LIKE CATS AND DOGS
There are a lot of heated debates taking place in our
society these days. There are debates between Red Sox and Yankee fans;
debates between religious believers and atheists; and debates between
those who think Ted Kennedy is a jerk and those who think he is instead a
However, the most passionate debates nowadays occur
because of this one question: Which pets are the best, dogs or cats?
Let’s review some basic facts about these two types
of animals. First, here are some of the positive qualities of dogs:
- Dogs are friendly and loyal and seek to please
their human masters, while cats are anti-social and aloof and ignore
their human masters (except when their human masters pick up a can
opener). Even the phrase “human masters” does not really apply to cats
as they make it quite clear they will not be mastered by anyone.
- Dogs like to play and will chase a stick or a
tennis ball for hours—even when their human masters get tired of the
game after the first 10 minutes. Cats rarely like to play, and they
never chase anything thrown by their human masters, um, I mean, their
owners, er, let’s see, I mean, their…caregivers.
- Dogs are obedient. Well, no dog that I’ve ever
owned was obedient, but that might have been my fault. With dogs, at
least there is a chance for obedience if proper training has occurred,
while with cats, there is NO CHANCE for obedience; obeying anyone is
simply against the nature of a cat.
OK, now for the other side. Here are some positive
qualities of cats:
- Cats are clean animals. They groom themselves
constantly (although the resultant hairballs are kind of gross), while
dogs usually smell like, well, dogs. When cats go outside, unlike dogs,
they do not immediately track down a rotting possum carcass onto which
they can roll around and acquire a nice robust scent. And cats prefer to
take care of bodily functions in a discreet location, such as the
neighbor’s sandbox, while dogs like to leave a big ol’ steaming mound of
fun right where I’m sure to walk.
- Cats are a lot smarter than dogs. I know this
statement offends dog lovers, but c’mon, be honest, dogs are as dumb as
dirt. As someone who’s had enough after the first 10 minutes of throwing
the tennis ball (now covered in drool—I mean the ball, not me), while
the dog is more than willing to continue chasing it until at least next
Tuesday, I can only conclude there is not a whole lot going on inside
that little doggie brain. Cats may be pretty dumb, too, but they always
look like they’re doing some serious scheming, so I get the impression
there is a bit more going on upstairs than just, “Oh boy! A tennis ball!
Throw it! No wait, first I have to embarrass you by licking myself. OK,
now throw it!”
- Cats don’t bark late at night in the neighbor’s
yard while I’m trying to sleep. Yes, I occasionally hear the very
unpleasant screeching sounds of a cat fight at night, but those episodes
are few and far between, compared to the sleep-disturbing barking that
occurs like clockwork night after night.
Now it’s time for my loyal readers, all six of you,
to weigh in on this debate. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and
tell me why you have pets, and which incorrigible critter you prefer in
your home: dogs or cats or Ted Kennedy. And keep an eye out for the
responses in a future column.