FULL DISCLOSURE: I am both a cat AND a dog person. I cannot choose one over the other. (Phew, glad I got that off my chest…)
Okay, NOW storytime…
I was exiting a store the other day when I passed a large, caramel-colored dog (I don’t know breeds, sorry). He was gorgeous and majestic-looking. He was sitting quietly by his two owners. As I walked by, the dog went CRAZY; he tugged his leash, trying to get to me, his eyes wild with excitement. He barked that high-pitched, almost-crying bark that dogs do when they see something they just HAVE to get at but are being held back.
“So what? Dogs do that all the time. You’re not special, get over it.”
Maybe. But the funny thing about it was that the owners were surprised by their dog’s behavior. “He’s friendly, but we’ve never seen him get this excited over a stranger before!” I walked away with my legs licked raw by dog tongue.
I’ve always had a thing for animals. (“Uh, yeah, you and like MOST human beings that breathe, jeez.”) I pet-sit for people all the time. But it wasn’t until recent years after I began embracing my bacon, that I started noticing this unusual, gravitational pull I’ve developed with animals. I go to people’s houses for the first time (yes, they know me, I’m not some psycho burglar running around stealing pets), and their pets come running up to me. They roll over onto their backs at my feet or jump up to lick my face before they’ve even sniffed me, and then they follow me around at my heels or hop onto my lap whenever I sit down.
I joke that I have a “furry thumb.” But this is what I believe is actually happening: pets love the smell of bacon. And the more cooked and delicious your bacon is (because of how in touch you are with it), the more pets are going to be drawn to you.
Now, before you go building your ark, Noah, I’m not saying that everyone who has achieved the ultimate Baconator mindset is going to have animals flocking to them like a monkey on a cupcake. But I do believe, especially with our own pets, that animals are drawn to those who are most in touch with their bacon. Once they’ve grown accustomed to your bacon, they can then sense when your bacon has been burned, when you’ve let your bacon go stale, when you want to smash your bacon into a million pieces, or when your bacon is calm, true, centered, and crispy.
Here are some of the tell “tail” (hee hee, see what I did there?) signs that your pet is diggin’ your bacon.
NOTE: My only experience is with cats and dogs. I have no idea how pets like turtles, birds, lizards, etc. react to the Baconator mindset. I am also not in any way an animal expert; these are just observations based on my personal experience. (Phew, glad I got that off my chest…)
They Roll Over For Your Bacon
This one is pretty straightforward. When a pet rolls over, it means they trust you. Or, if they’re like my cat, Shmoopy, they do it because they know they look irresistibly adorable, so you HAVE to pet them. (She legit rolls over on my bed and grabs my leg with her paws whenever I walk by. Such a ham.)
They Are Always Happy to See Your Bacon
My family’s dog goes into an insane lick-and-pee mode (i.e. he licks her face while he pees on her foot) whenever he sees my mom. Even if she’s just coming out of the bathroom; it’s the same reaction every time, it’s ridiculous.
When I get home from work, my cat talks at me non-stop rubs up against me, follows me into the bathroom, and, after she’s eaten, even includes me in her cleaning routine by grooming my arms. (Yeah, it gets weird…)
They Get Extra Cuddly When You’re Upset or Anxious
I can’t tell you how many times Shmoopy has jumped onto my lap and placed a comforting paw on my hand when I’m upset about something. She KNOWS my bacon’s been burned, so she consoles me. She be all like, “Don’t worry, I still smell it… It’s still there, it’s salvageable.”
They Ignore Other People
When a person in touch with their bacon is surrounded by people who are SO NOT in touch with their own, pets are drawn to that person. As a result, pets often ignore the rest of them anti-Baconators, especially if those anti-Baconators are toxic because pets can sense those negative vibes.
For example, when I first introduced Shmoopy to my now-ex boyfriend, she blatantly ignored him. She didn’t even acknowledge he was in the room half the time. (In retrospect, that should have been my first warning sign… a different story for a different blog post.)
They Make Intentional Eye Contact With You
I know they say never to stare at a dog directly or else it antagonizes them (and by all means, PLEASE do not go around looking deep into strange dog’s eyes, I don’t want to get sued). But I’ve noticed with cats and dogs alike, when they’ve gotten a whiff of your bacon, they make very intentional eye contact with you. Normally, cats look away when stared at. However, my cat, my family’s cat, and their dog all make eye contact with me in a way where I can SEE feeling in their eyes. They be all like, “I see your bacon. I smell your bacon. And yes, I LOVE your bacon.”
They Develop Similar Personality Traits
Obviously, a strange dog isn’t going to adopt my clumsiness or crude sense of humor just because I’ve crossed paths with it. But when you live with a pet and they’ve gotten a sense of your enviable bacon, you tend to notice that they develop a similar personality to yours.
For example, after living with me for a while, Shmoopy became more of a ham with a goofy personality and a tendency to force her way into things in spite of others (AKA, me) telling her she can’t possibly fit. It’s uncanny how alike we are… Similarly, my sister’s cat is a firecracker that gets into mischief (very much like my sister), and my family’s dog enjoys alone time in my mom’s bedroom (just like my mom).
Weird how that works.
How to Achieve the Baconator Mindset
I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn’t embark on a journey to achieving the Baconator mindset for the sole purpose of making animals like you. That’s not how this works, Shirly; that’s not how any of this works. But it is something you may notice as your bacon really begins to sizzle.
But how do you achieve the Baconator mindset? There are many ways to go about it, but the top practices that have served me well thus far include:
- Meditation – Daily meditation is one of the best ways to help you stop and smell the bacon.
- Journaling – Stream-of-thought writing is cathartic and helps you realize things about yourself you never noticed before. (This post by the Self-Helpful offers some good advice about journaling for anxious people.)
- Self Care – Meditation and journaling are included in self-care, but never underestimate the power of pursuing hobbies, eating your favorite foods, or treating yourself to a stay-at-home spa day.
- Read – I’ve found it particularly helpful to read inspirational books, such as Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass series. I recommend any books that you feel can help you better understand yourself and that really resonate with you. (When something resonates with you, that’s your bacon going, “Oh, well hello there…” *wink wink*)
- Rid Yourself of Guilty Gunk – Letting feelings of guilt soggy-up your bacon just makes you feel icky. Therapy and the above practices can help you stop punishing yourself with guilt. A guilt-free you opens a clear path to your bacon.
Once you really get into the groove of cooking your bacon, don’t be surprised if your furry friends start homing in on you. They know you have the meats!
Now excuse me while I shake this giant ham of a cat off my laptop…
***Major bacon points to anyone who can guess where the inspiration came for my cat’s name!***