I’ve written about this before, back in 2003; but, after witnessing a couple of characters nearly come to blows over it just a couple of days ago, I’m going to address it again. It’s critical that we, as a society, finally settle this.
It’s one of the most divisive topics that humanity has had to face since its inception, creation, evolution, or accidental happenstance—depending, of course, on whatever or whomever you wish to blame or credit for us being here to argue about it in the first place.
Yes, it is far worse than the gay/straight issue. It makes the pro-choice/pro-life divide seem like child’s play. Allowing God into the public schools is not even in the same league as this topic. It has reduced lifelong friends to bitter, eternal enemies. Children have stopped speaking to parents and parents have disowned children over this.
So, what topic can possibly be so socially divisive? Dog versus cat ownership, THAT’S what!
From the day my first child was born right through to today—my youngest is 35-years old—my household has been the abode for a plethora of both: DOGS and CATS. However, through it all, I’ve never considered myself an animal person.
But, two facts always dominated by feelings about our pets. First, NONE of them ever seemed to get THAT memo—that I’m NOT an animal person—especially the CATS! Every cat we owned seemed endlessly determined to become THE one to trip me as I made countless treks down our household stairways.
And, second, even in light of the above, I would never have intentionally hurt one of them, or any other animal, for that matter, as long as their goal was not ripping through my jugular vein.
As such, though, through all of those years, I’ve gained quite a body of knowledge relative to cats and dogs. But, I’ll share only the more critical points herein.
My general feelings about dogs are that they are relatively stupid and they drool a lot. Of course, I think cats are stupid, too, but on a higher level and about more important things. And, another favorable point in the cat column is that cats do not drool. At least I have never seen one drool.
I think that both dogs AND cats are great pets. They both give unconditional love, affection, and undying gratitude, especially when we include food in the equation.
Dogs, in general, are clumsy, but they’re so delightfully trainable as long as we don’t run out of doggy treats. There’s no doubt about it; to dogs, we’re the masters.
On the other hand, cats, while they’re fond of their kitty treats, remain perpetually “up yours aloof and independent.” Self-respecting cats are NOT going to forfeit their independence for a few measly kitty treats. And, ANOTHER thing. Cats do not have masters; to them we’re staff!
But, again, on the positive side, I’ve never had to get up at OH-DARK-THIRTY to take a cat for a walk to do its… you know, business. Cats are smart enough to use a litter box… INSIDE where it’s warm, or, in the summer time, air-conditioned.
And, as pets, both can be comical. Their antics are seemingly endless. Just observing them interact can result in absolute sidesplitting laughter.
For example, both are capable of running speeds at just below the speed of sound. Cats, though, seem so much more agile at any speed and under ALL conditions.
Suppose a dog, barking and growling is chasing a cat at about 650 miles per hour. The damn cat can calmly change directions at a 90-degree angle, without any warning, with NO decrease in speed, and keep on going just as though nothing had happened.
The dog, on the other hand, will require the services of at least one fire rescue squad to get its head, now embedded as far back as its shoulders, out of the brick wall it just ran into.
In the meantime, the cat is sitting on a neighbor’s chase lounge, a hind leg in the air, licking its butt while shooting one of those “what a dork” stairs in the dog’s direction. The dog, at this point, is still trying to figure out what the hell just happened and wondering if it will ever again be able feel its other body parts.
And, you want a demonstration of GUILT? A dog could knock over one single lamp and NOT be able to hide that guilty look. It might just as well have a sign draped around its neck reading, “Oh, crap; I did it!
A cat could knock over every lamp in the living room, in addition to shredding your couch. It would NEVER take ownership of what it just did. It would flip its tail high in the air, and toss you a “stick it!” glance as it calmly saunters away.
My living room has a floor-to-ceiling bay window overlooking the front yard. I watched my daughter’s cat stalk a squirrel as it casually strode along the window ledge across the entire width of the living room.
With the instinctive skill of a jungle cat, she crouched and stalked, her ears flat against her head, body scraping along the carpet, closer and closer, careful to stay downwind of the prey.
Suddenly, with the adeptness of that dog I just described, she leapt; snug in the belief that she had ensnared this helpless prey in her “declawed” front paws.
BAM! The window, in fact, the entire living room shook. I’d even go as far as to say that the neighbors living within a radius of about 2-miles also heard the ruckus. When I looked at her, she had recoiled back from the window, a little shaken, perhaps a tad dizzy, but stunned that she did NOT have the squirrel.
I also suspect that she was hurting just a bit, too. But, there was no way this cat was going to admit anything of the sort. She just shot me one of those, nasty, ears back, frown-like glances that sent the message; “What are you looking at dip wad? I planned that.”
A dog would have run howling down to the basement in agony. Not that cat, though. It took her about 10-seconds to recover and she just nonchalantly slinked under one of the living room chairs.
I suspect, though, if I could have read her thoughts, the message would have been along the lines of, “Damn that smarts! Let me check to see if I still have my fangs. That glass… I gotta start remembering that stinking glass!”
Anyway, the bottom line of the matter is… “TO EACH HIS OWN.” And, even though I freely admit to being the current landlord to three cats, I’m not about to toss myself into the middle of which animal; a dog or cat, makes the better pet.
Personally, I think a turtle that I found outside in the back yard, makes an outstanding pet! No early morning walks. No litter boxes. No turtle business to clean up. No food bills! I’ve named it Touché!
Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. You may comment on his column by clicking here.