Cats and dogs

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Permalink

I have a friend who has always argued that people are either cat-people or dog-people. Or neither. But never both.

I’ve always assumed they were full of shit, but have been pondering on that lately as I overheard a conversation between two people about the relative merits of cats vs dogs. They were the usual things… you can do stuff with dogs; cats are more affectionate etc etc. 

I grew up with dogs. Throughout my childhood we had boxer dogs. After a hiccup with one, we brought home a puppy who I named Digby—after a movie I’d just seen called Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World.

digby

Our dogs were outside dogs and never allowed inside. To this day I struggle a bit with the smells and hair and dogginess of houses which are home to dogs.

Needless to say, I hated cats. Ugh!

Fast forward many years and my brother and sister-in-law got a cat. Like all childless couples in their mid-late 20s, James the cat was fussed-over and greatly adored. Even by me. He was such a tiny thing when he first arrived it was hard not to adore him, so by the time he was more cat-like I was pretty much accustomed to his need to lie on anything I was trying to read, or distract me from any task at hand.

And many years later, my brother, SIL and niece have two cats—who’ve I’ve cat-sat quite often.

As I’ve remained single I’ve pondered on the idea of a pet. Unfortunately I’ve lived in apartments so my options have been limited. But even so… I wonder now what I’d choose. Despite my dog-loving childhood, they no longer appeal. At all. Don’t get me wrong dog-lovers… I don’t dislike them, but… well… #meh.

So what about a cat? We’ve all read the magazine articles suggesting pets decrease our stress levels and help us live longer. Or something. Plus I’d have someone to talk to rather than sharing my every-thought on social media.

And then I think about kitty-litter (ugh!) and fur everywhere and I cringe. On top of that taking holidays would be problematic along with overnighters at my mother’s. Oh and there’s the whole ‘single woman and cats’ thing. See? So many reasons.

cat sitting

 

But the biggest reason at all is that I think I’d care too much. With no family of my own the bloody cat would become my life and I’d bore people stupid on Facebook with tales of its adorableness and hilarious exploits. I’d not sleep so as not to disturb it on my bed, and stress endlessly about its welfare.

So…. I’m thinking about a goldfish. Or a tamagotchi.

Any advice?
Where do you stand on the cat vs dog question? Can people be both?

38 Comments
  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    May 19, 2015

    I adore ALL animals but when it comes to pets, cats rock. They’re not as needy as dogs and yet they can be super cuddly if you raise them right! And going away for a couple of days is a lot easier (you just fill up their dishes…they won’t scarf it all down right away). Sure, if you go away for longer, you get a pet sitter. I think people can be both, but I think deep down inside, there will be a preference one way or the other 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 19, 2015

      That’s true re their eating habits Karen. I never really thought about that. Though one of my brother’s cats is a bit greedy and prone to eat what’s there!

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    May 19, 2015

    If I did not have to clean up the yard after the dog or the litter box after the cat, I’d have one or both. Our last pet died in 2009 and with the kids out the house we did not get another. I do miss the dog for companionship, and unconditional love, but now get my fix with friend’s pets. I also loved that the dog got me out and walking regularly, miss that too!

    • Debbish
      May 19, 2015

      Ah yes Nise’ that’s a necessary evil isn’t?! The walking I mean! As for cleaning up and taking care of them, that gets old pretty quickly. I remember my parents bemoaning the fact that they were the ones constantly feeding our dogs!

  • Jo
    May 19, 2015

    I’m a “dog person” but also love cats. I think the attachment is a good thing- it’s what I love most about my pooch- that mutual attachment.

    • Debbish
      May 19, 2015

      I think I’d obsess they’d get run over or sick etc. (Perhaps it’s a good thing I wasn’t able to be a parent!)

  • liznelson1
    May 19, 2015

    Deb, I love both cats and dogs. I love my Lab Lucy but I really love Burmese and if i could, I would get two kittens. Unfortunately Steve hates cats. But life is much better with pets. Definitely worth the care factor xx

    • Debbish
      May 19, 2015

      Hmmmm perhaps I need to rethink that goldfish. Though then there’s the whole cleaning-the-tank thing….

