• Leila Pagel

Pandemic Pets

By Leila Pagel

There have been many tragic consequences of COVID-19, but also many examples of people finding the silver lining and making the best of difficult situations. One positive result of the health crisis has been the surge in people adopting “pandemic pets.” Several families have decided to add new members to their households because of the abundance of time and loneliness. Pets were initially thrilled to be taken into new homes and be showered with attention, but a few pets have reported that they are tired of having to deal with their humans being home all the time.

“At first I thought it was just temporary,” wrote Rhino, a potbellied pig. “But then I realized that these people weren’t going anywhere. They weren’t just on vacation, this is how they always live. How was I supposed to chew their socks, eat all the chocolate chips out of their cookies, and hide the remote control when they are always there?!”

As pets began to realize their humans would not be leaving them alone any time soon, they knew they would have to get creative. Some pets figured out ways to team up with others in their household to create distractions while the true shenanigans took place, while others decided to pursue sneakier methods, creating mayhem in plain sight. Pets have had to be very precise and sneaky in their methods. After just a few false moves, their owners might decide to ban them from treats for the day, or worse, take them to the vet.

In one instance, an unlikely team comprised of a cockatiel, an ocicat, and a Peruvian guinea pig banded together to create a beautiful scene of utter chaos. Their plan began with the cockatiel, named Berry, escaping during his morning feeding. Quickly flying to the kitchen, he began pecking at the light switch, turning it on and off. Once the humans tried to grab Berry, he flew to the light bulb and began pecking at it as well. Berry’s adventure was unfortunately cut short when he succeeded in breaking the kitchen lightbulb and got lightly electrocuted. Little did the humans know, though, that this sacrifice was intentional. When Berry was taken to the vet to bring him out of his electrically-induced coma, Minnow and Pickles (the ocicat and guinea pig) managed to collect all the phone chargers in the house. On top of this, the two pets had time to tie the chargers into one big knot, hide hairballs in the dishwasher, knock over four house plants, and change the bookshelf from alphabetical order to the Dewey Decimal System.

“It was beautiful,” said Ginger, the neighboring labradoodle, of the confusion and frustration upon the return of the owners from the vet. “Minnow and Pickle could not have acted more innocent, the humans had no idea what had hit them. The best part was when they opened the dishwasher the next morning to an avalanche of hair. I have a view right into their kitchen window from my house and the looks on their faces, priceless, it was gorgeous.”

Many pets have drawn inspiration from Berry, Minnow, and Pickles, creating intricate master plans and executing them flawlessly. Some animals have even managed to create businesses out of the new fad. Rumor has it that a local racoon is offering her services as a demolition expert to help animals escape their cages. Some even say she has recently teamed up with a pigeon who snipes humans with his poop when they’re least expecting it. So to all the humans out there: keep an eye out on your pets. And to the pets: remember that sometimes seeing the expression of fear on your owner’s face is the most beautiful sight of all.