Cats and dogs have been pets for thousands of years. Are you a cat lover or dog lover?
I often disagree with Christopher Hitchens’ thoughts, but this quote from him makes much sense:
Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
My husband Frank lived with two such gods… and despite thinking he was the boss, he truly was subservient to his two kitty cats.
Normally a take-charge, dominant personality, Frank shows his softer side when he’s around animals. Although he loves most pet animals (he draws the line at snakes and other creepy-crawlies), he’s at heart a cat lover.
Before we married he had two best buddies in grouchy Simba, a Maine Coon/Long Hair and super-friendly Fujin, an Oriental Shorthair. I unfortunately got to know only Simba, who after time welcomed me to his “clan” via headbutts on my chest.
When I asked Frank what he loves about cats, he said:
Cats are wild creatures – you never know what you can expect with them. They are complex personalities that constantly surprise you and demand your interest and attention.
I watched Frank interact with Simba, showering him with devotion, keeping him comfortable during the last few months of his life. Frank was truly a servant to this cat. Simba called the shots and he always walked around like he owned the place, despite Frank’s attempts to show him who was boss.
My Dad is a dog lover. He’s loved dogs since he was a kid. There’s an old photo of my father as a teenager, running around playing with a dog only a few months after coming to Canada and settling in St. Catherines, Ontario. There’s also a porcelain statuette of a Sheltie or Collie, looking like Lassie, that’s always graced either the fireplace mantle or some other shelf. It’s his favourite memento that over the years has found a visible spot in his “den” area in the basement.
It’s no wonder my Dad brought home Jasper, his now nine-year old Shetland Sheepdog, so many years ago on an early December night, despite my mom’s and grandmother’s insistent requests to not get a dog (they feared they would get too attached to it). When you are determined to get a dog, you will get one – either from a pet store, a breeder or as a rescue.
I asked my Dad why he wanted a dog and he said:
I like dogs because they are so loyal, friendly and trusting. They are man’s best friend, can be trained and are willing to do what you ask of them.
I’m torn between the love of dogs and cats. There are qualities in both that I like – the feisty, inquisitive nature of cats and the loyalty and super-friendliness of dogs appeal to me equally.
While we could go the route of getting a cat breed that acts much like a dog, we are contemplating getting two rescue kittens at some point in the future. While I am fascinated by the different breeds, my heart tells me to get one from the Humane Society.
Are you a cat lover or dog lover? What are qualities of cats or dogs that appeal to you?