I have a friend. His name is Guido. He likes a lot of the same things I do. He also likes to do things that I think are weird. But that’s ok. He probably thinks the same thing about me.
He is a cat which means his brain is quite small. He doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about abstract concepts. But he is very outspoken about things in the here and now. Like give me food. Or let’s snuggle. Or leave me alone. This makes it easy to know what he wants. I never have to guess or worry that he might say one thing but mean something else.
I like being friends with my cat even though our different abilities mean that sometimes it may seem a slightly inequal friendship. I get food for him, clean his litter box, and open doors when he wants to go out. He gives me headbutts and makes me laugh. But I know that he is here because he wants to be, not because he needs me. If anything, I feel slightly bad for wanting him to need me. After all, a cat can hunt his own food. So me choosing food that he can’t get by himself: that is my preferences making him disabled in that area. The same goes for his litter box. Just because I want him to use the litter box doesn’t mean he is less than me for not being able to clean the litter box that I want him to use. We both understand that.
Sometimes people joke about me being “crazy cat lady” for referring to my cat as a person. Which is silly. Because my cat is not a person and I don’t see him as such. He’s a cat. If I pretended he was a person, I’d be denying the things that make him a cat. So. He’s not a person, he’s not my baby, I’m not his mommy. But he is my friend, because he likes spending time with me. How else would you define friendship?