29/2016