Birthdays are a time for celebration. A celebration of companionship. Of friendship. Of loved ones.
Everybody enjoys a birthday party. Organizing a birthday party is another story.
Some love it. There’s plenty of people out there who thrive in a leadership role, and have a keen ability to unite different entities around a common goal. For most, it’s a hassle. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with organizing a celebration, big or small. Whether it’s a bachelor party in Las Vegas, or a 3rd birthday party at Chuck-E Cheese, it still requires a fair amount of legwork.
I have never thrown a birthday party.
For one, I just can’t muster the energy. For another, I’m just not good at it. None of my friends would really entrust me with the organization of a birthday party, anyway, and rightfully so. Because the end result would not be pretty. So they know to include me for the festivities, but not to give me any significant duties in its arrangement. It’s for the best, and everybody wins.
Even my own parties result in the bare minimum effort. I create a birthday event, check off all my close friends, and it’s done. The only further action required is calling the bar/restaurant (OK, let’s face it … just bar) and giving them a timely heads up of my arrival.
In conclusion, birthday parties — and throwing birthday parties — are a major hassle.
And then … there are people who organize birthday parties for their pets.
I see it on Instagram or Facebook every now and then. A friend of mine, holding their pet — typically a dog or cat — with a party cap on, complete with cake inscribed with the pet’s name and birthday candles. Also balloons.
While it makes for a pretty cute photo, the whole idea of a pet’s birthday party is nothing short of ludicrous.
Firstly, it’s one thing to go through the effort of arranging a party for someone who will actually appreciate it. But it’s another to do it for a creature that has not the slightest clue what is going on.
When singing “Happy Birthday” to your pet, you might as well be sitting in a chair blowing into a vuvuzela horn, considering the animal has no bearing of its significance. For them, it’s just noise.
Animals also don’t eat cake. So you’re just buying a fattening dessert that’s only going to be eaten by the humans present at the “party,” which is probably just you and one other friend or family member who really had absolutely nothing else going on that day at all.
And those party caps are uncomfortable on people. The elastic band is usually too tight on the chin, and itchy. For an animal, it must be a nightmare.
But, at the end of the day, it’s all being done out love. And that’s really all that matters, and what the whole purpose of owning a pet is about — to spoil it, to cherish it and to love it wholeheartedly. And that is something that the animal does understand.
So when I do stumble across a picture on Facebook of Scruffy’s 2nd birthday party, I can’t help but shake my head, but also smile.
Because while the pet may have no concept of what’s going on — it is loved.
And love is all you need.