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ADONAI On May - 24 - 2011

The poor dog, in life the firmest friend. The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
~Lord Byron

But if you really want to learn about life, get a cat. The way I think people should relate to animals is with a cat. Because the world is his.
~James Cromwell

Really, I don’t even know how this is a contest. Man’s most faithful and loving friend, versus the most arrogant creature on the face of the planet. But I get that there are cat lovers out there. There are people who greatly admire and love the independence and distinctive personalities of cats. I do not. Did I get a pet or a roommate? If you don’t like the food, don’t eat it! You don’t have to slide the fucking bowl off the counter, then stare at me like I’m the problem! Goddamn cat. So let’s get into a little bit of history on each contender before we wade into the heavily biased(at least I admit it) pros and cons. Let us begin with the cagy asshole we know better as the cat.

The domestic cat is hardly domesticated. Unlike dogs, cats show no  concern with forming  a bond or mutual relationship with humans. This has led to much debate about the origins of their association with humans. The modern domestic cat is closely related to other small cats in the wild, like wildcats, belonging to the same class of feline. Domestic cats apparently have not evolved much more differently than their companions in the wild. It is a widely held belief that most domestic cats can survive in the wild if need be since they have retained most, if not all, of the predatory methods, tools, and instincts of their brethren in the wild, and don’t have the attachment to humans that dogs have. An early theory for the coming together of cats and humans was that many people trained certain breeds of cat to hunt vermin in their cities. An idea that doesn’t have much support since cats show an unwillingness to simply be ordered to do something.

More likely, they just casually became accepting of humans as they hunted the vermin anyways.  The rise of cities led to many free meals in the streets and gutters. Eventually humans began to accept the cats and this is when it is believed that they became “domesticated”. Probably the only time it was ever a mutual decision.

African wildcat. Looks like you could walk out and pick him up. I wouldn't though.

Cat domestication probably precedes Ancient Egypt, but Egyptians basically wrote the book on it. They didn’t just love cats, they literally worshiped them as sacred animals. The Romans too. It was cat fancy all day,everyday. Still, it was mostly generations of wildcats who gradually adopted city life. Over the centuries domesticated cats grew slightly more docile than their counterparts in the wild and by the 19th century cat breeding was a big deal. Selective breeding from that point on produced most all the variety of cats we see today. Cats developed multitudes of colors and patterns on their fur and began exhibiting distinctive personalities regarding breed. One positive thing I can say about cats, they are definitely the most interesting domesticated animal we have. It is very much a stereotype but only because there is some truth to it. Cats just seem smarter and more “with it” than dogs do. A dog’s whole world is you. Cat’s do not exhibit that limitation. Their association with humans, very often, is on their terms. But there are affectionate cats. Again speaking to the multitude of personalities they exhibit. Many times cats will ignore attention given but then initiate it him or herself later. When they feel like it or it interests them.

O.K., enough about those nosy felines. Let’s talk dogs. Dogs are the direct descendents of wolves. Most likely the gray wolf of Europe and Asia. The wolves already built in sense of social structure most likely made it far easier to domesticate them and instilled them with an accepting, playful nature. Though they probably began, like cats, with various unintentional interactions with humans, they were far easier to instruct and more willing to accept obedience. Dog packs were a common part of hunting groups and this shared experience most likely tightened the bonds between humans and dogs. Despite stereotypes we eluded to earlier, dogs are an incredibly smart animal. Exhibiting cognitive association and memory ability on par with human children. Their most vaunted trait, their fierce loyalty, is also inherited from their wolf ancestors. Wolf packs are highly organized, structured groups that require loyalty and trust. Wolfs who abandon their duties or overstep their bounds are dealt with harshly.

 

The gray wolf. Cuddly? Yes. Friendly? God no!

Dogs were primarily hunters and herders. In early society this included many things. They earned the name “man’s best friend” since they were so prevalent in human life. They packed weight, served as guards, and always acted faithfully to the best of their ability and training. Like cats, it wasn’t until the 19th or even 20th centuries that breeds of dogs began to become more diverse. Post WW 2, pet dogs became extremely popular and more “indoor” varieties began to be bred. The characteristics of dogs are an almost silly playfulness and a deeply trusting nature. There are no bad dogs. No mean dogs. Only bad owners.

 

"Who you callin' silly?"

