Friday, August 29, 2008

Cat Lovers vs. Dog Lovers

Most people like animals. And, as pets, we treat them sometimes even better than people. Part of that is because they often times treat us with more love an affection than other humans. The other part is because we're crazy. But regardless of our addiction with furry, scaly, winged and/or shelled creatures, the easiest breakdown between mentalities is between those who prefer dogs, and those who prefer cats.

My family has a cat. Her name is Sophie. She is psychotic. But, before I tell you about how weird and skiddish she is, let me tell you why she's nice. She has fur. Soft fur. And, she can be affectionate, and can kill pests. Now let me tell you why she's not so cool. She vomits on the porch. She is paranoid and starved for attention. She only wants attention from you on her terms. She sheds fur everywhere. So, cats are not on the top of my list when I think of a new pet.
I have never had a dog. The reason for that is because my mom is allergic to them. So, growing up she let me have every other kind of pet known to man (She is also allergic to cats, but likes them better, and lets the cat have her own room in the house, and claims that cats don't need as much social contact as dogs, which may be true). So growing up I had a menagerie of animals. I had turtles, a tortoise, hamsters, mice, lizards, fish, frogs, ferrets, quails, parakeets, guinea pigs, crayfish, etc. It was pretty cool growing up. But as cool as all those pets were, they were never dogs. I always tried to goad my mom into letting us get one with comments like, "Well bulldogs are hypo-allergenic because they have short hair and don't shed as much." To which she would reply, "If we ever do get a dog it will be a poodle, but for now it's either a dog or me. Take your pick." It wasn't very fair, but that was life. And, to make me feel even more guilty, when I said, "Well when I move out, I'm getting a dog!" She would say: "So you're saying I won't be able to come visit to see my grandchildren? You'd pick a dog over me?" Those kind of tactics were obviously manipulative. 

But, fortunately her tune has changed, and she thinks she could deal with a dog for short visits, and even longer visits if she took an allergy shot. Given the fact that she visits my Great-grandmother in Indiana all the time, and she has a dog, I don't think it was ever really a problem. So, that being said, I'm a dog person.
The anti-dog people will say they smell, make messes, are easily disobedient, drool, etc. But they are still better than cats in my mind. They are loyal, affectionate, always like attention (and aren't fickle about it like cats), they can be very obedient, and can do more things than cats. How many people go on walks with cats? How many cats catch frisbees? How many cats will play tug-of-war or do judo with you? I think you see my point. But, let me remind you that I do not condemn cat lovers. Any pet is better than no pet. Even if it does hack up hair balls in the middle of the night.

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