Have you ever noticed how sayings and pearls of popular wisdom tend to come back into your life every so often? One that has made a recent resurgence in our circles, is, “Dogs have families. Cats have staff. (or slaves; or servants; anyway, you get the idea.)” I’m not sure that saying is entirely true. Believe me, our dogs get us to do a lot of stuff for them and on their schedule too. Just try ignoring a 150 pound or 90 pound dog when she says she needs to go outside. You only do it once. The resulting disaster is enough to deter you forever. Or take that annoying; demanding; shoots through your ears like sharp, hot needles ‘yip’ that means, “I want inside.” Oh sure, you can respond with a firm, “Hush!” or, “Your fine. It’s nice outside.” all you want to. The ‘yip’ may go away for a few minutes but, never fear, it will be back.
What really happens is, you wait until you get the timing of the yipping down and then, just before the next red hot poker shoots through your ear to feed your growing migraine headache, you let the dogs in. Why? Because it’s your idea. Yeah, right. Let’s be honest. They won. They got inside. You just made yourself feel better opening the door before the next searing pain in your head. (or is that pain really a lot lower and around the back side? What – ever!) There are a lot more examples of how we live to serve our dogs but the point is, we serve them as well as cats. But there is a fundamental difference between serving cats and dogs. It’s attitude. It comes down to the fact that dogs realize that their relationship with us needs to be symbiotic whereas cats don’t. As part of that symbiosis, dogs realize that they need to be tolerant of our foibles. Here’s what I mean. We have some friends who have a Brussels Griffon. That’s supposed to be a breed of dog. I’m not sure. I think it’s the root species for whatever Yoda is masquerading as a dog. Anyway, her name is Bella and she is a remarkably good sport. She is also the only dog I know of who has her own dresser for her outfits. This dog has a bling wardrobe that would put Paris Hilton to shame. The point is, Bella recognizes that, in trade for food, water, an apartment in which to sleep, safety from being eaten by eagles, etc., she has to give back. And one way she does it is by permitting herself to be repeatedly dressed up in butterfly costumes, ballet tutus, bat costumes (which, on her, look remarkably realistic), and – well the list goes on forever. You get the point. Bella tolerates her human’s desire to make her look cute. That is, cute in human eyes. I’m not too sure how Bella feels about it. I’ve seen their other dogs point and snigger.
See, dogs recognize that we mere humans are a bit flawed. They approach our shortcomings with wonderfully tolerant senses of humor. Why else would they permit us to dress them up or teach them stupid dog tricks? Cats – on the other hand – have no sense of humor. They’re an awful lot like teenagers. They hate us for the embarrassing things we do. They can’t understand why we feel that we can just grab them and cuddle them whenever we want. They just want us to leave them alone so they can “do their own thing” or ‘find’ themselves. Failing finding themselves, they are perfectly happy finding a warm place to sleep. Patches of sun from the skylights are all well and good but the darned things move. Better places are like in the middle of the open laptop. On the gel keyboard for the tablet. You know, reliable sources of heat and/ or comfort.
No, cats are well aware that they are descended from powerful predators. Gelmir (remember him “THE” cat from an earlier post?) anyway, Gelmir is forever telling us that he’s an ‘apex predator’ and that we should respect that. Also, we should be grateful to him for gracing us with his presence. Except when it’s time to eat. Then he’s the most solicitous suck-up you’d ever want to meet. Now, I’m going to tell you something that THE cat doesn’t want known. First of all, here is a pictures of him with our old cat, Tornado. Tornado is the one on the silk pillow, admittedly underneath the ‘silver warrior’ but definitely in control of the prized asset. Tornado said it wasn’t so bad. He told me that, by being on the bottom, he got the added bonus of a living blanket. Pretty sweet!
Sadly, the old man passed on a while back. He lasted 25 years and was a sweet, good natured, and loving friend for all that time. And, unlike most cats, he had a sense of humor. He let us do stupid cat tricks with him. But we won’t go into those out of respect for him. So, what does THE cat not want you to know? He does stupid cat tricks too. The video below this post is evidence of his shamelessness. His two weaknesses? Bacon (the fattier – the better), and Spam. Turkey runs a close third. Never the less, here is the evidence that he doesn’t want seen. It’s kind of the kitty version of having your “personal” videos go viral.