Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cat People

A long-standing and mountainously silly human debate about "cat people" versus "dog people" is not a concern of my household because we love and have both. (Plus a revolving supporting cast of rats, fish, tadpoles and then frogs, a hermit crab, and assorted bugs; the notables being a praying mantis and a female desert beetle named "Alice" that both lived for a year. In case you have the need to know, a praying mantis eats any other bug that moves, regardless of size - and they bite! Hard! Desert beetles eat that moist layer of detritus that resides at the roots of grass.)

Nonetheless, I have new evidence regarding cats that I'd like to offer to those who do debate the issue.

Dog people sometimes claim that cats don't really love you; they love what you do for them, like feed them.

In dog people's defense, dogs do really demonstrate affection, and it's obvious to anyone with a functioning limbic system that it's honest and true love they're expressing; it is not anthropomorphism on our part.

I've known the same about cats since my wife rescued (over time) 3 beautiful ones. The one we call "Fuzz" in particular goes out of his way to express his feelings, feelings of love. (Whooooaaaah feeeeeelings....)

Years ago he began the habit of holding out his paw for a high-five if I passed him while he was perched on the banister. However, most dog people would write that off a reflex, an affectation.

Recently, though, if you walk past the place where the cat's food is - we have it on a waist-level small counter so the dog can't decide to switch diets when we're not looking - he will meow, and if you walk up to him, he'll put his paws on your chest, paw (sweetly) his way up until they're around your neck, put his head against your chest and give you a squeeze with his arms.

Yes, he hugs you. And this is unrelated to whether there's food in the bowl or not, or whether he's eaten or not. He's done this more than once to both my wife and I.

I have a cat that hugs, people.

So there! you dog people (who are just dog people).


Anonymous said...

People ask me whether I'm a dog person or a cat person, and I never manage to answer their question in a satisfactory manner. I wish there was an option for not having strong feelings about the matter, either way. I grew up with parents who generally thought that pets were a nuisance. So I've always considered people who did keep pets (any kind of pets) really lucky. The only two reasons keeping me from owning a pet now is that I have no time to dedicate to taking care of one and my apartment building doesn't allow pets.

yahmdallah said...

When you can, start with a cat. A male cat.

Btw, growing up, yeah, my parents didn't dig the pet thing, which is why my wife had so much to teach me. We had pets. It just never went well....