Doggone pet owners want to start cat fight

There are dog people and cat people, and never the twain shall meet. Of course, some people, like myself, like both.

  • Monday, March 9, 2009 9:03pm
  • Opinion

There are dog people and cat people, and never the twain shall meet. Of course, some people, like myself, like both.

A quick superficial check on the Internet indicates that more Americans own dogs than cats, yet feline pets are more numerous than canines. That’s because dog owners usually have only one dog, but cat owners often have more than one cat.

Make no mistake about it, these two critters are as different as night and day. Dogs are more intelligent, which means they have a superior ability to learn tricks and recognize commands. This is a scientific fact. Nevertheless, cat owners often disagree. They argue that their pets aren’t less intelligent, but simply more independent – and it’s true that cats tend to do their own thing and don’t necessarily rely on their owners for support. Dump a cat in the middle of a 100-acre field, 100 miles from home and he’ll quickly adjust to the situation, finding shelter under rocks and living off mice and other odds and ends. Indeed, from the get-go, cats don’t seem to have a clear idea what “home” is.

To the contrary, a dog has a crystal clear idea of “home” and he doesn’t function very well – in fact, in most cases he can’t function at all – when left on his own. Dump a dog in the middle of that 100-acre field – or, for that matter, drop him in the middle of a town – and he has no earthly idea how to survive. Instead, he’ll spend all his time trying to get home again, smelling this and that, looking for a familiar scent. Unless he finds a new home, he’ll probably die.

But the independence that cats practice can’t disguise the fact that they aren’t as smart as dogs. A cat’s independence is apparently a matter of genetic instincts, which has little to do with his ability to learn tricks or even recognize his name.

By and large, cats are more beautiful than dogs. They have softer, more luxurious fur, more attractive coloring and move in a more graceful, slinky manner. Put simply, cats are more sensuous and sexual.

Dogs spend a lot of time patrolling the perimeter of their turf. If your property or home is threatened in some way, they’ll often alert you. However, different with a cat. If the house was catching fire, a cat would, often as not, simply wander over to the neighbor’s place, where he’s probably already being fed a few days each week.

Dogs are always around, laying at your feet, riding in the car or following along at your side. One of the most appealing characteristics of some cats is their ability to disappear for two or three days at a time. And then, one evening they suddenly reappear on your couch and curl up in your lap like they’ve never been gone.

In an equestrian center like Enumclaw, some people prefer horses and they occasionally brag about the intelligence of these animals. But, in fact, a horse is even more stupid than a cat. Though the horse was infinitely more important than either cats or dogs in the founding of America and the settling of our frontier, there’s no escaping this blunt fact: The noble steed is dumb as an empty tool box.

Like they say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think.”

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