Monday, September 26, 2011

An Exercise in CATharsis

I have told a few people in my life that I am not exactly a cat lover. I actually prefer dogs. I could list quite a few reasons for this. However, for the sake of this writing, I’ll just list several short ones. This also gives me an excuse to bring back one of my favorite features of my writing – the bulleted list.
The reasons why I am not a huge fan of cats include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • For most of my childhood years, we had a dog around the house. Dogs are great companions. Dogs can lift your spirits on your worst day. Dogs can provide great home security. I know this because we once had a Doberman Pinscher named Rickets. Along with being one of the most loveable creature on four legs, Rickets made any would be intruder know it was wise not to mess with her. A cat would just glare at a burglar for waking him up and do a figure eight around the burglar’s legs.Such irritating behavior will only provoke a burglar to steal even more of your precious belongings then sue you for the cost of a lint roller to get the fur off the cuffs of his pants.
  • Dogs are in my opinion far more responsive to their owners. You have a short period of adjustment for a time for a dog to get used to its name. From that point forward, that dog knows its name as much as you know yours. Naming a cat is pointless, I have four cats in my house: Snip, Two Face, Sonic, and Paige. Snip and Two Face have been with us for more than ten years. Sonic and Paige have been with us for more than five years. Nevertheless, the only name they respond to is KITTYKITTYKITTYKITTYKITTY! Even then, then will only respond because they assume it is time to eat. I challenge you to go out on your front porch and say KITTYKITTYKITTYKITTYKITTY! You will soon be surrounded by twenty strange cats doing a figure eight around your legs. I have a personal theory that Ivan Pavlov initially began his research in conditioned reflex by using cats. He only started using dogs because the confounded felines kept playing with the little bell.
  • Dogs tend to engage their owners in play. If you bring home a ball from the toy store, a dog will play with you for hours on end. They will eventually reach the point where they will pick up the ball and give it to you. This is because they want to play WITH YOU. Bring home one of those infernal cat toys and cats will demonstrate that they prefer to play alone. A cat will act as if you are not even in the room. If you have a toy laced with catnip, the cat will become very possessive of the toy. I have seen two of the cats in my house tear a catnip toy into two pieces as they played “make a wish” with it. You don’t have to drug a dog to provoke play and the dog will play with you. Besides, I’ve noticed that cat owners go to great lengths to teach a child to stay away from drugs. That same cat owner will has no problem giving their cat an herb with hallucinogenic properties and find it adorable when the cat sleeps chases an invisible object for two hours then sleeps for three days. Hypocrisy, I say!
Now, I realize that some of you may also accuse me of hypocrisy in return since I have mentioned that I have four cats in MY house. This is because the four cats were snuck into the house while I was away. I was not consulted on these acquisitions. Well, that’s not entirely true. When the first pair arrived, my daughters said they wanted the kitties. They even used the right verbiage. Calling them kitties instead of cats made it a much harder sell. Besides, if you think a kitten or puppy makes your heart melt, trying looking into the eyes of your two daughters (who at the time were both under 12). The younger pair on the other hand were sitting on my couch with my wife and kids when I came home one day. HONEST!
Well, thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I have to stop now. Sonic is staring me down again. He wants to blow bubbles while he chases them and pops them. I’m still not a cat lover but I am not made of stone.