<Posted by Mario>
Man’s best friend, loyal, obedient. These are the defining characteristics of dogs. I grew up with dogs and it was these three characteristics that made me into a “dog guy”. There was always a dog or two in my life until I moved away from my hometown.
I moved to sunny Arizona and did think about getting a dog as I was too wrapped up in a hectic work schedule and had a small house with a small backyard. But I decided if I couldn’t get a dog I wouldn’t own any pets. As the years went by, I kept my word and didn’t buy a fish, bird, pet rock, or any other pet.
Then a few years later I met and started dating my wonderful wife, Gail. She was everything I was looking for. She was nice, athletic, and had a great sense of humor because she thought I was hilarious. Everything was perfect.
And then she tells me, a self-professed dog guy, that she has two cats. Not one cat, but TWO cats! I thought to myself: “I can’t be a cat owner. Cats are not for guys like me who are 6’4” and 240lbs (in my wildest dreams this is my actual height & weight). But it was an all or nothing deal. And in spite of the cats, we get married. I’m now in my 14th year of living with cats. During these 14 years I’ve observed and learned that cats have their own set of defining characteristics.
Cats sleep A LOT
On average cats sleep 60%-80% of the day, which is equivalent to 14-19 hours a day. Yes, I’m envious as my measly 6-7 hours of sleep a night (if I’m lucky) now sounds like it’s not enough. Also, cats can sleep anywhere; in a box, in a bowl, on the puzzle board when Gail is trying to assemble a puzzle, and on my keyboard when I have important work to do and need to type.
Cats are very independent
Cats can fend for themselves and hunt for their own food, so they don’t really need an owner. Their actions and/or conduct aren’t influenced or controlled by their owners. Cats aren’t programmed to give their owners loyalty. You have to earn a cat’s loyalty and affection. There’s a saying that says “dogs have masters, but cats have staff.” I now know this to be true and I have to say I’m embarrassed for myself but yet very impressed with this characteristic.
Cats are cunning (a skill in achieving one’s end by deceit)
Cats can have more than 100 vocal sounds. When a cat meows, it’s not communicating with other cats. The meow was developed to communicate with humans. An interesting fact is that per a 2009 study in the Scientific American, a cat’s meow “shares the same frequency as a baby’s cry”. That’s how our cats get attention from my wife. However, this one cunning cat characteristic is deceivingly brilliant… as it also works on dog guys!
I grew up a dog guy but I can now understand why people prefer cats over dogs. Somehow those slumberous, independent, cunning cats won me over, or most likely manipulated me into really caring for them. And I’m ok with that.
I’m now going to let the cat out of the bag: This 6’7” 260lb guy is now a cat guy!