Cats V. Dogs

I feel like I’ve already written this. Something feels familiar, but I was out and about the other night and I overheard a conversation that got my blood to boiling.
“I love dogs, but I can’t stand cats.” was said by some old man. He went on the expand that kittens were okay, but in a warning tone reminded that they grow up to become cats. He also mentioned that cats are high maintenance, unlike dogs? He said that dogs have masters, and cats have staff. He said cats have no personality. Now this is where I begin to push back. First, you want to be something’s master? Sounds like you want a slave, not a pet. Cats do not have staff, they, like most pets, become family. I am speaking as someone who loves both animals and have grown up with both. I pick no sides in this age old debate, but seek rather to hopefully enlighten any out there who hold some irrational disdain of a particular animal.
First, cats really do have personalities. If you think that they don’t all that says is you haven’t taken the time to get to know a cat. They aren’t like dogs, who will jump in your lap and lick you right out of the box. They have to get to know and trust you, just as you should get to know them. Yes, the affection of a cat must be earned and there are those out there who think since you board and feed the animal, the love must be automatic, but that’s not the case at all. To earn the trust of any living creature takes time and patience. One of the best feelings in the world is when that cat comes right up to you, jumps up and curls up in your lap. It is showing it trusts you. That is a gift not to be taken lightly. When you spend time with the cat, you’ll find it isn’t a pet, but under the right conditions, it is a friend. They listen to you when you talk. No joke. Watch a cat as you speak. They will look at you. They are listening. They don’t understand, but they are listening. Sometimes they even talk back, but you won’t understand, but you can return the favor and listen.
High maintenance? Not even. With cats, all you need to do is pour a bowl of food and water and they’re good. When I was growing up, the bowls would stay full for a couple days or more. With dogs, you have to pour out their food every day in single servings. They can’t be trusted with an always ready food supply or else they’ll eat themselves to death. Cats go out on their own to do their business or they do it in the litter box, which only needs changing once every couple weeks. Maybe more if you have multiple cats, and these days they have self cleaning boxes. With dogs, you have to pick up their droppings every day. When you get home, cats don’t come running and jumping up on you begging for attention. This depends on your own preference. I consider this a plus since if I had a bad day, I prefer to be left alone for a bit. Cats come to you in their time, maybe because they sense something in your demeanor that tells them to keep clear. Dogs won’t leave you alone, which you may like so that would be a pro, but for me it isn’t. I need my space at certain times and sometimes dogs can intrude upon that.
When taking your cat to the vet, just pop them in a pet carrier and that’s that. May be some fighting, but how would you react if some giant was trying to shove you in a box? Dogs going to the vet, depends on the breed. Small dogs are not a problem, same as cats, but your larger breeds increase difficulties. I can’t imagine taking a Mastiff for its shots. Or a St. Bernard. I remember what a struggle it was getting the larger dogs in my family to their vet visits. It was a production.
Some would argue also that dogs offer some protection, and I won’t argue that point, but I will raise a point that cats have been proven just as heroic and loyal as dogs. That cat in Russia that saved that baby from freezing to death. I also read a story about a cat in PA that traveled across county lines to get back to her owner who had been put in an assisted living center. Keep in mind, the cat went to her owner, not where she had lived previously. These are just a couple of examples. I’ve seen cats rescue babies, dogs and many other animals. I’ve seen them defend against snakes, wolves and crocodiles. You still don’t like cats? Well, you’re missing out on one of the most enigmatic, beautiful and loving animals put on this Earth, and I’ve seen plenty of cats that could kick your dog’s ass, hands down.

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