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Cats vs. Dogs


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Cats vs. DogsIn ‘The Cat Who Walked By Himself’, probably the most thrilling piece of prose he ever wrote, Rudyard Kipling tells the story of the primeval family, when Man and Woman set up home in a cave. Soon after putting up the horse-hide curtain that will be the entrance to the home, Woman succeeds in domesticating the Horse, the Dog and the Cow, and making them play by her rules. But although the Cat looks in and sees the tempting meat she is cooking, the comfortable fire that she has made to keep away the cold, he never goes in or submits to her conditions.

It is after a baby is born to Man and Woman that Cat makes his presence secure in the home – without being bound by its rules! He makes the baby laugh and gurgle, calms it to sleep, and kills a mouse who threatens the Woman’s serenity. The Woman then has to accept that he is free to come and go as he likes, and stay within the house when he chooses. Anyone who has had an adult tom cat will tell you that this is pretty much what cats do! However domesticated cats are, they never lose that wild streak that sets them apart from other ‘pets’.

One often finds dog lovers, and sometimes cat lovers, and more rarely, those that love both. But even in this last named category (to which I belong) there will always be a slight partiality to one over the other. So Cats? Or Dogs? is a debate that can rage for ever even among the liveliest of animal enthusiasts. Not wishing to add more fuel to this fire, I am just submitting the following points I have found after a lifetime spent in the company of both – cats and dogs.

  • Both cats and dogs are highly intuitive. They are aware when you are emotionally distressed. As a softly crying adolescent, or a quietly weeping adult, consider what treatment you like better – having your hand, or your cheek licked in sympathy, or having a cat sit on your chest, looking deep into your eyes, purring as you pat him or her?
  • Both cats and dogs love food – but in different ways. Consider whether you like someone constantly seeking to eat what you are eating – shamelessly begging, in fact, or someone who comes and delicately sniffs what you are eating from a distance, decides its not to their taste, and walks away with tail raised high in the air?
  • Both cats and dogs are great company. But some just have the advantage of size, flexibility and a supreme agility. You have a choice between a thumping tail and dusty paws being launched at you, or a shoulder level greeting from a cat that is perched high on some household surface, and rubs itself gently against your cheek!
  • Both cats and dogs reflect human traits. On some days, you will be more in tune with your dog – playful, affectionate, loyal, and slightly dumb! On other days, you will find your cat more appealing – dignified, mysterious, self-sufficient and wise. You need to feel both in order to be fully human!
  • In the Rudyard Kipling story, Man has a natural bonding with Dog, and Cat and Dog are opposed to each other. So it is in real life. While men find dogs infinitely more loving and lovable, it is often women who succumb to the subtler charm of cats…

Whatever you decide to have, may you have the best of times with your four-legged friend!

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Responses to Cats vs. Dogs

  1. 1 brittney carlton

    I really like the quto. it really good. hope you can write more about it.

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