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Dog People vs. Cat People August 14, 2008

Posted by alwaysjan in Pets.
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I’m not a cat person. It doesn’t help that I’m horribly allergic to cats, and the one time I actually petted the cat of a guy I was interested in, my eyes ballooned out and were swollen shut for two days. The fur didn’t fly, but the relationship did – out the window.

I grew up with dogs and that’s that. Dogs listen. They scare away burglars and sometimes the mailman. They provide cheap entertainment as they’re basically the village idiot dressed in a fur coat. You leave for ten minutes and when you return, they’re so excited to see you you’d think you’d been gone ten years.

Gary Larson did a great comic for The Farside with the caption “If dogs and cats wore hats.” The cats are sitting in a tree wearing fedoras and look like drugged-out jazz musicians, while the dogs stand panting down below wearing backwards baseball hats. Nailed it.

In the movie The War of the Roses, Danny DeVito, who plays the warring couple’s attorney, summed it all up at the end when he noted this was a Cautionary Tale about what happens when dog people marry cat people.

I’ve always maintained that having a dog is great practice for being a parent. You can’t go out for a relaxing evening without wondering what your dog is up to. It’s past their dinnertime. They’re obviously starving and eating the couch. It’s past the time for their walk. They’re obviously unloading on the living room carpet. These are the thoughts that not only spoil an evening out, but make you feel those first grown-up stirrings of responsibility. I believe people with low-maintenance cats are destined to raise latch-key children. But I could be wrong.

I housesat a friend’s cat once and actually donned oven mitts so I could pet Pookie. I tell you this so you know I’m not all bad.

I found the picture of the cat above on Flickr and thought it was so much fun I just had to use it. Since I’m not a cat person, I figured I might someday include it in a post entitled, “Things I’ll Never Write About.” But since most of my friends DO have cats, I’ve decided to make nice. My friend Cathy has written two great stories about cats (she makes them sound almost dog-like in their purrfection!), which you can read by clicking on the following links:  Malcolm, Old Friend and The Brothers Angora.

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1. Catherine Sherman - August 14, 2008

You did tell me to be on the lookout for this post, and here I am! You’ve had wonderful dogs, and if I were ever to be converted to dog adoration, yours would be the first ones on the pedestal. I have an autographed copy of Roo’s “head shot,” which you got for me. And I painted Wily. Actually, I love to paint dog portraits. Dogs show more personality, on the whole, than do cats. I guess cats are too cool, as you pointed out. It’s true that cats are lower maintenance. But my kids would disagree that they ever had any freedom at all, since I was hovering around like a helicopter — except after my bedtime, when they could do whatever they wanted. Maybe, that’s why they are night owls.

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2. Debbie - August 26, 2008

I have three large dogs and two cats who think they are larger than the dogs.

I was a dog person. But since I have found a big ol’ puddle in my bedroom three times in the last month … I’m quickly thinking that cats actually ARE ‘all that.’

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3. Sheri O'Brien - May 10, 2009

That was MY cat you gave the oven mitt treatment to! I think of that from time to time and chuckle. Pookie? You mean you did this to another cat besides BABY?! I like your planet, Jan. I hope all is well with you and the family, including the four-leggers. What do we have left, 29 or 30 days left? I’m dying. Need break. Kill kids. Won’t listen.
Hope to see ya this summer. Take care!

Sheri – I can’t believe you found your way onto my blog, seeing as how you’re technically challenged. Yeah, I did manhandle another cat with oven mitts pre-Baby. I’d forgotten I’d volunteered to take care of your kitties too! I still laugh when I think of those pictures you took of your cats watching the bird video. FYI – Petey still pines for you. Jan

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