Now let’s look at the pros and cons of each animal. As though there were any cons to a dog. But let’s take  a look.

DOGS:

Pros – “Him’s a big sweety, yes him is! Who’s a good boy?! Huh?! Who’s a good boy?! Yes you are!  Yes you are! That’s a good good boy!”

Cons – “Did you get in the garbage?! That was  a bad boy! You know better than that! Oh, I can’t stay mad at you! Come’ere and get yourself  a big ol’ hug!”

CATS:

Pros – Well, they’re clean. They pretty much take care 9f themselves in most cases. Uhhh…. lemme see …….. Garfield?

Cons – You’re petting their head and everything seems fine, but then they bite you! And don’t give me the “that’s a problem with you” routine ’cause it ain’t just me.  The arrogance. OH MY GOD I’LL KILL HIM! Seriously! It’s the SAME THING! Just because it isn’t Purina you won’t eat it! EAT IT! No! Don’t you push that on the floor! Don’t you – GODDAMNIT!!!  Fine. I will go to the store and buy the fucking Purina. YOU DON’T OWN ME!

WINNER: Dogs!

Obviously we see that the pros for the dog far outweigh those for the cat. Sure a purring cat resting on your lap is a peaceful thing, but that 5 minutes of clawing that comes before it gets old real quick. And cats are terrible at fetch. They just keep the thing and play with it themselves. Assholes!

Now, I’m sure this is a controversial outcome for many but I assure you only the most scientific methods were used for determining that dogs rule and cats drool.

Tonight we sleep. Come morning, we duel!

Written by ADONAI

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

79 Responses so far.

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  1. Carmen says:

    I love both dogs and cats, too. Dogs are so sweet and eager to please but cats could give a crap less. It’s all about them, isn’t it?
    Great blog, Adonai!

  2. Ando says:

    Cats are girls
    Dogs are boys

  3. Buddy McCue says:

    I can appreciate either animal, but personally, I’d rather share my home with cats.

    To be honest, I don’t have as much respect for a pack animal. They remind me of the kind of people who act like that. The sort of person who doesn’t know what his own opinion is until he hears the group consensus. The kind of person who tries to find the “alpha” of any group, so as to know who to emulate. The conformists. The “group-thinkers.” The people who view politics as a team sport, who value being a “team player” more than they value evidence-based thinking, and who simply wish for the opposing team to fail, no matter what the issues are.

    That sort of behavior is natural in a dog, and I understand that, but I am less understanding of it in people. People should be better than that. People should be stronger than that.

    Like cats are.

  4. whatsthatsound says:

    Not many people know about this, but because of the human race’s disastrous stewardship of the planet, the ants called for a referendum on our species. Dogs were behind us 100 percent, no surprises there. We received a surprising vote of confidence from cockroaches and rats. Mosquitoes seem okay with us, and we got about half their vote.

    Ferrets, of course, stood by us.

    And that’s about it. Every other species resoundingly voted for our removal from the planet.

    The biggest surprise was cats. They had one of the lowest voter turnout percentages. Those that DID bother to vote mostly voted in our favor. But not all.

    That’s Cats.

    • foodchain says:

      wts, can’t herd cats as they say; dog’s can’t, people can’t. I’m not sure about ants. 😉

    • whatsthatsound says:

      It’s not clear exactly what the ants plan to do with these results.
      Just beware that there are approximately ten QUADRILLION ants on the planet, so whatever they DO decide to do…..they can do it.

  5. KQuark says:

    Silly conclusion everyone knows cats are better. Just ask one they will tell you.

    Catoid:

    Cats can make approximately 1,000 different sounds but Dogs can only make about 10.

  6. Haruko Haruhara says:

    My dog keeps the deer away from my tomato and pepper garden.

    My dog protects me when I go running.

    He protects my baby. No one comes within a mile of us without his OK.

    He is fierce and loyal and loving.

    My cat kills the hobo spiders in the house … and the occasional mouse. He is fierce and brave and earns his keep, too.

  7. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Cats? Dogs? The age-old debate lingers.

    But, Australian iguanas ROCK.

    [img][/img]

  8. PatsyT says:

    I am a Dog person all the way.
    I love Cats, other peoples Cats,
    that way I can enjoy their amusing qualities from afar.

    Just a thought, have you ever heard of a rescue Cat?




