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People who don't know animals very well often assume that all pets are alike. All cats are lazy! All dogs steal food! All cats hate Mondays!

Actually, if you get to know animals, you find that they have personalities as diverse as ours. Unfortunately, almost all of these personalities are extremely annoying.

Here's a few.

The Cat That Talks to Ghosts

Christina H

You may have at some point observed a cat that will walk up to a completely blank wall or corner and stare intently, meowing regularly. Cat experts will tell you that this is because cats have much more finely tuned senses of hearing, smell, and sight than we do, and they must be picking up one of these cues that are imperceptible to us oafish humans. They are wrong.

The cat is talking to ghosts.

Let me be clear: I don't believe in ghosts. I believe that cats believe in ghosts. My reasoning? Cats are idiots. If you need proof to back that up, get a cat. Cats also believe in homeopathy, healing crystals, clairvoyance, MLM schemes, alien abductions, and the Illuminati. Recent surveys have shown that anywhere from 65 to 75 percent of Scientologists are cats.

It's a common belief among people who do believe in ghosts that cats are especially sensitive to the spirit world and can see ghosts sometimes when people can't, because, I don't know, cats, witches, druids, paganism, something. I don't know if these people have thought through the ramifications for the afterlife if this is true. Imagine you have died leaving unfinished business, and your soul can't depart this world until you get justice for your murder or tell your family you love them or whatever. So the powers that be allow you to come back to try to set things right, and then you find out you are one of those ghosts that can be seen only by cats.

Christina H

A lot of people who believe in this kind of thing would say they do not believe in hell, but I would argue that they actually do.

The Submissive Peeing Dog

Christina H

Submissive peeing is the most annoying dog behavior ever, because if you ever want it to stop, you have to do the exact opposite of what all your instincts are telling you to do.

Dogs pee when they need to go to the bathroom and to mark territory, but they also pee as a sign of respect, to show you or a bigger dog that they gladly accept their place as a wretched underling, and please don't hurt them. A dog that has confidence issues for whatever reason, like past abuse, or dog mental illness, will therefore pee whenever he sees you, in a badly miscalculated effort to prove he won't be any trouble at all.

Everything in human nature makes you want to yell at the dog, or at least make some kind of negative signal, but that just makes things worse, because the dog feels the need to apologize and demonstrate himself to be even lowlier, which means more pee. Instead, you have to take the very unnatural step of building up the dog's confidence with things like speaking gently to him, looking away from him (eye contact is threatening), and even backing up toward him when you have to pick him up. Pulling off this kind of gentle, deferential behavior is really hard to stomach when you (in the moment at least) want to strangle the dog.

If these dogs were humans, they would be the obsequious intern whom you ask to stop calling you "sir" and responds with "Yes, sir, anything you say, sir. Oh God, I just said it again! STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!" (punctuating each "stupid" by hitting himself on the forehead with his clipboard).

If this ever happens to you, I would recommend bottling up all your frustration at the dog and taking it out on the intern at work, because he is not going to pee on your carpet.

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The Cat That Blames Everyone Except Herself for Her Problems

Christina H

This cat is even stupider than most cats, although it's probably technically humans' fault. When we domesticated cats, we took away the evolutionary pressure that would weed out cats too dumb to survive on their own, and now we have a large percentage of cats that can't catch prey, climb down from trees, or find their way out of a box.

This idiot cat constantly gets herself into hilarious sitcom-like situations, like being stuck in things, falling into a toilet, or having booked two dates on the same night in the same restaurant! For example, when being chased, this cat will run past 20 safe cat surfaces in order to corner herself in a dead end so she can turn around and alternate between hissing defensively and glaring furiously at you for allowing this to happen. After you save the cat and put her somewhere safe, she somehow ends up back in the corner again a few minutes later, preferably during a pivotal moment on Breaking Bad.

