Monday, April 7, 2014


I just finished winning a stare down with Minnie the cat. Sometimes she makes my eyes water but I win every time.  She will eventually concede defeat by winking one eye and I swear there is a touch of a smug little smile like she is "letting" this old gal win. I have tried to capture that wink but she gets distracted by the camera and my reflexes are no where near the task.   

Cats have a huge amount of pride in their prowess. Even if they jump for a ledge and fall in a heap they will bounce to their feet and give you the superior look of, "I meant to do that."  Those of you who own cats know what I mean. We are all being played. 

I finally put Mighty Dog's leash and collar away yesterday. It was time but it made me look back at my relationship with animals through the years. Since I was three years old, there has usually been an animal in my life, most often a dog but usually a cat as a pet at the same time. Each fills a separate emotional space but both ease my need to be a caregiver and desire to spoil.

The differences are simple. Dogs serve us, we serve cats. Dogs will protect us, our property and family. They hunt food for us, work livestock, aid the handicapped,provide companionable daily exercise, are great listeners, and are loyal to a fault. Sadly, they give the abuser the same loyalty as the most lavish devotee.  

Dogs will "hold it" far longer than we would be willing. We would be contacting Human Resources if forced to go the entire work day with no potty break. They are always ready for a car ride and only need to hear, "lets go." Dogs take whatever we give them and will lie gratefully at our feet at the end of the day giving us the adoring eye, reassuring us that we are spectacular, faultless beings. 

A cat however does nothing for our fitness. We sit on a couch and point a laser at the wall or wave a feather on a stick to amuse them and we barely get a bit of wrist exercise.  

Given the proper toys, they will exercise themselves letting you just sit there and laugh at their antics. No need to throw the ball, they will do that themselves. Minnie is a rather accomplished soccer player with that yellow and black ball in the corner. 

Should a burglar enter your home, you can reclaim the cat from under the bed once he is gone. So much for protection.  Now they will hunt for you but I just haven't found a good recipe for rat or baby rabbit.  

Just try ignoring a cat which is what they qualify as abuse. You may possibly pay either by finding  a turd in your bed or if they are really in a snit, a foul smelling wet spot on your pillow. They have mastered vindictiveness. For that I applaud them. You have to admire those who take no crap and get what they want yet are only a tenth of our size. 

But with all that going against them, cats out number dogs as pets so obviously these traits are sought after.  They really are easy keepers and phenomenal snugglers. They know just what a lap is for and are a delightful heat sources on a cold winter's day. Not quite so desirable in the heat of summer. 

And oh my, that purr!!! They let you know with just a touch that you have hit the sweet spot.  Might be one reason so many men own cats. It is rewarding to get instant validation of ones petting skills. No need to ask, "was that good for you." The purr is a rave notice.

A woman who could learn to purr could either break the glass ceiling or could name her price. Years ago I seriously tried to reproduce the magic sound and feel of the "purr" but only succeeded in sounding like I had serious gas. Sigh. 

Do I have a favorite??  First instinct is to say dog but I can't imagine my life with out a cat. 

Are you a dog person, a cat person or like me, both?  Maybe you have another species in mind or are completely happy with out anything underfoot. No judgement here. 

Anyone interested in a crafting supplies give away for her 900 post, check out Linda at Old Bags and Stuffed Shirts. I have been a blog buddy of hers for years. She is an absolutely delightful original.   I am not a crafter so I won't be entering but I know a lot of you are crafty sorts.The drawing is April 9th so hurry.


  1. I am absolutely a cat person. They fascinate me because they are so complex and independent. I just love trying to figure them out. I love dogs too, but cats hold a special place in my heart.

  2. I am with the Existentialist. I love cats, almost every one of them gives me just the right amount of love and attention when I want it, and leaves me alone the rest of the time. But that said, I also love most dogs. I sure did love this post! :-)

  3. Interesting post and I agree with all of it, seeing I have a cat and a dog. A week ago, I added another animal to my zoo and that is baby chicks. They are in the house under the heat lamps now. We can have 5 hens in town, here and I've wanted chicks again. I grew up with a pet rooster that my grandmother gave me when I was really little. It was still alive and on the farm when I got married. I spend time each day with the chicks and they are all tame already. What fun.

