Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cats v dogs

Tonight Bill Crider links to a Roger Ebert column about why Roger prefers dogs to cats. He says that's because dogs give him "unconditional love" while cats are, well, cats. You are there at their pleasure and you'd better get used to it.

I've had both dogs and cats all my life and have loved and cherished them all. But the thing I like about cats is their independence. I don't consider this coldness, it's just their nature to do what they want. Johnny Carson used to tell stories about how much he hated cats and how much they hated him. He seemed to imply that they were cold and hostile animals. Carol and I have found that to be the opposite. When we write they're sprawled on our desks; when we watch TV they're on our laps; when we sleep they're often in bed with us.

I know what Ebert means, though. Dogs liked to get lavish love and give lavish love. Personally, and all this is personal of course, I find that tiresome after a time. I want to say have a beer and chill for awhile ok?

But dogs know what they're doing. There was a science fiction story in the early seventies that always made me laugh as I read parts of it out loud to people with my Lab sitting in my lap. If I remember correctly (and I probably don't) the premise was that dogs had lasted longer than any other creature on earth because they were the greatest of all ass-kissers. And they will carry one this way until our planet is smoking ash. Their unconditional is not without purpose.

We used to believe it was cockroaches that would be the last earth creature to persh. Then we decided it would be Keith Richards.

Now we know the real truth...woof-woof.


Anonymous said...

For decades I've been casually pursuing an interesting question: do many male writers, maybe even a majority, have a fondness for cats? Yes, it is true. Look at Hemingway or John D. MacDonald, who could hardly type because a cat or three would be settling on his keyboard. There are scores more.

Richard Wheeler

mybillcrider said...

We have three cats. What can I say?

Todd Mason said...

Further evidence for my opinion of the depth (or shallowness) of a certain reviewer's intellect. Wow, dogs tend to be slavish, cats tend to be relatively independent, misdiagnosed as indifferent. A man who can't understand cats is a man who is bewildered by large chunks of life, I suspect.