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.