Are you a cat person or a dog person; or both?
There was a time when I would grudgingly listen to the ongoing dribble from my cat loving friends about the cuteness and comedy of their feline family members. My overall take was that cat people were, well, boring. Don’t get me wrong, most of my best friends are cat people; but that’s beside the point. Cats, in my astute past opinion had little to offer humans.
For one thing, they are basically expressionless. If they are happy, they look the same as when they are sad. The only real give-away to their emotions is when they are angry. The ears go back, the spine hunches, the claws come out. Lovely. Just the thing with which a human wants to cuddle–NOT! Or when they are afraid, which appeared to me to be most of the time, they make a beeline for under the bed.
Going over to a new friend’s home, I am greeted with, “This is our dog, Sadie…she loves people and will lick you to death if you let her…NO SADIE! DOWN!…and this is…well, we have a cat, but she’s hiding.” I swear, I have had friends for years and never once saw or heard their cat. I have, however, had to observe, numerous times, the hind end of my human friend in their futile attempt to coax their cat out from under the bed to meet me. Some of my cat friends are almost unrecognizable to me unless I see them from behind.
With a dog, there is no question. When they are happy their face literally smiles. Their tail wags. They wiggle and desperately attempt to get near you. When they are sad, their face droops heartbreakingly. And they rarely get angry at you. They will defend you from unsavory strangers with growling and barking, then will humble themselves to your commands to stop. And, they’ll let you dress them up without a fight.
So, you are now asking yourself, what turned me into a dog/cat person?
A 6-month-old abandoned cat that followed me around everywhere when I was in the midst of remodeling the house where said cat had been abandoned. If I sat down on a boulder, then got up to do something, the cat got on the boulder. If I sat on a log, the cat would get on the log once I left it. And if I was standing, the cat was next to me, staring me in the face. He didn’t have to have an expression. I could hear him saying, “I love you. Pick me up and take me home with you.” I dared not tell this to my wife and remodeling partner. We had 2 old dogs at home, both 13 years, and had never been near a cat in all that time. I assumed that, had she known my thoughts about the cat, she would stop work and drive me to the nearest psychiatrist’s office. That, or divorce court.
As it turned out, I decided to take the cat to our vet to get him shots, started on flea meds, and get him neutered. Then the plan was to put his photo on our business website. He never made the website. My wife fell in love with him, too. We were on the way to pick him up from the vet and take him to the Humane Society when we suddenly looked at each other and at the same time said, “S#!%.”
Before we got to the vet’s, we were on our smart phones calling all of our cat people friends for help and advice on what we needed, and how to introduce him to the dogs. Our first stop, before the vet, was a local pet store, where we loaded up on top quality cat food, bedding, toys, and of course, a new cat carrier.
When the vet tech put him in my arms, I lovingly said to him, “It’s ok, boy, you are going to live with us now.” To this day, I can’t be certain, but it seemed to me I heard him reply, “Duh.”
Postscript: Casey and Berdell took him home to the dogs, who loved him and he them. When both dogs crossed the rainbow bridge, Casey and Berdell rescued another cat. From the adoption and union of these two cats, came MeowSpace®.