  • Elaine B
    May 19, 2015

    I love both & have one of each. You get back so much more than you give with a pet – it’s definitely worth it! A cat is more independent & can be left overnight as long as you leave enough food & there’s always the option of a friendly neighbour. Do it! You won’t be sorry! xE

    • Debbish
      May 19, 2015

      My current apartment isn’t very conducive to larger pets unless I get a very ‘inside-dwelling’ cat Elaine. Perhaps if I ever move…

  • Mystery Case
    May 19, 2015

    I was never an animal person but last year the neighbour’s cat decided after she moved to Melbourne and left the cat her in Perth with her daughter house and cat sitting, that he wanted to adopt our pet free family. The daughter had a cat and dog of her own and I think this gorgeous cat just needed more attention. They’ve just moved as well and left he cat in our hands because he pretty much decided that’s where he wanted to be. I won’t say I’m a cat person but gosh I’ve definitely fallen for this cat.

    I think it was initially I thought he was a stray/homeless cat living in our front yard that made me warm to him.

  • Maxabella
    May 19, 2015

    Can people be neither? I think I’m neither… I love animals, but have never hankered for a dog or a cat. I like our chickens and guinea pigs, hermit crabs and fish well enough. x

    • Debbish
      May 19, 2015

      I tend to think I lean to neither as well, but keep pondering on the benefits…

  • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
    May 19, 2015

    I think people can be both. I disliked cats for years and was always a dog lover. Then I ended up getting a cat because I wanted a pet and learnt to tolerate a friend’s cat. Like you, I live in an apartment so dogs were out of question. It’s hard to not fall in love with a kitten and I’m smitten with my 2 cats. I have become more of a cat person because they are easier to manage than dogs. As for the single lady with cats thing, I did that for about 3 years. 😀 You get used to the kitty litter and I will say this…my cats really helped me get over my last big break up. They’ve been great company over the years and the one constant.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2015

      Oh yes I can imagine what a comfort they’d be and that’s something that tempts me!

  • hugzillablog
    May 19, 2015

    It’s so funny. All my life I have been adamantly a dog person but as I get older the idea of a cat appeals more and more. Dogs are so bloody needy. I have come to appreciate the independence and stand-offishness of cats over time.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2015

      I’ve been around some cats also who just won’t leave you alone and others who are quite disinterested. I wonder if it comes down to how you raise them. Somewhere in between would be good!

  • Marie
    May 20, 2015

    I have a small female dog (a 5 year old Chinese Crested Powderpuff that I got as a rescue dog three years ago after our little 18 year old Toy Poodle died). I’d vowed not to get another dog after Lambi, but found that once you’ve had a pet in your life, it’s very difficult for your house to be a home without one.

    To say that Sophie has weaseled her way into our hearts and taken over our home is the understatement of the century! And would you believe that I didn’t really care for dogs when I first came here? I’d always had cats in Adelaide and I rather liked their “cattitude” – there was no doubt that they liked you as the bearer of food. And if that food didn’t meet their standards, then they would just as happily move to the house next door where the pickings were better. Dogs always seemed to me to be dependant, slavishly devoted to their owners and “needy” in a way that I thought would be suffocating. I told my husband-to-be before I moved to Sweden that I wasn’t really a dog person. And I particularly disliked little, fluffy dogs. I just couldn’t see the point of them and so many of them seemed yappy, nippy and neurotic. I now know of course, that the owners must project that on to the dogs, because his toy poodle was gentle and loving. She never bit anyone and she didn’t yap. She was always delighted to see us and danced around with joy as does Sophie now.

    I have now experienced the joy of having a dog and I cannot imagine life without one. I love the way they are always so happy to se me (if only my husband could be half as excited when I arrive home!) and how they seem to know just how I feel. They know when I need a cuddle and they are just always there. The downside is that they need regular exercise, come rain, hail or shine and they need constant company. Cats are far more able to entertain themselves and be alone – dogs seem to need their pack around them to feel good. The other downside with both cats and dogs can be the pet hair coating everything. I solved that by getting a non-shedding dog and one that does not have a “doggy” smell. But it’s a very personal thing – other friends don’t mind their smelly, shedding dogs at all and think I’m too particular. I’d not be without my little dog, but I have a lifestyle that can accommodate her. If I was someone who worked long hours or travelled a lot, it would not work. I’d have to get a pet rock instead 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2015

      I think a non-shedding dog would do the trick… I wonder if you can get non-shedding cats? Perhaps something without long hair?

  • Char
    May 20, 2015

    I’ve had both but you know for me it’ll always be dogs. You can’t beat the joy of a wagging tail when you get home. Cats are just so much more fickle with their affections. They’ll adore you when it comes to dinner time or if you’re eating a tuna sandwich but ignore you any other time.