  4. What happened, did Mighty Dog pass away? I am so sorry, I didn't know. That's what you get when you don't read blogs by friends for a while. I am both a dog, cat, and donkey person. I miss my cats something awful, but here is not a good place for a cat, so we decided to just have dogs.

  5. I would have never thought of myself as a "cat person" until we got our kitty cat Bonsai. He helped me to learn how to fall in love with the stunning aloofness and ongoing self-centeredness of cats. The whole world revolved around him, me included. I didn't mind, in fact, I understood that it was his due. Now that he is gone (we just scattered his ashes in the yard at the beach house), I know that I will not get another cat. One was definitely enough. I have mentioned casually to Roger that I have been thinking about getting a dog. I must be CRAZY!

  6. I am a dog person. My dog lives with me and shares my life as my constant companion. I share my outside home with feral cats. They wander onto my property and work for me. I pay them with food once a day. In turn they keep mice and snakes out of my barn and they do not bother my chickens. They might allow me to pat them on the head briefly but they are not friendly in the least. And they will desert me in a second if the neighbors offer better room and board.

  7. Our Ellie sends us cries of alarm when someone/thing appears at our front door. She has some watch dog traits when it comes to her territory. But I love dogs better because they are easier to understand. I have trouble getting what Ellie wants of me some days.

  8. I absolutely loved this post! As an owner of two Shih Tzus and being owned by one 14yr old cat, I can identify with all you say.

  9. I have had a very wonderful dog and a very wonderful cat. It is hard to choose. I am betting my dog is the one waiting for me at the Pearly Gates one day. :)I am not so sure about my kitty but I will go look for him to say hi.

  10. Except for reptiles, I cannot think of an animal I don't love to see, especially dogs and cats. I have to admit that I really prefer cats, since they are easier to care for and require less personal attention. That may say more about me than it does about the animals....LOL

  11. P.S. If Mighty is gone, I am truly sorry. I know how you loved him.

  12. DOG Person here. I have had barn cats, and they were very good at their jobs, but it is not fun to have one jump down from the hay stack on to you while feeding horses at o dark.
    Have had a bunch of dogs and loved them all. They were such characters, and liked me no matter what!

  13. You are such a sweetie to advert for this Olde Bagg. Thanks.
    I used to think I was a dog person. And then as my beloved canines have left this plane, I gave myself over to the felines that always inhabit my life and at this stage of my life, I'd say I love watching the grands and Shelley play with the dogs but I love to snuggle with the cats. So I guess I'm a cat person now. But I could flip flop, who's to know. Oma Linda

  14. I'm terrified of dogs. Always have been. I know I'm such a wimp.

    So yeah I'm a cat person. I love their cool indifference. :D

  15. I've always thought of myself as a dog person. But I think the circumstances can easily make a dog person a cat person as well.

  16. Keith,
    I always tell guy friends who claim they don't like cats is because they never owned one. They are the perfect guy pet.

    Thanks. so glad you did. Cats really are a no fuss pet aren't they? They aren't affection slaves like dogs are.

    Oh lucky you. I would love some chickens but have too many predators. I had friends that had a pet hen they took on vacations with them.

    I had to put Mighty down in October. It was the hardest thing I have done in years. It took this long to put his things away. I know you understand the awful loss of a pet.

    I know how attached you were to Bonsai and how his passing hurt you.
    Do try a dog however, especially since you and Roger like to take so many walks. Dogs add an extra dimension and will often point out wild life you might have missed.

    Grannie Annie,
    Sounds like you and the ferals have a good relationship and you are so right about them leaving if better is offered. Loyalty is not in their code.

    Oh I know what you mean about understanding a cat. Pretty sure they don't want us to but wish to remain mysterious.

