Do you speak to your dog in a secret language? Does your cat have a middle name? Is your significant other occasionally jealous of your pampered pets?
If you answered yes to any of the above, congratulations, you’re a Modern Day Pet Parent. It’s a title that comes with tons of perks—doggie Mardi Gras costumes, anyone?—but yes, the life of a pet parent these days has its unique quirks, as well.
While the following behaviors seem totally normal to us, our great-grandparents would probably do a double take:
You Call Yourself a ‘Pet Parent’
There’s nothing wrong with “owner,” per se, but this is a safe space, so let’s be honest—who owns who? Princess Von Purrs belongs to no man, thank you very much.
You Have a Special Voice for Your Dog
The higher the pitch, the better. Once you start using your dog voice in public, you know your transformation into a Modern Day Pet Parent is complete. “Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy. Oh yes you are! Yes you are!”
… And Another One for Your Cat
There’s no template for a cat voice, so you’ve crafted this one from scratch to appeal to your very discerning feline. Eventually, he will tire of it—and you, of course, will change things up. Who’s a good human? You are!
You Always Sit Outside at Restaurants
Because how else would Sir Fluff come to brunch? Sir Fluff loves brunch.
Your Pet Has No Less Than 5 Nicknames
Technically speaking, your cat’s name is Mittens. But he also goes by Mitt, Mittie, Mooshie, Smushie, Smooches and Smuggle McWuggle. Curiously, he answers to none of them.
Picking Up Poop in Plastic Bags is Totally Normal
There was a time when this would be considered disgusting, but that time has long since passed. These days, every jacket you own has a spare plastic bag in the pocket, ready and willing. But other dogs’ poo is a different story—that’s still gross for some reason.
Your Pet Has an Instagram Account
Which is no real surprise, as the internet is fueled by cat videos. But you know you’re in deep when your rabbit starts getting endorsement deals.
Your Camera is Full of Pet Photos
Whereas it might take you a few minutes to find that picture of your niece, there’s no shortage of cat pictures. In fact, that’s Mittens right there on your home screen.
You Wake Up to Dog Kisses
Because, obviously, your dog sleeps in your bed. On the orthopedic mattress you bought with him in mind. Right in the middle, sprawled out like he owns the place to the dismay of your significant other.
Your Pet Has Halloween Costumes
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an estimated $350 million on costumes for their furry friends in 2015. Which is completely understandable if you’ve ever seen a Pomeranian dressed up like a triceratops.
Your Lap is Spoken For
The coziest seat in the house is permanently reserved. And that’s OK by you.
Your Dog Comes to Work
No longer a novelty, the dog-friendly office is becoming more common as employers realize the perks of having some four-legged employees on the team. Don’t be insulted when your pup gets more happy hour invites than you do—it happens to the best of us.
“Must Love Dogs” Isn’t a Cliché
You can make a lot of compromises in the name of love. But if your date doesn’t like your pets, well, that’s a dealbreaker.
Your Pet’s Hotel Costs More Than Yours
You wouldn’t leave your babies in anything but the best of hands. Which is why you opted for the private suite, 24-hour video monitor, snack cart and massage.
Your Dog Signs the Holiday Cards
Of course he does. That’s him on the front with Santa, after all.
You Feel Like a Celebrity Every Time You Come Home
Leave it to pets to make us feel special, whether we were gone for 20 minutes or two days. No matter how long the workday was, you forget it when you see your BFF waiting in the front window.