It has recently come to my attention that my entire attitude involving animals has been completely misguided and wildly incorrect. For as long as I can remember, I have considered myself a dog person. The reasoning behind this was simple: I liked animals that at least pretended to care whether I was alive or not. Dogs are very good at pretending in this way.
Then I found myself with a tiny kitten. I gave the kitten medicine and fed the kitten and did all of the things a person with a kitten is supposed to do. That’s when the shocking revelation came out. All of this time, I was not a dog person at all. In fact, I am a cat person. This cat and I have so much in common that it is unbelievable. I mean, look at this list of commonalities we share:
WHY I AM LIKE A CAT
- I like to see people once every so often for a very short period of time. Then I want to pretend I don’t even know them and move along on my way.
Okay, so the list is just one thing. Still, though, that is a pretty big thing. Cats are self-sufficient, so much so that they really have no need for us humans at all. As I write this, my dog is desperately trying to get my attention. This is because I have not touched her in over 10 minutes and it’s killing her. She doesn’t know if I have stopped liking her. In her mind, there is a very strong likelihood that I may never pet her again. I may just ignore her forever until the day that one of us dies. Or maybe I’m plotting against her, hatching some sort of heinous conspiracy with her enemies like the people who knock on our door and that barking hell-hound that lives two yards over. Dogs are very insecure.
On the other hand, my cat is somewhere in the house doing something. She is probably lying on something soft, but I have no idea nor do I feel like I need to know. In a bit, she will come out to spend five minutes with me, and then she will have gotten her fill of human interaction and will dart off, leaping over the nervous, apprehensive dog and going on her next adventure elsewhere. Odds are that adventure will be lying on something else soft, but like I said, I have no need to know what she is doing. As long as I give her food, water, and scoop her litter box, she is happy.
Actually, she might not even want me to do the litter box thing. I mean, think about it. She goes in there and does her business, then fulfills her cat obligations by dutifully covering the mess with a pile of litter. Then later, I come along and dig the whole thing up, scoop it into a bag, and throw it away. It almost seems like an insult, like I am telling the cat that she did not do an adequate job in the poop-covering arena. That would be like someone following me around and reflushing every toilet I use. I would be very insulted by that.
Regardless of this, my main point is still true. She needs very little from me and isn’t that what you want from a pet?
Of course, as I type this, my dog is staring right at me. It’s like she knows what I am saying. She looks so sad. “How could he betray me like this?” she seems to be asking herself. “After all this time I have spent with him, he is just going to ditch me for the first adorable fuzzball he finds.” I’m pretty sure that if dogs could cry, she would be now.
So maybe I am still a dog person. Clearly I am empathizing on a dog level. But I do really like the whole independent cat thing…
I think I’m just going to say I’m a goldfish person from now on. It seems to carry a lot less baggage.