I finally figured out what the good is in having pets around. I talk to my pets, don't you? For example, when I walked Oliver in the cold rain yesterday morning and he refused to pee, I told him he was being a little dick. I didn't yell at him or kick him or even use an angry voice, I just called him a dick. I regularly talk about how fat my cat Coco is. I tell Thunder Cat he's a cry-baby.
Lest you think I'm (only) abusive, I also shovel the praise and affection on them, except for Thunder who really has no personality. Oliver is the best boy in the world; Coco is the beautiful girl, and on and on. I use a honey-baby-sweetie voice on them that I wouldn't dare use with people. I communicate with them in an unfiltered way and I freely throw labels around. Smart! Stupid! Best! Worst!
In my human communications, I try to be nice. I try to think before I speak. I don't call people names. Even praise of my children is cautiously dished out. I don't tell them they are the prettiest or smartest girls in the world (even though they are) because I don't want to label them. This is why the human-pet relationship is therapeutic. I can get out of the binding Spanx of politeness and just hang out in the fat pants of whatever-the-fuck-is-on-my-mind. It's relaxing to call my cat a whore.