This cat later tells human-loving cats that anecdotes like these prove that it is impossible for a human to be both all-powerful and all-loving and that cats' faith in humans is a sham and cats should only depend on themselves. Then it goes back to wait for its owner to feed it.

Or maybe you've seen this cat getting a claw stuck in a rug or coat and dragging it all over the room, shaking her claw in gradually increasing panic, to no avail, but when you try to suggest she sheath her claws, which would cause the rug to fall right off, she starts glaring at you suspiciously, as if this was some sort of cruel prank you came up with.

Or when she is angry at you because you put a hex on her that caused a "demon" to chase her around, which is actually a plastic grocery bag she got her head stuck in, bolting at the first crinkle sound in a hilarious mad dash around the house as she attempts to flee from the horrifying racket attached to her own neck.

It's also your fault when she gets stuck up in a tree, when she steps in her own poop, when she rolls off the couch, and when you have to cut off her free feeding because she is morbidly obese.

This cat is an easy mark for fringe political movements.

The Dog That Hates Fun

Christina H

Dogs are generally thought of as fun-loving creatures, and rarely if ever as the strict, fun-hating dean of a wild college comedy. Well, I guess some dogs are just on a mission to break stereotypes.

We're not talking about a good watchdog, although he may also be a good watchdog, constantly barking to alert the household to threats like UPS deliverymen and children. No, this dog is defending his household from their own natural urges, for he knows that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and that the only thing preventing the ways of Satan from gaining a foothold in his house is eternal, thankless vigilance. That said, he has very arbitrary opinions about what constitutes "fun." This list includes:

* Cats playing with other cats.
* Dogs playing with cats.
* People dancing.
* People laughing.
* People hugging.

Imagine a beautiful moment where your other dog is tentatively playing with one of the cats and they are slowly discovering that they might be friends. Gestapo dog will break that right up. Or this beautiful scene: An estranged father and son are about to embrace as they learn to put aside their pride and let go of the past, until Sister Mary Joseph the dog runs in barking and delays the healing of their relationship by another 10 years.

How many relationships have fun-hating dogs destroyed? No one knows for sure, but if I had to guess, I'd say 53,267.

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Michigan J. Dog

Christina H

I wish we lived in a world where I didn't have to explain to anyone who Michigan J. Frog was, where classic comedy references were taught in schools instead of The Scarlet Letter and The Catcher in the Rye. But since we live in a fallen world, Michigan J. Frog is from a Looney Tunes cartoon where a guy stumbles upon a frog that can sing and dance and tries to get rich off of it, only to discover that the little turd pretends to be a completely normal frog whenever he is around other people, making the guy a laughingstock.

Your average Michigan J. Dog is similarly a brilliant performer alone at home with you, sitting, staying, spinning, rolling over, solving simple equations, etc. But whenever you have guests over, he pretends to be Lennie from Of Mice and Men. And if you've really been laying it on thick with your guests about how smart your dog is and what he can do, he will roll onto his back and start licking his genitals the moment you give the first command. Maybe he'll even throw in a fart for kicks.

Otherwise he'll just stand and stare happily at you, wagging his tail, as you ask him with increasing urgency to sit. When he finally sits, usually after you've given up asking, your guests will give you the patronizing "Oh look, he did it" cheer, quietly filing all your protests about all the other things he can normally do as the white noise that comes from "one of those dog people" who imagines all their pets are secretly geniuses.

Like the other-blaming cat that has become disillusioned with humans, sometimes I wonder why a loving God would allow our closest non-human companions to be so incredibly annoying. Other than the fact that they give us funny stories to tell, it's interesting to note that the most annoying personality traits of our pets often provide a mirror to ourselves. Who among us has never fallen for something silly, or blamed others for our own messes, or been bitter toward people having more fun than us, or put on different acts for different groups of people, or peed on a superior?

Well, I've only done one of those things, but the rest of you probably have a lot to learn from your pets.

If you enjoyed the article or just want to share some stories about your annoying pets, you can contact Christina on Twitter or Facebook.

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