Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Becoming a dog person

I am a cat person. I like dogs, as long as they aren't mine. However, my new guy has a dog, and his family has two other dogs. They are all mid-sized dogs too - the smallest is 35 pounds, the largest, maybe 70- so there's no avoiding them. Whenever I go over, I am circled by these barking, fleshy sharks. All of them have wonderfully kind natures so it's not a terror moment, it's just an in-your-face [or more accurately, in-your-crotch] moment. It's such an adjustment.

Like I said, I'm a cat person, and I'm a cat person for the exact reasons that dog people don't like cats. First of all, I LOVE the disdain of a cat. I like the fact that they keep to themselves. I love the fact that they will hide in the smallest nooks imaginable and have a nap if they feel that they've had enough of my company. I love the fact that they are independent exercisers - I open the door and off they go. I don't have to take them for walks, or even worry if they've gone outside. They are completely independent. The Fur Snake tends to stay around the apartment, but my older cat - it never ceases to make me smile as I watch her make her way over garage roofs and hop over fence posts or crawl under a fence, depending on her destination. And finally, I am fine with kissing my cats and cuddling against them as they are so scrupulously clean (except for their little paws which are often digging in litter).

It is also myth that cats aren't affectionate or loyal. My two are very much aware of me and compete for my attention, but it's so much for subtle than with dogs. Even the younger cat, the demented Fur Snake, who comes running up to me and spends the mornings licking my fingers until I get up, has nothing on a dog. She doesn't leap up and try to lick my face. As it is, I always remind her when she is particularly aggressive in wanting my attention, "If I had wanted a *dog* I would have gotten one".

It's odd, but I wrote the above paragraphs two weeks ago when I was still struggling with getting used to the dogs. Since that time C. and I spent a ton of time with all three dogs as his family was out of the country. We took them to the beach and there I got to watch the somewhat clumsy lab excel at swimming. Also, I watched the German Sheppard jump and chase frisbees - she's so gorgeous. And finally, C's adorable dog came over to my house when I also had my parents over for dinner. She was so cute and well-behaved (apart from licking all the butter - but hey, it's an animal, I don't expect much) - AND was dying to get to know the Fur Snake (Tasha was crashed out on my bed downstairs). Of course Fur would have none of it and hissed when the dog got too close, but it was very cute.

I guess I have become a dog person. I still prefer cats, but yes, I can imagine living with a dog now. Amazing what love will do to you.


Susan as herself said...

Good post.

I grew up with both dogs and cats together in the same house, so that has never seemed odd to me. I think my inner nature prefers cats over dogs in the long run, but then again I have met a few dogs in my life who were so good and so sweet that it was impossible not to adore them. I like loyal, (mostly) quiet dogs who behave. And the reason I like almost all cats so easily is that they DEIGN to like/love you, and the don't NEED you. So, when they DO love you, it's a true gift. Also, I admire their serenity and their quiet mystery, as well as the fact that they wash themselves within an inch of their lives.

Rox said...

Back up...there's a new dude?!

Okay, spill it lady!

I was a cat person growing up. Then when I had kids, I became a dog person. As my kids get older and need me less, I'm becoming a cat person again. When Tazzy dies (god forbid) I don't think I'll ever get another dog again, but I'd be happy to have Kamir and watch him live out his life chasing leaves, butterflies and the dot of light from the laser toy. People who say cats aren't playful have never seen one crash into a wall to chase the reflection off a watch! =^.^=

Ponita in Real Life said...

How excellent that you can now enjoy both species! And a new man... ;-)

I have been a cat person since age 7, when I got my first kitten for Christmas. But I am also a dog person and have had both living with me for the better part of 40 years.

They're different, but definitely both very good company. And entertainment - meaning the cats! :-)

eroswings said...

I like most animals--we had plenty when I was growing up. Of course, I'm not a very big fan of the ones that can poison me or eat me, but cats and dogs are fantastic! They're both good company and enjoyable in their own ways. Our cats all got along with our dogs.