    • Debbish
      May 20, 2015

      Oh yes, my brother’s cats are very meow-y if they smell fish or chicken! They get tuna on weekends as a treat and you have to spell it when talking about it as otherwise they get too excited.

  • Jess
    May 20, 2015

    I think I am a dog person, love the loyalty. I always feel as though animals are too big of a commitment which is ridiculous since I have kids. Currently we can’t get an animal with where we are living. However, I have randomly acquirein the past a lizard and a guinea pig and I grew strangely attachedto both. I even had the lizard, I kid you not, trained to poopwhen he got out of his cage so I didn’t have to clean it up. Who knew a lizard could be so clever?

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2015

      I had no idea lizards could be so clever. My niece had hermit crabs when she was little and I recall having to go over and feed them or something while they were on hols once, but I recall one… umm…. passing away while I was looking after him. His leg fell off or something. I don’t think I did anything to contribute to it, but I felt bad nonetheless!

  • Jess
    May 20, 2015

    PS I laughedout loud at your tamagotchi coment! Too funny!

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2015

      They were WAY after my time, but my niece had one for a while…

  • CARLA
    May 20, 2015

    NO!!!!!! YOU MUST PICK ONE!!
    unless yer my child who loves all creatures great and small 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 21, 2015

      If forced I think I’d pick cats now (over dogs) but only IF forced! 😉

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    May 21, 2015

    I think cats are generally easier to care for. Dogs need commitment and they really are pack animals and like to be with the alpha dog (you) all the time. Because my dogs are so spoiled they really cramp our holiday style. We either have to go separately or take the two little ones with us. The cat doesn’t care who feeds her as long as someone does.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2015

      Ah yes I remember you having to find dog-friendly holiday accommodation. I didn’t know it was a thing until my mother and I randomly stayed at a place on the Sunshine Coast which promoted itself as being dog-friendly.

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    May 22, 2015

    Well, I’m a dog person through and through. Cats just don’t do it for me. But I totally get how people love both, and indeed have both, because I think both pets bring something different to the equation. I think you’d be a great cat mom and I for one would be happy to see you fawning on facebook… never say never!

  • Elizabeth
    May 24, 2015

    I’ve always been a dog person, we grew up with smaller, not miniature, indoor dogs who were allowed on the furniture and fed scraps when parents weren’t looking. I don’t dislike cats, but I am allergic, so I haven’t been emotionally close to a cat since my teens. Then I baby sat for a family who got a kitten. Like you I watched him grow up and loved him, so I know if I got a kitten I’d love it, I just can’t. Also, as you said, there’s the whole single woman with cat thing! These days I enjoy having my nephew doggie to visit whenever my sister goes away. For a week or so he’s OK, but I know that with my health concerns and mobility issues anything could come up and I couldn’t take care of my own dog full time.
    So I could enjoy either as a pet, I think. But it seems to me that cat people can sometimes get a little crazy. You don’t see a ton of dog pics and gifs all over FB
    I wrote a post this week called What’s with all the cats? If you have time to read it.

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2015

      Ha… very true re all of the cats. (And I’m off to look at your post!)

  • Tegan Churchill
    May 25, 2015

    Growing up we had a mixture of cats and dogs. All of our cats were completely bonkers though so I find it strange that people say that cats are affectionate. I have a dog now and she is one of the family. I have had a cat too, and honestly I didn’t love one more than the other, they were just different. The dog sleeps in bed with me, and I get used to waking up with her sleeping on my chest.

    • Debbish
      May 25, 2015

      My brother’s current cats are very standoffish. Sometimes (when I’m cat-sitting) they’ll come and keep me company when I’m watching TV but they’re not particularly affectionate. Their two cats are very different beasts and don’t get along. Esmeralda (a boy) is very cool and Captain Jack Sparrow (both named by my niece when she was young) is a bit of a nutcase.

      The cats in the picture at my friend’s place get on famously and are all over me from the moment I arrive however!

  • Michelle @ In Libris Veritas
    May 26, 2015

    I’m definitely both. I grew up having both dogs and cats, and I’ve never been without both in my house. I prefer cats most of the time, simply because they are self reliant and don’t really get under foot the way my dogs can BUT I also switch up my preferences from time to time. They are such different animals most of the time it’s hard to say they are the same to me, but I love having both.

    • Debbish
      May 26, 2015

      I guess you have to experience them to make a decision, don’t you? I pretty much hated cats when I was young as I’d only ever had dogs (and they were outside dogs). So it wasn’t until my brother and SIL got their first cat that I became quite enamoured with their little kitten.

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