“Kimbles was just an upgrade y’know? He’s clean, doesn’t always need sex, won’t leave the dishes in the sink and has lovely strokable hair. Aren’t you lovely Kimbles coochie coo?”, says Anodyne Simpson of her cat errr husband Kimbles. Anodyne just ditched her boyfriend to marry Kimbles. “You’ll never leave will you?”, she says, in blithe ignorance of our presence. “You’re everything I wanted in a man – cute, handsome, cuddly. And you’ll always come back, even if just for food.” We looked on, scribbling notes, as Anodyne continued to pore over Kimbles who sat there, unmoving, almost looking like he knew he was the centre of immense, ego-inflating attention. In fact, if you thought of it that way, it was just like a human relationship. We automatically glancing at each other in confirmation. Glancing back, we saw Anodyne posing with her cat. “Here”, she thrust her camera in our hands. “Take a picture? Isn’t he handsome?” We were pressed into the role of wedding photographers. “No! Get that angle. I want his hair catching the light just right.” She suddenly turned to Kimbles with a flourish. “Does my hair look right?” Kimbles lazily glanced away, making Anodyne spend a few minutes adjusting her hair in front of the mirror to no discernable difference that we could tell. Anodyne suddenly kissed Kimbles on the nose, “You’re such a dear!”, wrapped him up in her arms, and said,”Oooh you need a bath, don’t you?” hurrying off. Our question half trailed in her wake,”Do you feel Kimbles will give you an emotionally fulfilling relationship…?” There was no response, except that of Anodyne talking to Kimbles from the other end of the apartment. We left.
Later, talking to social scientists and psychologists, we learned that this had been hailed as momentous for progressive marriage reform. Marriage was no longer defined as being between two human beings. This extended the rights of animals to make them truly equal. Both civil progressives and animal rights activists were thrilled to the gills with this.
UPDATE: A quick check on Anodyne revealed she has one dog, two more cats, five hamsters, eight rabbits in the back, thirteen turtles and it is rumoured twenty one parakeets. We never got an answer to our question of emotional fulfillment.