    Thanks so much and glad you understand. They really are pretty species specific aren't they.

    I might agree with you. If entry into the Pearly Gates is good deed dependent, than the dogs have a shoe in.

    Yep, cats are really low maintenance. Perhaps their biggest selling point.
    I lost Mighty in October, that was really hard. We had been together 17 years.

    Dogs love us with no conditions. That is their biggest selling point. However in your case they were also great helpers with the stock. A huge plus.
    That pouncing cat sounds like a scary tale.

    Sorry I couldn't enter the drawing but thought I had some buddies that would.
    Nothing knows how to snuggle like a cat unless it is one of those creatures called a kid.

    COOL, that is the perfect word for a cat. They are just cool.

    NC Mountainwoman,
    I think a cat is the better pet for apartment dwellers or perhaps those wishing to down size their lives. Yes, they do have a definite place.

  17. I've heard it said and I can't help but agree: Dogs have owners; cats have staff.

  18. Me dogs. She cat. Outside dogs. Inside cat. Harmoniously together...:)

  19. I was a cat person for most of my life. I could live without one of the cats we have now, but wish him no harm. Our little calico is my love. She is a sweet, sweet girl. Also my first female cat.

    That said, dogs occupy a HUGE piece of my heart and I carry a great deal of emotion for them now. You've seen my blog. You've seen the picture of my memorial tattoo for Logan. You know what they mean to me, Patti. Like no one else, perhaps.

    I think of you and your Mighty often.

  20. I love both, but have always had cats. I agree about the purring! Your comment that if a woman could purr like a cat, she could break the glass ceiling is priceless! And so true. Actually, a cat's purr is thought to be therapeutic for a variety of human ailments. I used two very outgoing cats for occasional animal-assisted therapy when I was a psychotherapist and they were amazing. (I wrote a book about them called "Purr Therapy" that will be out from HCI Books in October.)
    So I guess I'm a crazy cat lady -- with four current beloved cats. But I'm also crazy about other people's dogs. Animals, in general, are simply wonderful!

  21. When I first read your title, I thought you were trying to decide which to get, a dog or a cat. I think you need to get another DOG... I love both dogs and cats --just like you do, but EVERYONE needs a dog...


  22. What a fun post!
    I have not had a dog since I was child. I liked dogs then, but I'm not much of a dog person any more. People bring their dogs everywhere. Cats stay home and mind their own business. With the purr and the fur and the cute face, cats are so lovable.

  23. For sure, a dog person and Cairns in particular. Luv them lil Totos!

  24. I've had both, not at the same time; but my choice would be an indoor bunny. I miss having a pet.

  25. Stephen,
    That sums it up nicely.

    That may be the most succinct comment yet. Well done.

    You and I pretty much feel the same way about our dogs. We each lost a piece of ourselves.
    Maybe sweet is linked to calicoes for Minnie is unusually sweet also.

    Remind us when the book releases. Sounds interesting.
    Ah, if we could only master that art----.

    If you all didn't travel so much, a dog would be great for you and George. They love long walks(aka) hikes.

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed. You are right, cats do give us much more freedom especially traveling. They are content to stay at home with minimal care when we leave.

    I knew you would be a dog person with a strong leaning to Cairns. They are so cute.

    When I was a teen, my friend and I found a tiny baby bunny. She bottle fed kept Elvis for 14 years as a litter box broken house pet. They make great pets and so soft to pet.

  26. This was delightful. I have no pets at present. No plans to have one either. Sometimes I struggle to take care of my house plants.

  27. Too demonstrative by nature to appreciate the aloofness of a cat. Dogs are sunshine to come home to and are always in the mood to be loved on. :)

  28. Dear Arkansas Patti, this posting was so insightful--about cats. About dogs also, I suspect, but I haven't lived with a dog since I was young when my brother had a dog (Kentucky).

