The truth about cats and dogs

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Opinion piece
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Chances are, like roughly a quarter, or a third of the UK population respectively, you own a cat or dog. They cost thousands of pounds in food, treats and vets fees over the course of their lives, and cause more than a little trouble. Are they worth the effort?

Dogs are, they say, a man’s best friend. Although they are descendants of wolves, the natural bloodlust is absent through good training and discipline. Other than attack dogs obviously.

They whine at you for food, exercise or attention, and slobber all over you when you return home. They make a mess of everything, embarrass you in front of guests, and make an infuriating noise at the most inconvenient times. When puppies, they can’t be left alone for any length of time. Despite all this reliance and bad behaviour, you shower them with toys and treats, talk to them in baby language, and give them their own sleeping space. Dogs are constantly reliant on your altruism and devotion to them, and potentially don’t even guard the house very well. In short, dogs prepare one for having children. If you can raise a dog from puppy, tolerate its whining and mess and pleading eyes and still have a heart full of love, there’s a fair chance you can cope with raising a child, who will evoke similar levels of dependence.

Cats don’t give a damn when you return home, nor waking you at 3am to let them out, should you not possess a cat flap. They will go out and prowl all night and return simply to refuel. They don’t ask for attention, they take it. They lounge on the furniture whether people are home or not, not yielding for anyone, and use your legs as scratching posts. Some may demand to crap inside the house. They will not so much ask for food as demand it with force, if they haven’t eaten yours already. They will happily torture animals weaker than them for their amusement, and even show them off to you. Despite your blind deference and care, these cunning creatures will lavish attention and affection on any stranger they may consider is more likely to offer them food at any particular time. If you can tolerate these animals accepting all they are given, only to take more, stitch you up and expect you to be grateful, then you are ready for the world of work.

No wonder so many people share their lives with such pets. They are a rehearsal for the realities of the world around us!

  1. Mados says:

    Although they are descendants of wolves, the natural bloodlust is absent through good training and discipline.

    You clearly do not know much about Wolves …

    Anyway, I think you are right that raising a puppy is good rehearsal for raising kids.

    • Apologies, this post was a lot more lighthearted than my usual. You’re right, the extent of my knowledge on wolves comes from a documentary where dogs were referred to as the descendants of wolves.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Mados says:

        Dogs are a sub species of the Grey Wolf.

        It was more the bit with ‘wolves’ natural bloodlust’ that caught me. Wolves, dogs, cats, humans, whatever (all predators) kill when hungry. ‘Bloodlust’ is just a biased, emotional way to say that. When we are hungry and crave meat it could also be called ‘bloodlust’, but it would make us sound like vampires or zombies. Same with Wolves and dogs… ‘bloodlust’ pictures their instincts in a misleading way, as if they are chaotic and irrational creatures.

        (apologise if I’m anal about words…)

  2. True, i was a tad careless with the phrasing. I find our apex predator status is more about domination, as we are omnivores so i wouldn’t classify our bloodlust as the same as carnivores, but your point is well made. I guess i meant bloodlust in the natural carnivorous sense, apologies if my wording made it misleading.

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