We have two cats. “Good for you” or “That’s nice” is your reply with the same depth of feeling you have when travelling in a confined space like a bus, train or airplane for an extended period and the little old dear sitting next to you starts talking about her crochet or her 1st husbands second cousin on his mother’s side.
My point is that I am not a cat person. I like dogs. Dogs for pets make sense. They come when you call (in theory). When you come home they are genuinely glad to see you. You can take them for walks where they will actually play with other dogs. Dogs make you feel like you are cool or important and they love being around you. They are loyal and protective. In fact dogs deserve a much more onomatopoeic name. As a wise man said, “May we be the people our dogs think we are.”
But, as I said, we have cats. You can surmise then that having cats for pets was not my idea. It is my wife and two daughters that have been the bane of my existence as far as pets go with their, “Cats are so cute” and “Dogs are too much work”. You will further appreciate my sacrifice as it pertains to pets when I tell you that we had one cat previous to the two “darlings” we have now. However I must add that the first cat that chose to let us live was, to my way of thinking, part dog as she would often come when called and was as friendly as a feline could be. Further, in relation to the fauna in the neighbourhood, she was the grim reaper on four legs. Countless mice, two rabbits (that we know of), one eaten the other left for burial and a bird or two for good measure. She was a killing machine. No doubt this appealed to latent hunter instincts within me and would account for my unmanly response to the demise of this creature. I bawled like a baby.
The two feline denizens that presently occupy our abode are nothing like their predecessor. They are indoor cats and the only mice they come in contact with are the stuffed toy kind and the only time they come to you is when they want to be fed or have attention lavished on them. In other words, if I were the person our cats thought I should be, I would become a human cat treat Pez dispenser.
Cats don’t treat you like you are the cool person, they treat you like the cool person used to treat you. Long periods of indifference and scorn broken by occasional displays of affection when they want something from you. Not unlike teenage daughters.
This puts cats slightly ahead of goldfish and Hamsters and miles behind dogs on the scale of what I want from a pet. I want a pet to be like Forest Gump not Cruella DeVille. Sure dogs are a little more work. To house train a cat is simplicity itself. You show him/her where the litter box is and drop the little bugger in the box and – voila!!! – trained. Dogs . . . not so easy. There are bound to be a few puddles and piles, often in the most inconvenient places, before you have a successfully trained pooch. And while dogs may destroy a few pair of shoes when puppies, it cannot be compared to the destruction of property brought about by a couple of miniature lions who feel the necessity of clawing and scratching everything from rugs and furniture to removing the paint from the walls.
Oh, and how’s this for a kick in the teeth. My youngest daughter who just had to have a kitten, (we all know the problem with kittens right? they grow up to be cats), so she got Jasper, a black and white half Siamese pain in the ass who, I will admit, was totally adorable at the time. But here’s the rub. She has moved out twice now and did she take the brute with her? Oh nay nay! She left him with us. But here’s the kick in the teeth. She got herself a beautiful husky pup. Pow! My oldest daughter is going overseas next year and will be leaving Hermione with us. Now Hermione is much cuter than Jasper and is only being left because my daughter won’t be able to take the cat with her, but do you see my dilemma? As long as these beasts are in the house I cannot even think about getting a dog. (sigh) I am to be pitied above all men.
At this point it seems that the only way I’m going to have a shot at getting a dog is if I get so cranky my wife puts me in a home where they allow pets. But knowing her she’ll probably find one that only allows cats. Woof.
Do not confuse a cat’s attention for affection. They are merely hungry.