Evie wants a dog. She’s campaigning pretty hard for this. During dinner at church one Wednesday night, we noticed that there were some icebreaker questions scattered across the table. One of the questions was “Would you rather have a dog or a cat?” Evie looked me dead in the eyes and with great seriousness declared “Dog. I wanna dog.” It wasn’t even her turn to answer.
Any dog owner who happens to cross our path is not spared even a brief meeting with us. Evie must pet their dog. I’ve taught her to always ask the owner if it’s okay and to never jerk her hand back from the dog. I’m trying to teach her about seeing-eye dogs and how we can never pet them because they’re working. This is taking some time to sink in.
Evie has enjoyed petting every manner of dog from mutt to French poodle. We’ve met German Shepherds, Bichon Frise, French Bulldogs and Nacho, the unfortunate dog who much resembled a drowned rat. From bounding puppies to dogs so old they can’t see anymore, we’ve petted them all. Evie loves it. Evie wants a dog.
I don’t want a dog. I’m a cat person.
There have been very few times in my life when I haven’t lived with a cat. Meredith College with their crazy selves wouldn’t allow pets in the dorms. I considered breaking this rule not a few times. I love cats. I’m a cat person.
First of all, cats are low maintenance. With a few exceptions, including my sister’s cats who are the feline equivalents of raging bulimics, there is very little care involved in owning a cat. Feed and water them twice a day, scoop the litter box, maybe provide a little bed near a window. Done. Now, you can get all cat-lady-crazy and design your home and life entirely around your cat, but that’s a lifestyle choice. We just sort of co-exist around here with our cat, Samantha, or Sam. I come in contact with Sam only a few times a day. When you’ve got eight naps to get in, you’re not going to have a lot of time for your human. I understand. The awesome thing about Sam is that not only is she low maintenance, she will remind me of the few things I need to do for her. Repeatedly.
As far as dog maintenance…well, it’s a little more complicated. Okay, it’s like having a child. One of my other sisters and her husband have two Scotties. The walking, the bathing, the grooming, the “accidents”, walking, picking up poop, playing, bathing, “accidents”, toys, leashes, “KENZIE, stop it!”, grooming, “BERKELEY, come here!”, bathing, walking, more poop…I have to lie down after just thinking about it. Folks, I love my sister’s dogs — they’re so awesome. I also love that they’re her dogs. I aspire to the least amount of physical exertion required of me. I’m a cat person.
Secondly, I love the way cats interact with humans. Despite what many may think, cats are not solitary animals. They’re independent. A dog is a pack animal. To a dog, his owner is the alpha, and he puts the utmost faith and trust in that owner. He loves him unconditionally. He would lay down his life for him. And, lord have mercy, do dogs love to express all of this to humans. The slobbering and the jumping up on and the dirty paws and the smelly breath. Yeesh.
A cat doesn’t do or need any of this. A cat is perfectly content sleeping on the windowsill all day until she feels guilty for neglecting you. So she might come downstairs, have a drink of water and a stretch while letting you pet her. Then she’ll sit on your lap for a few minutes so that you may admire her. A few headbutts and passes through your ankles later, and she’s back upstairs to sleep on a pile of your clean laundry.
Also, unlike a dog, a cat doesn’t think everything you do is the most wonderful thing ever done in the history of doing things. Cats love to perch in their favorite place and watch you with an expression of haughty amusement. In fact, and I can’t confirm this, but I swear I’ve heard Sam snickering at me when I do something stupid. I can’t help it, I think the fact that my pet considers herself right on my level and maybe even above it is awesome. I’m a cat person.
Evie wants a dog. I wonder how’d she feel about another cat instead.