The Cat versus the Dog Person

An alternative view…

So often we are told that cat lovers are introverted and dog enthusiasts are more outgoing. I suspect that could be true as we hear of friends organising, walks with their dogs. “Let's go to the park and walk our dogs so that our dogs can befriend one another!”. It almost becomes an extension of human friendship as dogs are social animals and not so territorial.

Photo: by author

Dogs sense our fear and anxiety and jubilate when we feel joyful. They are eager to please us and are forever grateful, just as we are grateful to them. We can train them, we can take them with us and it would not seem to be weird at all! On the other hand, try walking with a cat in a basket? Huh… will that be socially acceptable? Interesting if it would be the case, and if moggy would allow it!

Generally speaking, dogs have more expressions and smile with us, at least we think they do. They sense our auras and vibes better…They interact with humans when happy or less happy as I feel they are more like open-books. I guess dog lovers are also easier to read as they tend to be more expressive? They will talk about their dogs more as a companion but with the cat… well I am not so sure. Depends on the cat I guess? Hence, some of us have more of a fascination with our feline friends. No right or wrong answer here.

Photo: by author

Cats just have no expression, poker-faced and just half-close their eyes if happy, unhappy, in love or out of love, purr in joy, purr if miffed. In other words, hard to understand?…They epitomise a certain level of manipulation, as in their minds, “You are not my owner, I own you!”. Some of us are truly fascinated by that line of psychology, but personally, I like to keep things simple. I love you, you love me, simple. Don’t make love feel like hard work please, Puss-puss my darling moggy! And oh dear, their fierce independence and that feeling of: “I do not really need you to feed me but hey, I have my favourite couch in my house which we happen to share! I love you too but please only on my terms and conditions and yes the neighbour feeds me behind your back!”. Do I feel used? A bit!

I do like cats and totally loved mine, but then again I feel I raised her as a dog, treated her just as I did with my many dogs, and even bathed her, brushed her teeth like my dogs and gave her a good pedicure. She & I had such a deep connection, digging her nails on my legs if I felt pain, even put a paw of my forehead as I fought the flu! Think she may have been my extension! Not so inexpressive after all. And yes, she was an amazing listener, loved the attention and not just when she was hungry!

Our love for all things furry…

We love our four-pawed friends canine or feline. They both perk us up when we feel a tad low, will drop little presents for us in the shape of a dead mouse or bird. If one is lucky, one will receive a live bedazzled mouse in the middle of one’s lounge! One of my dogs took pleasure in bringing dead rats at our doorstep. Why need vermin traps, around the garden when one is blessed with a four-legged hunter? We drew a line when she brought a dead local hedgehog (just to say I grew up on an amazing tropical island in the Southern Hemisphere…).

As a lover of both cats and dogs and as someone who frowns upon labelling and categorising, I believe that owning or at least being able to interact with a furry four-pawed feline or canine brings so much to our lives. With skyrocketing loneliness and its mental repercussions, would it be an idea to create pet clubs? It sounds very quirky, I admit, but we do have book clubs, to discuss our passion for literature, we attend Zumba classes in an attempt to raise our serotonin levels to upbeat music whilst having a good cardio work- out. So hey, why can’t we get a group of dog lovers in one room just as we have toddlers group for mums. And for one moment, let us be very frank here, toddlers group is not JUST for the toddlers, it is largely for us mums to meet other mums!! And apologies to my readers for comparing our tots to our pets!

Today I write a tad tongue in cheek, not as my usual serious self. But the message is so loud and clear. Children benefit being around animals, working people benefit being around animals and owning a pet brings a certain dimension of calm to our lives. Just what we all need. Stroking a pet to me is not only therapeutic but very meditative, having a conversation in an unknown language develops our empathy and compassion to UNDERSTANDING. Darling Mog, does not need to say: “Ok, lady, I grant you permission to stroke me”. That message is conveyed strongly in human silence with just a look. Pooch says very little when he stares at you with total love in his eyes, making your heart melt.

Whether it is a dog or a cat, both will signal the message that collectively WE are all that matters in the world to make it better. We too often feel marginalised by a system that has dictated us to rush from point A to point B, and without realising it, often we have lived a life with things that do not really matter. Often I say, we need to listen to our quietened minds to hear wisdom. Perhaps our furry friends can lend a little paw too.

…I dedicate this piece to a dog lover, who suddenly left us far too early. The last being this wonderful soul had spoken to was a puppy…

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