    You know, I think this posting could be published in an animal magazine such as Cat Fancy or in a woman's magazine. Have you given any thought to doing that? It's funny and insightful--as I said--and filled with your love of and devotion to and respect for animal. Peace.

  29. Love this post sweet Patti, you do know dogs and cats very well as this post attests to. I love them both. I didn't really know I would like cats until I had my first one after becoming an adult. Since then I have loved cats. They each fill a need in my life. Hugs and give sweet Minnie nose kisses for us!

  30. I am quite fond of small, cuddly dogs, and have had the pleasure of several in my lifetime. However, I have, with the exception of the first couple of years of my married life, ALWAYS had a cat -- or two, or three, or thirteen! I am currently a one-cat person. Missy, at age 13, is growing old along with me. She still likes to play a bit, and I'm nearly always up to indulging her. Mostly, I sit, and she sits on me -- and PURRS, one of the sweetest sounds in the world.

  31. Olga,
    Pets don't really fit into a snowbird lifestyle especially when you fly.

    Thank you so much Dee for the lovely compliment. Guess I am only blog ready.

    Well you have delightful specimens in both camps. Like you, both is fine.

    Boy if we could breed a small cuddly dog that could purr would we have something. That really is a special talent cats have.

  32. I've never been much of a pet person although we almost always had a cat around during my childhood. They do have their charms and can be very entertaining. I'm highly allergic to them though so I keep my distance when I'm

    I always told my daughter she could have any pet she wanted as long as it was one that didn't poop. That changed three years ago when I became the owner of two puppies within 8 months! They filled a need in me after my sister's death, giving me a different focus and truly helped me heal in ways I never imagined. Now I can't imagine life without them. I adore my Yellow Lab, Sophie. Her playmate Lucy, a Shih Tzu/Schaunzer mix, keeps me on my toes and entertained. It's no secret though that Sophie is my favorite, even my daughter says Sophie is my favorite child.

  33. I am definitely a cat person. I can't imagine my life without one. Just sitting with a cat on my lap, listening the purr is worth having to clean kitty litter and hairball horks!

    On the other hand, I haven't had a dog since I was a young child on the farm. So perhaps I'd enjoy a dog as much though I'll definitely wait until I am retired as I don't have the time to properly walk a dog.

    Plus the cats would not like it!

  34. Keicha,
    What a blessing those 2 dogs provided you. Their need for care and attention and the love they eagerly give are great distractions and focus directors.
    I cracked up at your daughter's comment.

    I admire your not wanting a dog till retirement. Cats do wonderfully by themselves all day and are easy keepers. Dogs require more physical care.

  35. As a child I had a cat that I adored. Since then, I have actually only tolerated cats. I am a dog person. I love my dogs. I can't imagine my life without one of these dear pets.

  36. I am like you- I have had cats and dogs and usually at the same time. Right now I have a cat who thinks she owns the joint. She is an excellent foot warmer and can set up a purr that reaches high decibels. I love her bunches but don't tell her that. She would just sniff and put on airs.

  37. Sally,
    Odd how your opinion of cats changed so much but totally understand your love for dogs. I would have to have one or the other.

    They do have attitude problems and strong self images don't they?? No need to feed that image.

  38. This is a perfect description of how cats function and about the difference between cats and dogs. I love cats and I like dogs. According to my eldest granddaughter , I am a catperson.

  39. OH MY GOSH, you are so right about cats! My son-in-law "dissed" their cat and she peed in his gym bag.
    I didn't realize you had a cat. I'm glad. . . but I still wish you'd think about getting another dog.

    I still have my dogs' collars, too… and their ashes.

  40. The only cat I have ia a feral one who hides behind my house. Now that I am housing my kids chickens I watch very carefully to see where that cat is.

  41. Reader Wil,
    I always thought that about you though your daughter has the cutest dog ever.

    Mary Lee,
    They don't take dissing well do they?
    It is hard to let go but I am too old to sign up for another 17 years.

    Think I would feed the cat to keep her from thinking chicken. Good luck.