    • jkkFL says:

      C’mon Patsy!
      Just the other day a cat pawed his owners face until she woke up, saving her from a fire in her house!
      Ease up on cats! 😉

      • choicelady says:

        My cat has intervened several times to protect and save me from -- whatever. Once the cable guy came to the house, and without first knocking and being properly introduced, he TOUCHED THE CAT’S HOUSE without her permission. She saw that and became very angry. When he finally came to the door, I had to hold her back because she was going to attack him, perceived threat he was to me, the house, the stability of life as we knew it.

        So she may NOT be a rescue cat. She IS an attack cat. I have a sign up: Chat De Garde, and you’d BETTER pay attention!

        BTW -- I love dogs, too.

  9. jkkFL says:

    ADONAI- show me the cat that drools! On the other hand:

    Bulldog
    American Bandogge Mastiff
    Basset Hound
    Black and Tan Coonhound
    Bloodhound
    Bluetick Coonhound
    Boxer
    Bullmastiff
    Dogue de Bordeaux
    English Bulldog
    English Setter
    French Bulldog
    Great Dane
    Great Pyrenees
    Irish Water Spaniel
    Kuvasz
    Mastiff
    Neapolitan Mastiff
    Newfoundland
    Olde English Bulldogge
    Olde Victorian Bulldogge
    Plott Hound
    Pyrenean Mastiff
    Redbone Coonhound
    Saint Bernard
    Shar-Pei
    Spanish Mastiff
    Victorian Bulldog,
    are Grand Master Droolers!

    • choicelady says:

      My other cat, the Maine Coone cat, drools when he’s petted. I thought, when I found him as a kitten living under a table on my porch, that there was something wrong with him. But no -- he’s just in Seventh Heaven. And drools to this day when he’s content.

      He’s the sweetest guy ever, but yuck.

    • foodchain says:

      The master list of droolers! We did have a vizsla that licked his paws clean. I don’t know if he learned it from our cats or whether he just enjoyed it.

  10. Haruko Haruhara says:

    I love dogs and cats equally.

    Dogs are loyal.

    Cats are mysterious.

    But dogs are more mysterious than we give them credit for.

    And cats are more loyal than we give them credit for.

  11. Kalima says:

    I don’t intend to get into a pissing competition about the merits of cats over dogs, or dogs over cats, I’ve had both cats and dogs in my life at some point in time. However, if your dogs can do this, I’ll have to relent I suppose. :)


  12. KillgoreTrout says:

    Adonai, good article and humorous. I have to say that I love both cats and dogs. A dog’s loyalty is really something in Nature. And as you point out, their intelligence and playfulness. But one does not own a dog for the same reason one owns a cat and vice versa.
    To me, a cat is a living ornament. A walking enigma with the grace and ease found in few other animals. I love to watch cats. They simply fascinate me. And they do have personalities, of which there is no doubt. And they do like to play, but, also as you pointed out, on their own terms. I admire their arrogance and their innate relationship to the free spirit.
    Dogs are uncanny in many ways. They are empathetic, sometimes much more than we humans are. They instinctively know when we are down, or ill. And they are wonderfully playful. So personally, I would not choose between a cat or a dog.

    • choicelady says:

      KT -- I believe cats have catonalities, not personalities. Credit where credit is due. They are their own creatures and deserve their own categories.

  13. funksands says:

    Hmmm all of this talk about pets has me remembering when my wife and I were first dating. I had a pet rat and she had a rose-hair tarantula.

    Both pretty cool pets in my opinion, but one of them wasn’t very cuddly. I leave it up to your imagination to guess which one.

  14. funksands says:

    Adonai, a very-well done piece. I grew up in a household divided. There was my dad and his two-three english setters for hunting. And my stepmother with her three-four cats.

    I found myself enjoying all of them, but definitely trended dog as a couple of the cats were simply unbearable to be around.

    What’s funny is after my dad and stepmother separated, he remained cat free for several years, but ultimately broke down and rescued a cat from the pound. Winston, a jet-black cat with thumbs.

    No shit. He’s got an extra-large pad on the interior of his foot that he uses to grab things with. He can open a doorknob in nothing flat and drinks water out of his bowl by scooping it with his ridiculous feet.

    You are correct about the variety of personalities that cats possess, apparently infectious enough in many cases to turn a dog lover cat-curious.

    Again, nice piece.


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