I can't have any pets now--I'm never home enough and my schedule is very inconsistent to properly care for them. But there are a couple of stray cats who like to hang around my porch, and the neighbors and I feed them.

Glad to hear that life is going great for ya!

CoffeeDog said...

We have both here at the Coffeedog household. Accidental cats, that just showed up one day and stayed. I've always liked cats, but preferred dogs. Now I can't live w/o my little love muffin kitty. It's funny because she totally prefers me over Mrs Coffeedog, and I love that!

Snooze said...

Susan: Your feelings match mine completely - it was impossible to not love my bf's dog as she's just so sweet. and yes, my oldest cat has that 'quiet mystery'. What a perfect description!

Rox: Boy post will follow at some point. I think that makes a lot of sense to especially love dogs when it's all mixed in with kids on a routine of school, etc.

Ponita: You are such an animal lover. Even horses! But it gives me hope when I read of so many people with dogs and cats coexisting.

Eros: I do like cats, dogs, and guinea pigs as pets. I never got the appeal of snakes which to me go in the category of 'things that will kill me'

CD: I love your competitiveness over the cat's affections. Are you sure you aren't the one who does the feeding? ;-) It is a cat after all...

Stewie said...

Like Susan, I grew up with both in the same house, but my affection for dogs is far greater than cats. I'm talking real dogs. Big dogs. None of this poodle and mini shit.

Ironically, I own a cat, though. It was more-or-less forced on me. I'm too lazy to own a dog because of the work required, and it wouldn't be fair to me or the dog.

Cats I can take or leave, but I admit I like how little is involved in their care, especially when it's a cat like mine who doesn't even want to be pet that much.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Before you know it, you'll scooping that poop with the best of them!
I never thought I'd be able to pick up Moom's massive poos without retching, but now I can. As long as I'm up wind, of course...

Aunty Christ said...

I just love it that you call your cat the Fur Snake. I don't love-love cats. I like them as much as I like any furry critter, I suppose. But a Fur Snake? Oh my god. I would love to have a Fur Snake.

tornwordo said...

AWw you got charmed by the canines. It's not that I don't like cats, it's just that I like how whenever I need a little cuddlin, the dog is always eager to comply. The cats I like the most are the ones who seem doglike. If it weren't for serge, my house would be FILLED with animals.

Perplexio said...

I've always been more of a dog person. I appreciate their loyalty and get a kick out of their "ADD" personalities.

"Fetch, fetch, fetch!!! Let's play Fetch! CAT! I'll be right back, shoe, yumm! I love you... FETCH! Please please please can we play fetch! FIRE HYDRANT!"

And that can all happen in the space of 5 minutes.

My ex-girlfriend's mom had a cat who was really skittish and didn't seem to like people. His name was Timmy. The funny thing was, whenver no one else was around Timmy would come sit on my lap or lay next to me on the couch. It was almost as if he was saying, "I know you're not a cat person, I'm not a people cat so I know we'll get along due to a mutual dislike of our species... at least we have that in common."

A cat loving friend of mine once suggested that cats like that are drawn to people like me because they prefer a challenge. They know they'll get attention from cat lovers-- that's too easy. They want to win over us dog people. I've always thought that was an nteretsing theory.

Snooze said...

Stewie: But you can get a dog walker! Get a dog! Yes, do it! [And embrace Mr.Jingles - is that his name?]

IDV: I so relate. Omg, that was the part I never thought I'd get used to but over the week-end I was picking up Zoe's poo. Luckily they aren't too big. Is Moom SP's dog?

AC: I don't know... the Fur Snake might terrorize the thug dogs. Be careful what you wish for or you might just receive a meowing package from me.

Torn: it's true - I fell hard for Zoe, and I'm in love with the Sheppard.

Perplexio: lol - you have the dog personality down exactly. I read another theory about cats - people who like them are usually waving or making noises to get the cats to come near them, but people who don't like cats stay silent and the cat prefers that being the anti-social creature that it is. I like your friend's theory, but I just can't see a cat trying to win someone over ;-)