Monday, September 19, 2011

Cats vs Dogs (Or: 5 Things I Like About Cats)

Up until the ripe age of 19, the most experience I had with cats was watching them skirt around our yard, traversing the fence with grace only a feline could possess. I gave them names, but I never fed them; mother was allergic, and to draw them to our home would have been a mortal sin. Sprinkled among those memories are a couple of sleepovers with the few friends who had cats. Still, I mostly watched from afar, being hopelessly ignorant at the time about, well, almost everything concerning cats-- including body language, and the difference between playful pawing or aggressive clawing.

I grew up around dogs. I understood dogs as much as I didn't understand cats. I knew how their minds work, what their body language was, and how to tell if they were considering giving you a warning to back off care of their sharp teeth. By and large, I considered myself very much a "dog person". And then, when I finally moved cross-country to live with my cat lover of a boyfriend, I got a cat of my own.

I wouldn't say I'm exclusively a cat person. There are things I love and miss about having dogs that are just different from having a cat. However, there are many things I love about cats, and these are the reasons why I will proudly exclaim that (maybe in addition to being a dog person) I am very much a cat person.

  1. Tactile Feedback. If you know the body language, it's pretty obvious to see when a dog is happy. They'll wag their tail or flop on their backs and stick their legs in the air. There's one thing, however, they don't do: purr. There is nothing more satisfying than feeling your cuddly cat vibrate against your chest, or hearing your cat's deep jungle hum as he's approaching your open lap. 

  2. Fluidity. Someone once asked: what makes cats so much funnier than dogs? Personally, I believe that one of the answers is their fluidity. Cats are incredibly flexible, and that means they have a wide variety of positions. Also included: a wide variety of hilarious positions. Cats can contort into (and be caught in) many more poses than a dog can.

  3. Selfishness. I'm going to generalize here. One thing I miss about having a dog is that I don't have to try too hard to convince them to do something. Pure desire to please humans makes most dogs agreeable in the first place-- throw treats into the mix, and you can get dogs to do almost anything.

    Even the most people-pleasing cat will have moments of selfishnes. Why? Because sometimes, just fuck you, that's why. Now, why would I want that? Once, when I was about 7, and my brother was somewhere around 4, he never said no to me. I told him to eat a spider that was giving me dirty looks from across the room, and he actually picked it up and ate it. Well, for some insane reason, I got tired of having a personal slave. I taught him to say no. To this day, I have no idea why I did that. But I bet it has to do with why I put this on my list.

  4. Short faces. I read somewhere on the internet (and by that I mean here when I was trying to find who originally asked why cats were funnier than dogs) that a cat's features are closer to a human's, and that's why they seem to be funnier than dogs. Maybe that's why I find their short, dainty little noses so cute. And, I thought my dog was the most adorable thing in the whole wide world, but I'll come right out and say it: my cat takes the cake for cuteness. Is it his short face? Probably. Cute little kitty noses!

  5. Less noise. The thing that I like about having a cat is that they have to try really, really hard to be loud. Generally, the only situation that warrants it is when you're dangling Fluffy over a bathtub going, "I'm so sorry, Fluffy! This hurts me more than it hurts you!" Or, when you move to a 2 story home that has a hatch over the stairs, and your cat believes that this is the vortex to Hell and your death is imminent while he's watching you disappear under the ground. Dogs, on the other hand, are loud with no effort, extra loud with a little effort, and quiet with quite a bit of effort and training.

I love cats, and I love dogs. Maybe I love cats a little bit more, but that could just be due to the fact that I presently only have cats, and I couldn't imagine loving anything more than I love them. I could make a list of 5 things I like about dogs, but this isn't a dog blog, it's a cat blat. Wow, that sounds terrible. I am horrible with word play.


  1. I used to be a dog-person as well. Until my cat-lover-boyfriend wanted a cat. Ever since I'm obsessed with cats. I'm afraid I'll turn into a crazy cat-lady when I have reached the age of 50.

  2. I'm afraid of becoming a crazy cat lady too, but I figure I'll be okay as long as I keep the count below 40 and avoid throwing them at people who piss me off.

    But I definitely have developed a lifelong appreciation for them, and I can't imagine living in a home again without there being a cat napping quietly nearby.

  3. Or when you have so many cats you can't see your furniture anymore.

    I know, I know! When I'm gone for a few days I long back to my cats. Like they are my babies.

  4. Love your blog ... :) Always, cat.