All live pets were banned in 2030 to help alleviate the
environmental impact of biological waste and the consumption of precious natural resources. Artificial pets or "matties"
(derived from "automaton") — the most popular being dogs, cats, and birds —
are equivalent to the real thing in all other respects.
Matties provide much love and companionship, as well as tactile experiences so necessary with the infiltration of Phrenicea and near-virtual living. Mattie birds are a special marvel, able to hover and fly with precision thatís indistinguishable from a living bird.