OPINION: Animals are better than kids, so don't call me mum

I AM not the cat's mother. Nor the dog's.

So why is there this propensity to refer to me as "mum" in conversations involving my pets?

I don't consider my animals to be children.

Animals are immensely more likeable.

Just ask yourself which are more welcome at cafes. (Clue: they don't leave drinks of water out for kids.)

Who would you rather sit next to on a plane: a border collie or a two-year-old?

The reason I like my pets is because they are animals, not people.

They are company without whingeing or judgment.

They are friends who don't expect you to like photos of their food.

They are not people and they are not kids.

If you think your pets are your babies, you have no idea what a kid entails.

The cat does not follow me into the toilet to ask me a question for which there is no answer.

The dog is happy to eat whatever I put in front of her.

Neither wants a chocolate milk every time I go to the shop.

If anyone can differentiate between humans and animals, and discourage this "fur baby" nonsense, I figure it should be a vet.

So when I ring to make an appointment for my dog with the veterinarian and I get asked what Millie's surname is, I tell them she does not have one, or at least not one that she has told me about.

My name seems to do.

When the vet gives her the annual vaccination and tells her she can go home with "Mum", it gets my hackles up.

Did I say hackles? Perhaps my pets and I are closer than I think.

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