Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Truth about Cats and Dogs

by Kerry Blair

I have a dog. I fear I’ve been had by two cats.

I inherited a pit bull from a kid who failed to read the fine print in the contract when he joined the Marines, i.e.: No dogs allowed in barracks. But he will need to put his top-notch combat training to good use to get her back. She is a keeper. The two kittens in residence, on the other hand, were acquired of my own free will, and every day I wish I could give them back.

In the interest of fairness in blogging, perhaps I should come clean. I actually live with two rabbits, two dogs, one kitten, and a space alien. The latter creature, while supposedly the kitten’s litter-mate, looks more like ET’s idea of a feline than she does an actual cat. Her little face is dramatically triangular and strangely marked. Her large, dark, saucer-like eyes are merely disconcerting during the day, but downright freaky at night. Still, I might have thought the poor little thing was merely malformed if she hadn’t given herself away. While her “brother” chases his tail, stalks dust moozies, and careens around the house as if on meth, she sits staring into space while emitting a bizarre trilling noise that can only be interpreted by her mothership. (What the aliens hope to learn by studying a boring LDS author in Chino Valley is beyond me.)

At any rate, discounting for a moment my developing theory that all cats are actually alien spies, I think humanity is divided into two camps: dog people and cat people. I am a dog person. That there are cat people in the world – two of whom I gave birth to – is a source of wonderment. What do people see in the crafty little critters?

Here, in a nutshell, is the difference between dogs and cats.

Dogs “go” outside. Cats “go” inside. Sometimes, if they’re feeling particularly generous, they’ll go in a box, but even then they kick damp gravel all over the room.

Dogs bark when they’re happy. Even when most content, cats grumble.

Dogs come when they are called. Cats come mostly when you don’t want them to. (Case in point: the one on my keyboard right now.) The moment a cat senses you want them for something (don’t ask me what) they employ their Sue Storm powers of invisibility. When you don’t want them, they appear instantly, then use their Spidey-skills to cling to carpet . . . furniture . . . the home teacher’s suit coat . . . anything to keep you from removing them from the room.

Dogs beg. Cats jump on the countertop and swipe their sandpaper tongues over the food. (Often in front of horrified guests who swear they don’t mind while surreptitiously dumping the contents of their plate into your houseplants.)

Dogs squirm in abject humiliation or slink away when a misdemeanor is discovered, even when they’re not the guilty party. Cats remain at the scene of the crime, casually licking evidence from their paws or, more likely, affecting the vacant stares of serial killers.

Dogs welcome you home with mad leaps of pure joy. Cats sulk in the back room until they are sought out and placated with gifts of salmon from the doggy bag.

Dogs play by chasing balls or bringing you fuzzies for a friendly game of tug. Cats “play” by secreting themselves under dust ruffles and using your bare feet as pincushions. (Just yesterday my mother-in-law asked me if I’d been strolling through prickly pear; I’d merely tried to walk past my bed to the closet.)

Dogs live to be near you. Cats wouldn’t notice you were dead, assuming there was still somebody around who could operate the can opener.

The “kitten” is even now staring out the window at the sky and emitting that peculiar warble of hers. Frankly, I’m getting nervous. I’ve heard it said that cats rule and dogs drool – and that’s precisely what I’m afraid of!


At 10/03/2008 11:07 AM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

You always make me laugh! Thanks for the trip through your pet dilemmas and for reminding me that I'm actually the sane person in my household. It's the four cat lovers I live with who need to adjust their way of thinking. Then again, I have two cats and no dogs. I really need to put my persuasive powers to work so I don't feel so outnumbered!

At 10/03/2008 11:37 AM, Blogger Jennie said...

Kerry, Kerry. Cats have their advantages. They don't take up as much space and their food doesn't come in fifty pound bags. We're ordinarily pet free around our house, but right now we're living with Mary Jo's seventeen pound cat--he likes to sit on the back of the rocking chair in the front room and if he leans too far one way, over goes the chair cat and all. We're also living with Rich's big Australian shepherd. She's really lovable but due to a tumor on one foot that she seems to think she can lick off, she's wearing a huge cone that bumps and scrapes everything. Needless to say, she's become an outside dog. Oh for the good old days when we only had a tortoise who never got on the cupboard, never barked, and slept all winter.

At 10/03/2008 11:55 AM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

Reading this blog has made me wonder if I am not secretly a cat in human skin. Well, except for the part about clinging to the home teacher's suit coat. (Depending on my mood, I'm more likey to either hide or use my claws for other purposes when they come.) Thanks for a good chuckle, anyway. :D

At 10/03/2008 12:24 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...


At 10/03/2008 2:15 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I think you've nailed the differences pretty well. I guess I'm an omni-pet - I like both dogs and cats. (But secretly, I'm a dog person.)

Cats have their moments. Like when they roll over and expose their belly for some rubbin'. And it's hard to beat that purr - is there a better sound in the whole world?

At 10/04/2008 12:48 AM, Anonymous Jon W. said...

Nice post terrible movie btw.

At 10/04/2008 10:12 AM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Great blog, Kerry. I think I'm mostly in the dog camp, myself. Although some unclaimed, semi-wild black cats have adopted our family. They appear when they want fed, and will allow you to pat them on the head briefly during this time. Then they hiss and pretty much tell you to back off as they consume large quantities of food.

I think our dog hates them. =)She chases them every chance she gets. It makes for great entertainment on occasion.

At 10/06/2008 8:49 PM, Blogger Nancy Campbell Allen said...

*sigh* What I wouldn't give for a dog. My husband and daughter are both allergic.

We have a cat.

At 10/13/2008 2:41 AM, Blogger Paiges' Pages said...

Hee Hee Hee :) Growing up my mom used to always say that animals had fur for a reason and it wasnt so they could come inside. :) Myself I think I would put down the tent pegs in the dog camp. :)


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