Two guys with dog Crittr

Pet peeves! Are you stuck between your pet and roommate?

Truth is though I watch over everybody, I don’t need all my children to worship me, and some don’t. It might come as a shock to you, but not everyone is pet friendly. And if you live with roommates who don’t adore cats or dogs, the first thing to do is set ground rules.

Follow fellow animal-lovers

This is about as obvious as a sign from me hitting you on the head, but try to find like-minded roommates. This is the most practical and righteous way to avoid disputes over your pet. A friend will understand and tolerate cat hair or Fido’s energy. Be upfront about having a pet and let the prayer beads fall into place. Talk about how you will share responsibilities, and let your roommate know how best to interact with your pet.

Nobody’s territory

Consider your roommate’s needs. Treat common areas like shrines. Make sure the living room and bathroom are kept clean. If your pet makes a mess, clean it up immediately. Don’t let your roommate pick up after Fluffy because they probably don’t want to and it’s not their job. If they still do, they have surpassed expectation. Shower them with blessings and appreciation.

A box from hell

Litter boxes are the hardest thing to adjust to for non-believers. It can leave odour and look less than divine. Your cat might also track litter everywhere while moving around in the box. Ensure the litter box is as inoffensive as possible — clean it frequently. Keep it in your personal bathroom or in case that is unavailable, your own bedroom, and contain any perdition.

Thou shalt not assume

Take it as commandment, thou shalt not assume. Even if your roommate is laid-back and open to your pet, always check in. Ask them if your pet has been causing them any trouble. If you have to leave for a work trip or a holiday, don’t assume your roommate will take care of Fido. If you’re getting a new pet, don’t think that your roomie is going to be okay with it just because they are okay with the other. Asking strengthens bonds and reconfirms faith. Taking permission is good, not taking for granted.

Damage control

Just like the soul is an extension of the universe, the pet is an extension of its parent’s soul. When your pet scratches up your roommate’s furniture or chews through their shoes, take responsibility for them. Replace these items or get them repaired. Train your pet properly, to avoid destructive chewing. Your pet’s karma is your karma.

Know when it’s the end of the road

Finally, when you have tried every way and worked every solution, and there’s still battle between angel and demon, it’s time to call it in. Some people are temperamentally or literally allergic to pets and if they’re out of your domestic lives, good riddance! Some pets just don’t get along with some people, and it’s a good thing for all parties that you move out. It should be a forever home for everyone.

‘Hallowed be the match made in heaven

Between pet parent and roommate

Living by rules, patience and compassion

Working together is a noble mission

Checking in is sacred, damage control, a must

For the pet and parent is one in karma’