Books To Buy Your Pet This Holiday Season

Seth Fried

The Joy of Cat Sex by Dr. Eleanor Goyt, DVM
Over the past four decades, this controversial and bestselling guide has helped many owners enrich their cats’ sex lives. Whether you are attempting to prepare a kitten for its inevitable sexual explorations or would simply like to help an older cat spice things up in the alley, this frank guide is an indispensable resource for all your cat’s sexual needs. The book includes tips on everything from how to host a cat orgy to educating your cat on contraceptive options that are far safer and more effective than eating its young. With many informative and startling illustrations, this book is a must-have for any owner wishing to debunk the pernicious myth that curiosity killed the cat.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Caged Birds by Terrence Hill:
If there is one type of pet that has time for self-improvement, it is any species of caged bird. This is because they are literally being kept prisoner in your home. Domesticated birds are typically housed in very small cages, an arrangement which in a laboratory setting would constitute scientific misconduct, but which, in the confines of your living room, is charming and wonderful. However, you may have noticed that birds’ bodies were designed to occupy the entire sky, the sky being noticeably larger than even the most luxurious small metal cage in your miserable apartment. So there is often little else for caged birds to do but turn inward. That’s why Seven Habits of Highly Effective Caged Birds is the perfect gift for your special little détenu. The book includes many exciting, life-improving techniques for caged birds such as Nervously pulling out your own neck feathers with your beak and Killing yourself by flying into a wall as soon as anyone accidentally leaves the door to your cage open. Your jailbird will also love the appendix which features beautiful color photographs of all the natural habitats that it will never get to experience as well as a brief manual on how to hang itself with its own seed bell.

Everyone Poops, And Smells Terrible, And Will Probably Be Given Away Soon (from the Ferret Hygiene Series) by Annabel Wedge:
This book is perfect for anyone who wants to prevent their ferrets from becoming self-conscious about the fact that all ferrets poop and smell terrible and are probably going to be given away soon. Many people are initially enthusiastic about the prospect of owning one of these seemingly adorable creatures. Unfortunately, the natural musk of ferrets is usually obscured by the overwhelming stink of pet stores in general, and so it is not until a ferret has already been brought home that its owners begin to notice that their new companion smells a bit like a dead bear filled with hardboiled eggs. This brisk and heavily illustrated book lets the animal know in soothing, non-judgmental tones that it is perfectly normal for being awful and that, if the pet store won’t take it back, it will most likely be listed on Craigslist as a “like new ferret.”

A Dog’s Guide to Being Fixed by Victor Sussers
Everyone knows that you love your dog more than anything in the world. Though, your dog most likely has a somewhat limited understanding of human love. For this reason, it might not understand why you have decided to mutilate its genitals. This handy book will walk your dog through all the various reasons it is being fixed, like the fact that the talking animals prominently featured in the Disney cartoons that its owners were raised on did not have huge, pendulous testicles. The book also suggests plenty of activities your dog can occupy itself with in lieu of having genitals, such as gaining weight, sleeping, and allowing its owners to dress it up.

So You’re Going to Die Immediately?: A Book of Daily Affirmations for Tropical Fish by H.L. Tufferts
This handsomely-bound, single-page booklet contains all the daily affirmations your tropical fish will ever need. The mortality rate of tropical fish in privately owned aquariums is incredibly high due to the fact that there is relatively little overlap between the type of people who have the expertise to look after exotic life forms and the type of people who are excited by bright colors. Whether you forget to buy a water filter or intentionally drop a handful of goldfish crackers into the tank in order to “see what happens,” this book is designed to help your fish keep a positive attitude and ultimately come to terms with the fact that it will die faster in your care than if it were thrown into the roaring maw of a jet engine.

Seth Fried’s short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Tin House, One Story, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, and Vice, and have been anthologized in The Better of McSweeney’s, Volume 2 and The Pushcart Prize XXXV: The Best of the Small Presses. His debut short story collection, The Great Frustration, was published by Soft Skull Press.

Book images created by Julia Mehoke.