15 May 2008

I Have a Dog. I've Been Had by the Cats

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.


Cheri J. Crane said...

I'm not much of a cat person, either. But they still seem to adopt me. At last count, two wild (now semi-tame) black cats have selected me as the lucky person who gets to feed them. I'm not sure where they live, but they surface near my French doors at least once a day to let me know they want a crumpet and a brief pat on the head. They only come around when they know I'm at home. Weird.

As for the family dog, Brandy, she is currently busy doing all of my springtime pruning for me. (She loves to chew up any and all branches that she can reach) And she has already thoughtfully dug up 2 of my flowerbeds for me. She dug up all of my tulips and daffodils in the process. Such a helpful dog. ;)I'm sometimes inspired to call her other names besides the one son # 2 bestowed upon her. ;)

Marta O. Smith said...

I've heard it said (can't remember who said it) that dogs understand everything you say to them but cats know what you are thinking.

I'm glad to see you back in action, Kerry.

Mike Erfert said...

Hi Kerry,

I got such a kick out of your cat/dog observations that Debbie urged me to post something.

Having seen the look of shame at one time or another on every dog I have ever owned, you reminded me that I have never seen that look on any cat I have shared space with. Plus, from my years in law enforcement, I thought that "you talkin' to me" cat stare looked familiar!

Have a great day!


Deb said...

Personally, I think all cats are really aliens on assignment from a far galaxy, sent here to observe humans in our native habitats. Think about it, the blank stares and unchanging expressions as they watch us (like Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series).

Everything they do, from jumping on the table to steal a piece of fish, to licking our fingers until they are tender enough to safely chew, is just to see our reaction.

When they are outside at night, howling at the neighbor's felines, and we think they are protecting their territory, they are really just submitting their nightly reports to their superiors on a high-pitched frequency inaudible to our hearing.


Next time you are close enough to your cat, smooth down her ears against her head and stare into her eyes. Yeah! That's when I first realized the connection. I keep the door closed when I dress!

Love you, Kerry
(Go, D-Backs!!!!!)

MaryJo said...

Oh you guys make me laugh! I am a cat person. I don't know what you guys are talking about. MY kitty comes when called. Ask my husband he will tell you "Norman does come when called." MY cat will greet me when I come home (at the front door). My cat will give me a couple of licks on my hand but then stops. MY kitty NEVER eats anything other than cat food (or dog food). MY cat loves to give me shower hugs. What's a shower hug? As soon as I turn the water off, I hear a meowww, meowww. That's my kitty telling me to open the door, so he can get loves (I don't open it until I am dressed and dry :) lol) MY kitty goes potty in a box that I clean out every couple of days (my dog goes poopy any where in the yard. Then I have to wonder around the yard looking for and then stepping in - yuck)
By the way my cats name is Norman from the movie Psycho :)
My kitty can be naughty. When he was little (lol he's about 17 lbs now) he would go under my bed and put his paw between the headboard and mattress and hit me! Glad he doesn't do that any more lol. He likes to run down the hall 90 mph and mess up my rugs. He and the dog play. He sits on the chair and swipes at the dog while the dog barks and barks...anyway I love my cat and I thought you needed someone to reply in there favor. :)


Lori Nawyn said...

I've been the happy owner of several German Shepherds but last year a couple of Siberian Huskies caught my eye. One was white with black markings and the other looked just like one of the dogs from the movie Eight Below -- classic Siberian markings and beautiful blue eyes. Boy was I surprised to learn the breed is more cat-like than dog-like!

While our Shepherd dutifully stays at my side wherever I go with a, "just let me know what you want me to do and I'll do it," demeanor
my beautiful babies -- Taunie and Zaph -- would rather run wild and free. A little obedience school and some bonding time are helping out but blue-eyed Taunie only stays put for a pat on the head when its convenient for her. Still, I wouldn't trade them for anything and I'm having a ball teaching them how to mush.

Doug Johnston said...

I love dogs, and HATE cats. Okay, dislike them a lot. I have had cats, and I can't stand the way they think they are the boss. That is what wives are for, right!

Marnie Pehrson said...

We have a dog and a cat. But cats win hands-down. Shall I defend my position?

The Dog (Galahad): bad breath, rolls in mud puddles and shakes his drenched body all over you when you step outside on your way to church. Drags home half-rotten muskrat innards and gnaws them on your front porch ... alternating periodically with chewing up the lawn furniture until its frayed beyond recognition. Top that off with big slurpy face-licks for dessert. Need I say more?

Contrast that with a well-mannered indoor/outdoor cat (Lancelot) who does his business outdoors without accidents, comes when he's called, keeps himself clean... yep cats rule, dogs drool.

Glad to see you back in the land of the living, Kerry! Love ya!

Julie Wright said...

I am 100% a dog person too for all the reasons you cited. Cats are evil. Pure evil!

Maria O'Donovan said...

Kerry, I enjoyed reading your insightful observations. I have a dog and 2 cats. They love one another and the dog lets the cats eat first. It chases the little one around and kisses it when it catches up. THey are the best of friends.

I also enjoyed listening to the interview you have on your site with Marnie Pehrson. And i appreciate all that you said. It was very nice to hear your thoughts on life and how you also have to "feel" the right moment to write or to do other things.
Kind regards


Candace E. Salima said...

Kerry, you rock! Dogs rule.

Karlene said...

Kerry, you've won a prize in our Summer Road Trip Extravaganza. Thanks for coming to the blog to play. Keep coming back because we have lots more contests and prizes to be won. :)