I inherited a pit bull from the kid who failed to read the fine print, i.e.: No dogs allowed in barracks, when he joined the Marines. But he will need to put his top-notch combat training to good use to get her back. She is a keeper. The two cats in residence, on the other hand, were both acquired of my own free will and choice. Every day I wish I could give them back.
Clearly, I am a dog person. That there are cat people in the world – two of whom currently share an abode with me – is a constant source of wonderment. What do they see in the crafty little critters?
Here, in a nutshell, is the difference between the dog and the cats.
The dog goes outside. The cats go inside. Sometimes they’ll go in a box, if they’re feeling generous, but even then they kick damp gravel all over the room.
The dog barks when she’s happy. Even when they’re most content, the cats still grumble.
The dog comes when she is called. The cats come only when it’s least convenient. The moment they sense you want them, they employ their powers of invisibility. If you don’t want them, they appear instantly, then use their Spidey-skills to cling to carpets...furniture...the home teacher’s suit coat...
The dog begs. The cat jumps on the countertop and swipes her sandpaper tongue over the food. (Often in front of horrified guests who swear they don’t mind while surreptitiously dumping the contents of their plate into their napkins.)
The dog squirms in abject humiliation or slinks away when a misdemeanor is discovered – even when she’s not the guilty party. The cats remain at the scene of the crime, casually licking evidence from their paws or – more likely – affecting the vacant stares of a serial killer.
The dog welcomes me home with mad leaps of pure joy. The cats sulk in a back room until they are sought out and placated with gifts of salmon from the doggy bag.
The dog lives to be near me. The cats wouldn’t notice I was dead, assuming somebody else around here learned to work the can opener.