When I told my husband I want to write this article his reaction was: “Whoa, baby, mine-field ahead!” But I’m a mother and a writer. Therefore, I am brave. So I ventured into the arena.
I come in peace.
I happened to befriend this outgoing, bubbly mom. Our children attend the same school. We always chatted up a storm until we hit the pet zone.
“We have dogs. You?”
“We have Mr. Whiskers!”
Of course she has a cat! I should have known. She’s stylish and elegant; she’s even got that feline walk, so graceful.
I have dogs. I’ve always been a dog person.
Dogs are pack animals and so are humans.
We live in families with a well-defined hierarchy where each member has its place; the dad, the mom and the children. Or the mom and then the dad, come to think of it.
“Dad, can we…?” – “Ask Mom.”
“Dad, have you seen my…?” – “Ask Mom.”
“Dad, where’s Mom?”
A pet dog will immediately find its place within this matriarchal unit; probably right behind Mom’s cooking spoon.
Besides, a dog’s body language is universally known and easily understood. They wag their tail or show off their fangs. You know right away at which receiving end you want to be: the faithful one. When dogs love you, they surely let you know it.
Cats are… cats. They resemble teenagers.
Cats and teens are both elusive and with a mind of their own. Speaking the same language with us, yet words holding different meaning to them depending on their mood. Your disciplinarian monologue often ends with the youngster retrieving to the sanctuary of his own room. And the door slams behind because “it was the wind.” You can almost see that tail held straight up, fur puffed out.
Trying to discipline a cat is pretty much the same.
“Cat, you ate my tuna sandwich?! Come here when I’m talking to you! I said come… Oh, she’s gone.”
Up on her shelf she lays and you can almost hear that door closing with a bang.
For cats, being art of a pack is not a necessity and they usually prefer to hunt alone; but do expect them to gift you with their kill.
You can’t predict their behavior, coming or going as they please. Capricious like a teen, one moment sitting by your side if it suits them, the next moment removing themselves without apparent reason. Tolerating you. Negotiating their giving and taking, but on their own terms, quietly. Dogs, even when they’re silent they’re… noisy. Cats are inaudible. They’re there… watching you, maybe. Or maybe just ignoring you.
Except for night time; that’s when they’re sure to let you know who rules the streets.
Don’t take cats for granted.
Cats can’t be persuaded into performing a trick just because you want them to. They’ll do it if it pleases them. After all, most cats act like they believe human’s sole existence is to serve them. Probably learned it from the ancient Egyptians who held cats in the highest esteem. See, cats do perform whatever part suits them best!
Cats are independent.
Historically speaking cats have been kept around houses in order to keep vermin under control. On the Cyprus Island archeologists found a wildcat buried near a human, the remains dating since 9 500 years ago, the proximity of the two skeletons signifying that there was a close relationship between these two species It is only during the 19th century that cats have begun to be bred as companion pets intentionally.
Dogs give their love together with their heart, right from the start. And their claws do not retract. Dogs are predictable, conventional and constant.
Humans have to earn a cat’s trust. You have to earn the right to hold and enjoy that fuzzy, warm ball of fur and purr…
by Patricia Furstenberg
Read more on House Cats on the SmithsonianMag online: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-house-cats-158390681/?no-ist
Written for mypuppyclub.net and published on 11 September and 18 September 2016 http://www.mypuppyclub.net/cats-life-dog-lovers-eyes-patricia-furstenberg-part-1/