Friday, February 23, 2007

Cats or Dogs

I am not a dog person.
I just don't like them.
I think its because they are too needy.
Believe me, I have had my fair share of dogs. And as an adult, its just not something I want in my life.

When I was growing up, we had LOTS of dogs. Big, small, german shepard, mutt, daschund, dalmation, collie, you name it. We lived on 5 acres, so the dogs just ran around... in the house, out the house, none of them were necessarily assigned to a person, they were just all "our" dogs. I remember the process of house training them when they were puppies, and I remember them sleeping outside or inside, whever we happened to be. After we moved to the city when I was 12, my parents got me a dog. This one was identified as mine. It was a miniature maltese who I named Mickey (after Mickey Mouse). I loved that dog. It would spend the night in the kitchen, and when it was let out in the morning, it would RUN to my bedroom. It was little, cute, cuddly, and mine. It got through the security gate of the front door and was killed on the road. My parents got me another one the same night (probably not a good idea, they probably should have let me grieve), this one was names Mouse, it was not a miniature, and it was never really mine. It was just one of our dogs.

So - am I not a dog person because I had a traumatic dog experience associated with attachment?

Yea. I think my aversion is more than that.
I don't like needy/clingy people either; and I can't say that my best friend from high-school with whom I blood-swore friendship forever died... so there's no residual Freudian anti thing going on... although I can have other theories there which I won't go into here....

I have also always liked cats. And when I was VERY little, I had a white cat called Queenie. Now this cat was mine. I don't know what happened to her, she probably died, and I still like cats, so there you go, theory of dog trauma blown.
Here's how I know that Queenie was "mine" (besides my mother telling me so): there are photos of me pushing her around in a pram all covered up with a blanket. Yip, the cat let me play "baby" with her. Now, a cat would have to be "yours" to let you do that!

We have two cats now. Max and Molly Goldberg (the cats are married even though we are not).
I know that with cats they are different creatures to their people than they are to friends and family of those people. Our cats do things with us that they don't do with other people. Those little things that indicate attachment and make you feel mushy inside and love for your pet.
When I come home, they hear the garage door open from the bedroom (they sleep on our bed all day), and they are waiting for me at the door in to the house when I walk in. They will greet Greg if he comes home first, not when I'm home already, but they always wait for me. Then, Molly will RUN to the bedroom closet because she knows that the first thing I do is take off my shoes inside the closet. Then I usually pee - so her next stop is the bathroom. When I comply with her expectations, she PURRRRRRRS! Crazy loud purring!
When I am home, they follow me from room to room. They find spots to sleep close to me. If I am on the computer, Max will lie in the same spot on the carpet next to me. When Greg and I watch TV in the evening, they come for pets, and then lie on the couch with us. When we go to bed, they follow us in and curl up on the bed.

When you are in the presence of a cat that gives you attention and is obviously attached, you value and treasure that connection. They are not in your face, they are near; they do not DEMAND attention, they make subtle requests infrequently. They keep you company, and they give you affection when you are distressed. Our little family feels very purfect when we are all together. The two quiet self-contained people, and the two quiet self-contained cats.


deetour said...

awww, what a nice post. I have a cat tail in my face as I type this.

brianna said...

i like the idea of cats-- an independent, litter-box using creature...

but then i had a cat.

and i just don't like how you can't see the mood swings coming. one minute they're cuddling, the next second they're shredding your kids legs to bits.

at least with a dog, there are clear-cut signs (usually) of aggression.

but your cats sound sweet. :)

Musing said...

My cats don't like kids. Maybe that's the problem with cats + kids - just not an equation that adds up.