Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cats vs. Dogs

Growing up I had always considred myself a "dog person"; I used to hate cats and take significant pleasure in their discomfort. I have no idea why this was the case other than the fact that they make me sneeze. Maybe it could also be the trauma assosciated with the fact that when I was a baby the kitten we had would sit at the end of my crib and everytime I moved my feet it would scratch them. (This is probably totally unfounded as I have no recollection of this at all and only knew of it because my Mom told me about it. Maybe it was even my sister that was the one getting scratched - can't remember.)

Over time I have come to realize that I am not a dog person at all! My mother is a dog person and as such we always had at least one dog in the family. I thought back on this and realized that even while I was thus fooling myself that I was a dog person (simply because my family had always owned a dog)I never really liked most of the dogs we had. I even detested some of them. Yes Bonnie Bell, I'm talking about you!!!

Over the last year or so I had begun to fool myself again. I began to think I was deep down a cat person.

We have a very nice cat who eats all of our mice and is very useful. He usually keeps to himself and doesn't meow very much and will happily sleep outside and as such I have had little or no trouble with cat allergies. Recently, however, he has started to assert his "rights" a bit more. He will meow louder for food when hungry, he will constantly try to stay inside all day long, and will most annoyingly walk right between my legs when I walk. He has never been taught to be an indoor cat so if I forget he is in the house he usually leaves us a present somewhere. Beginning to irritate!!!

So I get to thinking again. Am I a cat person or a dog person? I have spent time pondering this (since it is such a weighty matter you know). The result? ... wait for it ... I AM NEITHER!

It was an epiphany for me. I realized that for the most part, I dislike animals. Kind of like when I had another epiphany a few years back and realized that for the most part I dislike other people's children. But that's a different story.

So when I see our cat, I smile at him because he eats the mice but am freed of the burden of thinking I have to like him. I think back on the "dog years" and of enduring face-lickings, and not being able to play in the back yard for fear of the silent, squishy, stink-bombs hidden in the grass and I smile because there is nothing that would EVER make me get a dog. And that's okay.

So I say to the world: You don't have to be a dog person or a cat person. You can happily and gratefully be neither. Come join the ranks of the animal tolerators, and know that your home is a slobber-free, poop-free, pet-hair-free zone and breath a deep satisifying breath with me.

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