Have you ever noticed that people who don't like animals attract them like a magnet? Any one who comes to my house who does not like animals is sure to have dogs and a cat all up in their business. I feel like they are trying to reassure them that animals are safe. I suspect that most people who claim to not like animals have had a bad experience somewhere along the way. That is so sad to me, because I know how much interacting with animals can enrich people's lives.
When I was a kid I had a beloved ferret named Francine. She was one of the coolest beings I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. She was funny, smart and clever. She also had a habit of burrowing down inside of furniture and sleeping for hours at a time. When she did that, she was impossible to find and retrieve. On one such day, my mom had some ladies from the church come to visit. One of them was a bit of a stodgy old broad who did not like animals. My mother was clear on this fact from previous visits and had put the dogs and cats in a bedroom before she came. Little did she know, Francine was asleep inside the couch. At some point during their visit, my mom noticed the liner under the couch moving. I'm sure that she started to get nervous then. Pretty soon, Francine popped her head out from under the couch. It was not uncommon for her to lay on her back and pop her head out to nip the feet of the unsuspecting people sitting there.
My mom noticed her eyeing up the polyester dress pants, pantyhouse and sensible shoes before her, and whispered a silent plea for her to leave the church ladies alone. I'm not sure if Francine recognized an anti animal person or if she was just in a particularly mischievous mood. She did not nip at the ankles of the ladies. Instead, she slid right up the pant leg of the woman who would appreciate it the least. Poor Sister Fife leaped from the couch in shock, bellowing in fear with an unknown intruder climbing her leg, zipping past the knee and heading straight for the crotch. My mom moved fast to extricate Francine from the poor woman's pants as she danced around the living room, howling in terror. After Francine was securely returned to her ferret house, my mother apologized profusely for the intrusion . After the ladies left she laughed herself to tears. Her rendition of the incident that night over dinner was enough to have us all in stitches. That was the last time that particular woman visited our home.
Now that might be an extreme example of an animal trying to love someone into submission, if that's what you could call it. But I'm sure that many of my readers can relate. If someone comes to your house that is nervous about dogs, your dog is going to demand to be petted and loved on by that person. If they are not a fan of cats, your cat is definitely going to insist on sitting on their lap and purring loudly. It seems to just be the way things are.